AlterNet’s Sarah Lazare previously reported on Ketchum’s relationship with the Honduras government. “The company is representing the government of Honduras in the midst of an escalating human rights crisis defined by a spate of assassinations of indigenous environmental activists, including the renowned social movement leader Berta Cáceres,” Lazare wrote in April. “Today, Honduras is one of the most dangerous places on earth for environmental defenders, with activists reporting that death squads are making a comeback.”
“One of the things that goes unnoticed about corporate power are the structures that make the exercise of corporate power possible,” Gary Ruskin, co-director of U.S. Right to Know, told AlterNet in April. “Here we have a U.S. PR firm playing a key part in efforts to promote chemicals, GMOs and the chemical industries. And now they are doing everything they can to launder and rehabilitate the image of the government of Honduras amid atrocious violations.”
In addition to taking money from oppressive regimes and bankrolling efforts to shape public opinion on GMOs, Ketchum also courts mommy bloggers, inviting them to exclusive events to show the “local and sustainable” side of Big Ag.
“Stealth marketing techniques, such as these by Monsanto, reveal how the food industry—from biotech behemoths to fast-food peddlers—is working surreptitiously to shape public opinion about biotechnology, industrialized farming and junk food,” author and activist Anna Lappé wrote for Al Jazeera America.