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Monsanto, Big Food, and Big Ag Move to Co-opt the Organic and Regenerative Movement

Monsanto, Big Food, and Big Ag Move to Co-opt the Organic and Regenerative Movement

green button on a black keyboard that says GREENWASHING surrounded by green markers

There’s one skill that Big Food and Big Ag corporations have in abundance: taking control of every situation and corrupting it into an opportunity for profit.

For example, as consumer interest in the terms “natural” and “sustainable” increased, industrial agribusiness began to use these unsubstantiated terms to market greenwashed products. These products were, in fact, just the opposite—made with pesticide-laden, factory farmed, and/or genetically engineered ingredients. Even the powerful Organic movement, which actually is based on specific certifiable practices and inputs, has required constant safeguarding against corporate attempts to dilute its meaning.

Now, we will also diligently have to defend the up-and-coming Regeneration movement against attempts by agribusiness corporations to co-opt it and undermine its transformative power.

In the past few years, Big Food and Big Ag corporations such as Bayer/MonsantoCargillWalmartGeneral MillsDanoneUnilever, and others have jumped on the bandwagon and publicly presented themselves as leaders in the regenerative agriculture movement. But something smells fishy. For one, these companies are completely leaving out organic practices in their definition of regenerative agriculture. As long as a farm uses certain conservation practices such as reduced tillage or cover crops, these companies seem to think that toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, biotechnology, and corporate control of farms and farmers are all A-okay.

Seriously? Aren’t these all things that helped propel us into our public health and environmental crises in the first place? Their motives make sense, though, when you consider that these companies derive a significant portion of their profits from these destructive industrial agriculture technologies and inputs in the first place. If these companies can keep making profits off of destruction while putting on a good public image of being “regenerative,” this win-win for them must appear appealing indeed.

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Julia Kloehn, organic consumers association, greenwashing, big food, big ag, regenerative agriculture, industrial agriculture, organic food production, organic agriculture, organic farming

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