In 2011, after many years of raising awareness regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and industrial agriculture, we decided we needed a new game plan. Educating people through our newsletter was great, but we realized the best way to expose Monsanto — a leading GMO advocate and patented seed owner at the time — was to get them to engage directly and ensure national attention.
To that end, Mercola.com funded the signature gathering in California that initiated Proposition 37, the right to know what's in your food by ensuring proper GMO labeling. We spent more than $1 million for the Prop 37 initiative, plus several million dollars more for GMO labeling initiatives in other U.S. states in the following years.
This initiative forced Monsanto to engage with the public directly to defend their toxic products and dangerous business practices, all while receiving national coverage in the process.
The Monsanto Case
Monsanto spent tens of millions of dollars attacking anyone in their way, but they did so indirectly, just like the tobacco industry did before them. This is the core take-home of what I'm about to describe next.
They used a public relations team to do most of their dirty work — paying scientists and academics to voice their "independent opinions," influencing scientific journals, and getting journalists and editorial boards to write favorable and influential pieces to help them maintain their lies and influence minds.
Still, while the spending of tens of millions of dollars to influence voters resulted in a narrow defeat of Prop 37, the new, widespread awareness of GMOs, pesticides and industrial agriculture eventually led to Monsanto's demise.
In 2013, in a last-ditch effort to salvage its tarnished image, Monsanto hired the PR firm Ketchum. As noted in a HuffPost article by Paul Thacker,1 "Monsanto hit reboot with Ketchum," which "created a campaign called GMO Answers, and used social media and third-party scientists to offer a counter narrative to allay concern about Monsanto's products."
The GMO Answers' website is set up to allow professors at public universities answer GMO questions from the public — supposedly without remuneration from the industry. But over the years, evidence emerged showing that these academics are far from independent, and often end up getting paid for their contributions via hidden means, such as unrestricted grants.
University of Florida professor Kevin Folta is one prominent example described in my 2016 article "Scientific American — Another Monsanto Bedfellow." In that article, I also review how GMO Answers co-sponsored a panel discussion about GMOs in March that year with the media and partnerships division of Scientific American.
At the time, Jeremy Abatte, vice president and publisher of Scientific American, insisted the event was not a Ketchum event but a Scientific American event. Few bought his reasoning though, and many ended up filing Scientific American into the chemical biotech shill category.
Having purchased Monsanto at the end of 2016, Bayer continued the strategy to rely on PR firms for public acceptance. In the article2 "Bayer's Shady PR Firms: Fleishmanhillard, Ketchum, FTI Consulting," U.S. Right to Know reviews the many deception scandals involving these firms. A key discovery was evidence showing "there are objective strategies to silence strong voices."
After investigating the strategies used by Monsanto and Bayer, we can now see that the same playbook is being used by Big Tech and Big Pharma to shape the public narratives about COVID-19 and the Great Reset. Again, a central facet of these campaigns is to silence critics, in particular those with large online followings, including yours truly.
I have been publicly labeled a "national security threat" to the U.K. by Imran Ahmed, a member of the Steering Committee on Countering Extremism Pilot Task Force under the British government's Commission for Countering Extremism and the chief executive of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).
According to Ahmed, I and others who question the safety and necessity of a COVID-19 vaccine may be prone to violent extremism. This defamatory statement clearly has no basis in reality whatsoever. Rather, it's part of the propaganda aimed at destroying the opposition — in this case the opposition to the technocrats driving the Great Reset agenda, which spans across social, economic and health related sectors.