Nov 12, 2010  |  Today's News |  Public Outreach

It’s so frustrating. That is, that common sense and scientific analysis have no place in dissuading the public from their mistaken beliefs on so many things. There is a culture of disbelief…don’t believe the government, don’t believe the label, don’t believe your mom, and for heaven’s sake, don’t believe industry, either. How can effective, rational policy decisions be made in that environment?


A great example of this can be found if you listen online to the most recent Farm Foundation at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The topic was Obesity, Food and Agricultural Policy: What's the Connection? The lineup of speakers seemed okay…with only the gentlemen from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) giving me pause.


I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that in a discussion about the Farm Bill and food policy, even the expert from CSPI saw the truth in the equation. He voiced dismay that real solutions to these problems were sidetracked by runaway mistruths and misconceptions. The entire panel agreed that until these incorrect notions about food and policy quiet down, little, if any, effective changes could be expected.


So in the meantime, more people become obese, more people go hungry, and the perpetrators of said falsehoods grow their bank accounts with every subsequent book deal and speaking engagement they line up to fan the hysteric flames of misinformation.


The themes are always the same…corn subsidies make people fat, HFCS makes people fat, corn subsidies mean fake food instead of real food…blah, blah, blah.


But in all this hot air where is the true solution? You might be able to find some good ideas, but advancing them through the hysteric herd of public opinion is impossible, it seems.


But so goes the good fight. Researchers, economists, grassroots organizations like Illinois corn and others will continue to persevere in promulgating the truth. But organizations can’t do it alone.


The voice of individuals like you has never been more important in these conversations. Turn to us if you need help in having those conversations. Get online, speak up, speak out. Because if you don’t speak up, this public perception will eventually become reality, and the truth will just be noise.


If you’d like to learn more about this topic and how you can become engaged, join us at the Illinois Commodity Conference on November 23rd.


I’d love to hear your comments on this post. Drop me an email at tbraid@ilcorn.org