Holy carp! I don't think I'm supposed to have this document

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by elastigirl, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    Reading the Splenda thread sparked my interest in doing a little more research -- and whild doing so, I bumped into something far scarier:

    V-fluence. (This is a dot com website not in direct competition to Pro-Health.) It tells all about how V-Fluence monitors blogs, message boards and the internet for adverse messages about their paying clients (corporations.)

    Check out their page titled "monitoring." Then they ~counter~ those messages with corporate propaganda. Scary stuff, right?

    On top of that, I accidentally discover a V-Fluence PDF file. Download it. It has all kinds of ~anti~ Organic food information. This document stings all kinds of companies: Ben & Jerry's, Gap, Greenpeace, Patagonia, etc., etc....

    ... for being ~anti-biotech~ companies. (Not pro-organic, ~anti-biotech~!) Holy carp! They even attack the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility!

    I'm literally shaking. They have all kinds of private information about pro-organic supporters. Very, very scary.

    What do you think of this? I guess I'm accidentally spying in reverse, but I never thought they'd give public access to a document like this. Maybe I'm wrong. But I can see V-Fluence is assembling a lot of information to help "crush" internet support for organic products. This really scares me. Will we still be able to share ~honest~ information in the future? Or will we be inundated with V-Fluence-style trolls spurting forth corporate propaganda? Makes me wonder.
  2. ulala

    ulala New Member

    [This Message was Edited on 10/30/2005]
  3. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    It's V-Fluence dot com. I think I just found out why this company is so anti-organics.

    I found this quote on GMWatch dot org:

    "Byrne is Monsanto's former Director of Public Affairs and its former Internet Outreach Programs Director. Prior to Monsanto, Byrne worked for USAID.

    Since leaving Monsanto, Byrne has become president of Internet PR company v-Fluence Interactive Public Relations, whose vice-president, Richard Levine, was formerly part of the Monsanto team for Monsanto's Internet PR firm Bivings. v-Fluence is based, like Monsanto, in St. Louis. Monsanto is one of its clients.

    Byrne is believed to have been the chief architect of the covert Monsanto-Bivings PR campaign which involved attacks on the company's critics via front e-mails, such as those of 'Andura Smetacek' and 'Mary Murphy', and material posted on the website of a fake agricultural institute, the Center For Food and Agricultural Research (CFFAR). CFFAR material, attacking Monsanto's critics, was also faxed to journalists and planted at a conference."

    I was wondering why everytime I called a company to ask if they used Genetically-Modified Organisms, they would say, "We do use Biotech [or Bioengineered] sources." Bryne discovered that "biotech" received a more positive response in word-testing. Use of the word "genetic" to describe genetically-modified food sources is now a big no-no.

    For those that don't know, Monsanto is behind most of the genetically-engineered produce, antibiotic-injected cows, etc. They lobbied (and still lobby) strongly against FDA-mandated labeling -- and are also known for their reputation of suing organic farmers out of business :(.
  4. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    getting information on V-fluence. Not surprising really. I have my computer set so that it asks me whether or not I will accept "cookies" every time it trys to put them on my machine, and I say "no" nearly 100 percent of the time. Keeps it working better that way, and also that way no one follows me around the internet.

    Sometimes it's hard to tell who is behind these sites, like on the Splenda thread. One of the sites posted says that it doesn't accept "corporate donations," but we still don't have a clue who they are really accepting money from when they have a list of organizations that contribute money to their cause, and I've found that trying to figure out who the directors are of the various groups that donate isn't all that easy to do either. They don't automatically link themselves to large corporations for us to see.

    Of course many of these corporations are beginning to use the internet to promote messages with the slant going in the directions that they want it to go. It was inevitable that they would figure out that this was the best way for them to promote their products as safe and effective whether or not it's true.

    Lately there doesn't seem to be much, if any, recourse anyway for people that are harmed by using products or drugs that endanger our health unless they literally kill you; so what do these companies have to lose by lying about their products? It only boosts their sales, and no harm will come to the corporations anyway as they are protected more and more each day. People have bought into the idea that it's wrong to sue these companies for harming us, and that is certainly not happening.

  5. lbok

    lbok New Member

    Kind of makes me wonder to think there are some people whose job it is to lurk on websites monitoring others conversation so they can insert some propaganda. Yikes.
  6. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    i got it! i took out the dash. silly me. wow. they monitor what people say about their clients so that what people say online doesn't damage their clients' business. yikes!! you're right; elastigirl, scary stuff.
  7. Alyndra

    Alyndra New Member

    Things like this just never make me wonder anymore. Alot of times files like this are purposely released or 'misplaced' so that people can stumble upon them and then fear about what they're found. People always respond more to information that they think is supposed to be secretive.

    Now a days there's corporate propaganda spurting trolls everywhere you go. Whether the information is right or not; it's still being spurted. After all, there's even now a job title and paycheck to go along with it.

    In my opinion, with everything we all have to deal with already - this file isn't really worth any of our concerns.

  8. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    I found out V-fluence does have a link to the pdf file on their site. It's not on the front page, but it's there. Sort of a brag for them.

    One thing I notice is that they attack organic organizations that allow members to write to their congressmen/representatives via their websites.

    I've sent many e-mails via these organic advocate websites. I don't want organic standards reduced -- as large agri-business is pushing for -- for instance, substituting non-organic ingredients for organic ingredients on an "emergency" basis -- with absolutely no notice on the package (you know what would end up happening.)

    The PDF file implies that because these websites allow such an interface, that the e-mails are basically ~fake~.

    So untrue! As a mother, this really angers me. The organic websites require our names and addresses (as would be expected when you write to a government representative.) I used my own name and address, and I am a citizen of the United States.

    Yet V-fluence is stating that one company is responsible for the majority of those e-mails -- and implying the company sent them, not human beings. Hmmm.... Last time I checked, I was still a human being. Just because a company provides the e-mail service doesn't mean they are sending out fake e-mails. Ugh!

    I guess this is my scary movie for Halloween night -- seeing that the power of mis-information and media abuse is now passing seamlessly from the tube and papers into the internet. Double ugh!
  9. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    Not that it has much to do with V-fluence, really, but one of the most effective things I've done has been to file a formal complaint with the FDA when I've had a problem, in my case, with a drug, and I encourage everyone else to do the same. You can file these complaints online. I've personally forwarded the link to the FDA site to literally dozens of people.

    If someone has had a seriously bad experience with a food or drug, we really need to tell the FDA about it. It's only when enough of us make these formal complaints that they begin to take notice and make the changes that protect other people from the harm that has come to us.

    I suppose that's one way of getting around the problem of one site providing links to any given organization. I'm not sure that it will do much to help in the pro-organic situation exactly, though it could help, I suppose, if people know for sure that they have been injured by pesticides.

    The point really is that while they might not do exactly what we want them to, the FDA will do something about any of our gripes, but only if they hear from enough of us that there is a problem with a certain food or drug and not just from the companies that are promoting them.

    Our outcry has to be just as large and loud as the people with all the money in order for them to pay attention to us. If it is, then V-fluence or not, chances are really good that we will win. You'd be surprised, though, at how few people actually make these formal complaints.

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