Monday, 26 February 2018

Big Tobacco, Big Fish Farms, Pretty Much the Same, Updated June 25, 208

I had wondered, since reading the Prof David Miller article on how fish farms, governments, paid scientists, fake back up groups and so on manipulated the world's press to destroy the Hites et al article on the cancer causing chemicals in farmed fish in Science Jan 9, 2004, whether fish farms had employed the same PR company - Hill and Knowlton to promote its products - that Big Tobacco had. Chrome was one of them in the Scotland attack.

David Miller's article can be found through this post:

And I managed to find an article that was right on subject - in BC no less. You will recall that Big Tobacco CEOs didn't know that cigarettes caused cancer decades after everyone in the world knew it. Hill and Knowlton helped them keep on selling cigarettes.

And now, here is a clip from the article:

"Sophisticated public relations maneuvers are nothing new to salmon farming corporations.  In 2003, when sales of farmed salmon slumped due to publicity exposing toxic contamination, the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association (representing fish farming corporations) hired Hill and Knowlton to provide the behind-the-scenes groundwork necessary to develop a positive media image.  Prior to the work for the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA), Hill and Knowlton’s “accomplishments” included managing public relations after the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident, establishing the Tobacco Institute to promote cigarette smoking, helping Exxon recover from the Valdez oil spill, and selling the Gulf War on behalf of the royal family of Kuwait.  The BCSFA went straight to the elite (with over 70 offices in 37 countries) of transnational PR spin companies.  Hill and Knowlton’s background work allowed the BCSFA to issue 32 press releases in February and March of 2003 alone (compared with only 8 for the entire year of 2002). "

 Here is the link to Sarah K. Cox report on the subject:

1 The report by Sarah K. Cox, “Diminishing Returns: An Investigation into the Five Multinational Corporations That Control British Columbia’s Salmon Farming Industry” (December 2004), provides information about aquaculture’s connection to Salmon of the Americas and Hill and Knowlton and informs much of this essay. (Note: while the link takes you Raincoast, it does not go directly to Cox's paper. Her PDF is here:

So, yes, it's a legitimate question: Big Tobacco, Big Fish Farms, is there any difference? Doesn't look like it based on what Cox put together.

In her report, Cox shows that fish farms have a number of lobbyists to the government:

"Stolt, the largest salmon farming company in Canada, is the only one of the Big Five companies to engage its own government lobbyists. The other four continue to work through the BCSFA. Stolt made the move in 2003 when it hired Global Public Affairs, a company that “manages” policy
issues for corporations and has offices in five Canadian cities. Five Global employees registered to represent Stolt in lobbying several different federal government departments and institutions: Environment Canada, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (an independent body accountable to Parliament through the Ministry of the Environment), Western Economic Diversification, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs, Industry Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada."
Little wonder why fish farms get such a great amount of conflict of interest shown by government.


And if you can believe it, there is even more lobbying. Little wonder why fish farms are still in the water:

"Provincially, Stolt also hired Global lobbyist Kimanda Jarzebiak in 2003 to discuss “activities related to Stolt’s interests in B.C.” with three different ministries: the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries; Sustainable Resource Management; and Water, Land and Air Protection. Global lobbyist Gary Ley was also appointed to represent Stolt in communication with the three ministries from February 21, 2003 to February 21, 2004. The B.C.government, responding to a freedom of information request, said it had no records of any meetings between any provincial government representatives and Global lobbyists representing Stolt."

So, the lobbyists had these contacts but the government has not record of it. Hmm.

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