Food company CEO’s worried about losing the trust of the American public – not to mention huge market shares – might want to take note: their trade association has taken another tone-deaf step into the abyss by hiring a the law firm of a famous felon to do their dirty work.
Yesterday, Politico reported that the Grocery Manufacturers Association has retained the law firm K&L Gates to lobby against GMO labeling.
K&L Gates was formed in a 2007 merger between Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and Preston Gates – which was Jack Abramoff’s law firm from 1994 to 2000.
Jack Abramoff, as we know, was sentenced to four years in prison for political corruption, and ended up as the poster child for corruption in Washington.
Incidentally, the Senate investigation of Abramoff uncovered that he targeted me personally, because of my work as a public health advocate for American children. I ran a campaign against one of Abramoff’s clients — Channel One — which compelled 8 million kids to watch two minutes of ads in school each day, including ads for junk food and soda pop.
What can we expect from the GMA now?
The Grocery Manufacturers Association represents many consumer-facing companies that are trying to convince us that junk food is just fine for our kids and we don’t need to know everything that’s in it, such as GMOs. It wants to convince us that GMOs are safe.
In these efforts, it makes little sense for the GMA and the agrichemical industry to run campaigns replete with deceptions and dirty tricks, to engage in an apparent massive political money laundering scheme, to retain Russia’s PR firm to conduct their public relations, to falsely deny that their products are banned in the European Union, and to have some of the most disreputable front groups and corporate shills act as their public face.
Hiring Jack Abramoff’s old law firm isn’t going to help either.