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NPR violates FCC rules, promotes interests of its sponsorship donor Monsanto

Friday, July 01, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: NPR, Monsanto, health news

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(NaturalNews) Many NaturalNews readers may be shocked to learn that, for years, biotechnology giant Monsanto sponsored the popular show Marketplace that airs on National Public Radio (NPR). According to a recent report by the Bohemian, the show had received funding from Monsanto for several years, and the views presented on the show have (surprise!) mirrored those of the biotech behemoth, despite the fact that US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules prohibit sponsors from being directly promoted on the network.

The report explains that a recent episode of Marketplace featured the one-sided views of Pedro Sanchez from Columbia University, which just so happens to be the exact same views held by Monsanto. Genetically-modified (GM) crops, increased pesticide and fertilizer use, and expansion of large agribusiness techniques were all presented as the scientific solution to the world's hunger crisis, even though many other recent reports and studies show that this strategy is ultimately a failure (http://www.naturalnews.com/032775_organic_fa...).

Outraged by this blatant bias, many listeners called out the network for this abuse of public radio. When questioned about Monsanto's ties to the program and to the network, American Public Media (APM) spokesman Bill Gray told the Bohemian that Monsanto stopped sponsoring Marketplace back in April of 2010. But this cease-funding appears to have done little to sway the show's preference for industrial agriculture, which has been made clearly evident.

In 2009, environmental expert Heidi Siegelbaum wrote a concerning post on the Marketplace website about Monsanto's infiltration of NPR with its corporate agenda. The network had already been in violation of FCC rules by routinely airing sponsorship ads for Monsanto that touted its technology as promoting "sustainable agriculture" and "crop yield[s]," while also "conserv[ing] natural resources."

FCC rules state that NPR sponsors' products and services cannot be promoted on the network. However, for years NPR gave undue credence to Monsanto by repeating its unsubstantiated talking points and marketing claims in its voice-over blips about sponsors.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.bohemian.com/bohemian/06.22.11/gr...

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