Is Prop 37s Defeat a Major Win for the Media’s Power of Persuasion?
The world’s largest “Frankenfood” companies saw their concerted efforts to deliberately confuse the people of California into voting against their own best interests pay off early Wednesday morning.
Screenshot of propaganda from NoProp37.com’s website.
Prop 37, California’s GMO food labeling state ballot measure was shot down. The measure simply sought to have manufacturers and retailers label foods derived from laboratory manipulated-DNA.
Unabashedly, companies like Monsanto, Bayer, ConAgra, Dupont, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and General Mills flagrantly funded a deluge of radio, TV and web advertisement propaganda intended to befuddle voters. Through tried and true methods of societal manipulation, the “No on Prop. 37” camp successfully infiltrated minds through the media’s power of persuasion.
Edward Bernays, the infamous sociologist/public relations guru and arguably the father of modern propaganda, outlined steps for creating a persuasive media campaign in his essay “The Engineering of Consent.” He said those seeking to persuade or influence the attitudes and actions of their fellow man must do so by mastering the techniques of communication.
“Freedom of speech and its democratic corollary, a free press, have tacitly expanded our Bill of Rights to include the right of persuasion. This development was an inevitable result of the expansion of the media of free speech and persuasion,” Bernays wrote. “All these media provide open doors to the public mind. Any one of us through these media may influence the attitudes and actions of our fellow citizens.”
In the 20s, Bernays’ conducted his most famous campaign which successfully convinced many women to pick up smoking, a taboo subscribed to during that period of time.
Through a carefully planned, heavily-publicized Easter Sunday Parade in 1929 featuring models smoking Lucky Strike cigarettes, cleverly tagged “torches of freedom,” Bernays was able to persuade women that smoking was glamorous and sexy, sending almost an entire demographic to the already-thriving tobacco industry.
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”
Prop 37?s heavily-funded opposition employed Bernays’ deceptive tactics of influence to foment doubt.
They also violated federal law by altering information on an FDA label to garner further support against labeling, a crime, Anthony Gucciardi explains, that would get normal citizens thrown in jail or fined for government impersonation.
Also, it was revealed yesterday that days before the vote was scheduled to take place, fake front groups posing as cops began placing mailers denouncing Proposition 37. Mel Fabrikant, of the Paramus Post, investigated the mailer’s origin: “The Cops Voting Guide opposes Prop 37 with a slick mailer that features photos of badges and sirens, but the group has nothing to do with police officers. According to their website, the director of Cops Voting Guide is Kelley Moran, who has “over 20 years of experience working with public safety.” His actual profession is political consultant.”
These companies’ motives are highly questionable, especially given that a recent French study found that mice fed Monsanto’s GM corn (grown using their patented herbicide Round-up) began growing tumors, died at an earlier age and developed organ failure and other health problems.
The “No on Prop 37” campaign was funded by the usual biotech giants – in other words, companies whose products are laden with GMO – who shelled out $45 million to the campaign. The “Yes on 37” camp raised only $6.7 million.
All things considered, the vote was kind of close (4,277,985 to 4,835,045) which can be interpreted as a win for the cause of waking people up to the dangers of GMOs.
As Mike Adams, editor of Natural News, wrote, the loss at the ballot box could spur other changes further down the pike and can be seen as a major victory for GMO awareness.
“In many ways, the YES on 37 campaign was a huge victory for awareness. The campaign organized over 10,000 volunteers in California alone and succeeded in achieving a massive social media presence. The YES on 37 campaign also forced Monsanto and the biotech giants to spend $45 million to defeat the measure. That’s a record expenditure by the world’s largest toxic pesticide companies to try to prevent consumers from knowing what they’re buying,” wrote Adams.
Darrin McBreen did an expose on Edward Bernays’ techniques of media manipulation back in April:
Article written by Adan Salazar
November 7, 2012