According to the Christmas song Santa Claus is “making a list, and checking it twice; He’s gonna find out Who’s naughty or nice.” Ever wonder who is on that naughty list? Thanks to modern technology, now we know. Anonymous, a loosely associated international network of activist computer hackers who are famous for hacking into government, religious, and corporate computer systems and releasing sensitive information to the public, has done it again. They have hacked into the server at the North Pole and released the names on Santa’s naughty list. As you might imagine, it is quite a long list — and here are the top 10 names in the agriculture section.
- The Hoosier Environmental Council. This group, known for its opposition to modern animal agriculture, has backed a nonsense lawsuit challenging Indiana’s Right to Farm law. Even though this law has been upheld many times in court, the group is going after it again in an effort to stifle livestock expansion in the state.
- Ted Cruz. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is not only opposed to ethanol and the Renewable Fuels Standard, he is also a supporter of continued subsidies for the oil industry. This is causing him serious political issues in Iowa and has forced him into outrageous political double talk on the issue. In addition, Cruz has also raked in more than $1 million in campaign cash from the oil and gas industry.
- Dick Callahan. Mr. Callahan, who has a doctorate in entomology, co-authored a Harvard study on the effects of neonics on honeybees. He claims that the crop protection chemical is responsible for the decline in the bee population, even though numerous studies indicate no clear single cause for the decline. His work is used by anti-agricultural activists to try to get this class of chemicals banned.
- The Center for Science in the Public Interest. CSPI is against almost everything, especially if it involves science. It has led the fight to ban the use of antibiotics in livestock production, fought against implementing balanced, sound, science-based food guidelines and school lunch regulations, and opposed biotechnology in food production. It has also pressured restaurant chains to remove menu items it does not like.
- The American Petroleum Institute. API, the oil industry mouthpiece, is the source of the most outrageous misinformation about ethanol and renewable fuels. Thanks to its efforts, both consumers and policy makers are confused about energy and our fuel supply.
- Whole Foods. When it comes to fostering misinformation about food, Whole Foods is a major player. It sells items such as “GMO free salt” and “Gluten free cranberries” and likes to make disparaging remarks about “big ag.” Yet, Whole Foods makes more money than Monsanto, so who is really big ag?
- The World Health Organization. The WHO and its subsidiary, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, continue their war on Monsanto and modern agriculture in general. Their claims that glyphosate causes cancer and that bacon is as bad for you as cigarettes makes news around the world, but are roundly discredited by scientific facts.
- Chipotle. The Mexican restaurant chain that built its brand with lies about farmers and agriculture. Its top management made millions, while employees worked for minimum wage. It worried so much about the imagined threat from GMOs, that it forgot about the real threat from bacteria and, thus, poisoned hundreds of its customers with E.coli.
- Gina McCarthy. As administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, she oversaw the biggest land grab ever by the federal government in the Waters of the US rule. She also stood by and let the agency use social media to lobby against the RFS, a law they were supposed to be implementing. Her agency, which is charged with protecting the environment, was responsible for one of the largest chemical spills and environmental disasters of 2015.
- Wayne Pacelle. Wayne Pacelleis head of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). This organization raises millions of dollars from the public in the name of helping animals, but spends very little actually benefiting animals. Its large number of highly paid lawyers and lobbyists work tirelessly to shut down animal agriculture. If it had its way, Santa would not be able to use reindeer to pull his sleigh.
It is safe to say that these folks will be getting a lump of coal in their Christmas stockings this year, unless the Obama administration bans coal as a gift because it would contribute to climate change.
On behalf of everyone at Hoosier Ag Today, Merry Christmas!!!
By Gary Truitt