Originally published September 8 2015
Biotech industry hired evil PR firm that uses criminal tactics, NSA and government thugs to destroy opponents
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) In recent days, several mainstream and alternative news outlets such as The New York Times, GMO.news, and U.S. Right To Know (USRTK) have published stories revealing the incestuous and profitable relationship between Big BioAg and scientists, the latter of whom sell their souls and credibility to companies such as Monsanto in order to shill on behalf of GMO Frankenfoods and other questionable food technology.
At the heart of this widening scandal is public relations firm Ketchum. As USRTK notes, Ketchum "runs the agri-chemical industry's big PR salvo on GMOs."
In addition, the advocacy and GMO watchdog group reports that Ketchum was once PR king to the Russian government. In fact, independent journalism organization ProPublica reports that Ketchum was responsible for placing an op-ed concerning Western involvement in Syria in 2013 by none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the piece, "A Plea for Caution from Russia", he argued that a military solution to the Syrian civil war was not possible. Now, less than two years later, Reuters is reporting that Russian troops have been spotted fighting alongside Syrian government forces.
Several opinion columns praising Russia and published in the last two years on CNBC's web site and the Huffington Post were written by seemingly independent professionals but were placed on behalf of the Russian government by its public-relations firm, Ketchum.
More questionable and corrupt practicesWhile there is nothing out of the ordinary regarding Ketchum's work on behalf of Russia, what readers at CNBC, The Huffington Post, and other outlets didn't know – but the U.S. Department of Justice did, thanks to foreign agent registration filings by Ketchum – was that the columns were part of a contract with the Russian government to hype a business-friendly environment.
USRTK reports that Ketchum began working for the Russian government in 2006. The PR firm is being generously compensated for its efforts, according to figures cited by ProPublica. "From mid-2006 to mid-2012, Ketchum received almost $23 million in fees and expenses on the Russia account and an additional $17 million on the account of Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled energy giant..."
The New York Times reported that Ketchum had 10 employees working on the Russia account .
USRTK noted that Ketchum has engaged in other unethical activities:
Aside from its work for Russia, Ketchum has a history of unethical activities. For example Ketchum hired the notorious private investigative firm Beckett Brown International (BBI) to conduct a massive espionage effort against Greenpeace, including hiring police to gain access to Greenpeace's trash, hiring a firm staffed by former National Security Agency (NSA) employees to conduct computer intrusion and electronic surveillance, and obtaining phone records of Greenpeace staff or contractors.
Not in the business of honestyIn addition, Ketchum appears to have targeted consumer, food safety and environmental groups with espionage over issues related to genetically engineered food. USRTK reported that in 2004 and 2005, the U.S. Government Accountability Office criticized Ketchum for making video news releases that violated federal prohibitions against "covert propaganda" after the PR firm failed to disclose it had been financed by the federal government.
In helping to expose the PR firm and Monsanto's ties to shill scientists, Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, noted:
Every single scientist that's publicly defending Monsanto has direct or indirect ties to the biotech industry, it turns out. And these secret emails now coming out about Kevin Folta and Monsanto reveal the deep, shady layers of collusion and academic corruption that deliberately distort the GMO debate in America.
Honesty, it seems, is not Ketchum's business.
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