Fighting To Preserve Chemical Use

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hazardous-pesticide_reduced Last week I wrote about the arguments in favor of roadside spraying. What was even more disturbing was an interview I heard on a NPR podcast I downloaded. A man was disputing all claims of adverse health or environmental effects from our increased use of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals over the past 50 years. Even though he was very articulate, even bordering on convincing, his arguments were so outdated and out of touch that I thought he could only have been a spokesman for the agricultural chemical industry. When I heard the name of the organization he was from, I could not believe it. It was “Oregonians for Food and Shelter”. I looked at their website and found that they are a lobbying organization “on behalf of all farmers, ranchers, foresters and professional applicators”.

Their Board of Directors “is equally split between three basic categories: (1) forestry; (2) agriculture; and (3) pesticide/fertilizer manufacturers, distributors, applicators and other businesses”. Although they are very well organized, well funded, and certainly entitled to work for the interests of their clients, it almost seems like false advertising, using a name like that to hide the real purpose of their mission, a mission to preserve and increase the use of chemical pesticides.

What do you think? Is there any way to make a lobbying organizations name accurately reflect the mission of the group? Or is it a right set in stone that they can call themselves anything they like, even if the only obvious purpose of the name is to make the organization seem to stand for the exact opposite of what they really do? Sort of like the “clean coal” issue isn’t it? Give something a user friendly name in the hope that the name is as far as many people will get in researching what an organization is really all about.

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Will Sig
1 Steve

Hey Will,
I agree. Here in California there are always plenty of propositions on the ballot each election. And there is always a group for and group against, and they use these deceptive names. I’ve just taken to assuming the opposite of whatever the group name is. I.E. “Americans for Safe Water” is probably a group that wants to dump raw sewage into the ocean, and “Californians for Tax Fairness” probably wants me to pay more so they can pay less. ~ Steve, the skeptical trade show guru

Steves last blog post..Trade Show Exhibit Booths and SEO

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2 Tony McGurk

It’s definitely a shame that these names are so deceiving, I think its completely wrong to mislead the public into thinking that they are for something which clearly they are not. It’s illegal for companies to use false advertising. There has to be something we can do to prevent the misrepresentation of an organization’s true goal, and keep the lines of communication open and clear.

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3 Tony

It’s definitely a shame that these names are so deceiving, I think its completely wrong to mislead the public into thinking that they are for something which clearly they are not. It’s illegal for companies to use false advertising. There has to be something we can do to prevent the misrepresentation of an organization’s true goal, and keep the lines of communication open and clear.

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4 Bob

Wow, I never thought of that type of deception, should be a law against this type of misrepresentation, especially lobbying groups.

Bobs last blog post..Review, "Celestron FirstScope"

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5 Rob

When groups choose deliberately misleading names, it is fair to assume that they are doing this because their cause has a negative public image. So, perversely, I think we should be encouraged. I think that in the public’s mind, terms such as ‘pesticide’ conjure up such increasingly ugly images that we should begin to feel some confidence that the arguments are being slowly won.
But that will only be the case if campaigning blogs like yours keep the pressure on. A danger is that we are all talking to each other and must find better ways of being proactive in combating subtle and insidious organisations like the one you have uncovered.
Thanks for being there Will!
Rob

Robs last blog post..and voila……

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6 Will

Thanks for your comments. Skeptical is a good thing Steve! And that is a good point, Tony. It is indeed a form of false advertising.

What really bothers me Rob are the quotes from these groups that get picked up in the press. You know a radio or newspaper story that simple says whoever “from Oregonians for Food and Shelter, stated yesterday that there are no good studies showing links between conventional farming practices and health problems”. It stops there and unless a reader or listener takes the time to investigate who Oregonians for Food and Shelter really are, the motivation behind the statement is left unknown.

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7 Anna

Misleading very misleading, lol, just cannot believe they do that. BTW no more use of pesticides in our region! Anna 🙂

Annas last blog post..A Bit of Knowledge: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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