June 13, 2008

Grocery Manufacturers Association : When The Truth Just Isn't Good Enough

GMABy now I guess everyone has heard about the high profile public relations campaign that the Grocery Manufacturers Association is waging against ethanol production. And judging by some of their recent comments they aren't going to let the truth stand in their way.

"The federal government's food to fuel mandates are diverting one quarter of America's corn supply from kitchen tables to fuel tanks, and the result is corn selling for $6 a bushel," said Scott Faber, a Washington lobbyist for the Grocery Manufacturers Association Faber.

Source : Consumer Affairs April 7, 2008

According to the USDA this number is correct, about 24% of this marketing years corn crop will go to ethanol production.

But the truth must not have been good enough because two days later Scott Faber had this to say in an interview with OnPoint.

It's no surprise to you that when you divert a third of your corn supply into your gasoline tanks that that's going to drive up the price of corn and that the rising price of corn is going to trickle throughout the economy driving up the price of food.

Source : E&ETV April 9, 2008

Then a week later, he had a new number for us.

“Federal food-to-fuel mandates have led to over one quarter of corn to be diverted from food to ethanol production, driving up the price of corn and other commodities to historic highs,” said Faber.

Source : GMA Press Release April 16, 2008.

So over the span of nine days he went from a quarter, to a third, to over a quarter. It almost seems as if he was trying to find the largest number that people would be willing to believe.


American Biofuels said...

I noticed at the Pilgrims Pride poultry plant that the foodb4fuel campaign has a huge display in one hallway.

I have to admit that it is pretty impressive to the uninformed folks that would read it.

I spent some time reading it. Very little fact. Mostly hype, half truths, inuendo and out right lies.

I would love to have a copy of that material, which is nothing more than outright propoganda.

Michael A. Gregory said...

You should read the proposal that the Glover Park Group sent to the Grocery Manufacturers Association for the public relations campaign. Here is one of my favorite quotes from that proposal.

"It is worth noting at the outset that the recommendation to take this fight beyond the confines of the Beltway and policy elites is relatively rare. Many issues that consume the policy world are too esoteric and complex to be relevant to average voters. That does not hold true here. Average voters understand perfectly well what increased food prices mean and with the right messaging are fully capable of drawing the connection to cornbased ethanol.'

Maybe I am being a little naive but I always thought that the truth didn't require the right messaging.


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