My friend and colleague Jeanette Drake has an op-ed piece in the Akron Beacon Journal today, and it’s a “must read” for any PR professional who cares about ethics and transparency in this business.
It’s a story about a campaign, led by the chemical giant, Monsanto, to keep important information about our milk supply out of the public eye. At center stage is Monsanto’s rBGH, bovine growth hormone, a genetically engineered substance that increases a cow’s milk production.
Monsanto says rBGH is no threat to public health and is lobbying the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture for new regulations that would “restrict what dairies can say about the milk they produce.” Under current rules, dairies may label their milk as rBGH-free. Many have, and consumers have responded.
Says Dr. Drake:
When it comes to food we eat and the milk we serve our families, preventing full disclosure flies in the face of free-market democratic principles and common sense.
Jeanette’s essay makes a great case for transparency and for the role that public relations should play in the promotion of public discourse. If this issue piques your interest, run a Google search on “rGBH Monsanto,” then thank your maker that you aren’t the lead PR counselor on this one!