Photo: AP Photo
We guess alliances like the Snack Food Association and the Council for Biotechnology Information (whose megacompany members include BASF, DuPont, Dow, and Monsanto) felt they just weren't big enough or strong enough to convince Congress and consumers that big ag is good ag. So now 55 of the big-boy alliances have bonded together to form what might be called a supersociety, the new Alliance to Feed the Future.
Telling "the real story of modern food production" and "balancing the public dialogue on modern agriculture" is the Alliance's mission, according to its debut press release. What is also very modern is that the alliance, which also includes members such CropLife America (whose website features stories such as "Benefits of Pesticides and Crop-Protection Chemicals") the National Frozen Pizza Institute, and the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers, has decided to locate in Washington, D.C. After all, Dave Schmidt, President and CEO at the International Food Information Council and coordinator of AFF told Sustainable Food News, its target audience is that of "opinion leaders, including those in the university sector, professional societies, journalists and government officials."
That audience may be in for an earful. This past fall, almost a dozen of the new alliance's members resigned from the committee that's in the process of developing a national standard for sustainable agriculture under the rules of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), reports Sustainable Food News.
Since the new alliance is declaring itself "an information-sharing portal," Schmidt was asked, what information does the group want to share with consumers? There's a misperception "present in popular media . . . and that has blossomed in social media. . . that food processing or large-scale food production is bad."
Does that mean we have tweets about the beauty of a field of GM alfalfa or the airiness of a contemporary beef-cattle feedlot to look forward to? Stay tuned.
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