Monsanto's Aussie astroturfing claim

Serial newspaper letter writer and Queenslander Jason Leske has penned a letter for today’s The Age newspaper. He reckons GM modifier Monsanto is funding astroturf activity to further the acceptance for GM crops downunder, writing:
“Monsanto is a multinational corporation that licences GM corp technologies. It also funds the Institute of Public Affairs, which created the Australian Environment Foundation. Max Rheese, executive director of AEF writes letters talking up GM crop technologies. I wonder why?” If Jason’s right, then AEF’s alleged independence deserves scrutiny. Monsanto is certainly down on AEF’s web as a recent sponsor of the AEF’s conference. Maybe Max Rheese will clarify the situation?

Who is AEF (from their web)?
The Australian Environment Foundation (AEF) is a not-for-profit, membership-based environment organisation having no political affiliation. The AEF is a different kind of environment group, caring for both Australia & Australians. Many of our members are practical environmentalists – people who actively use and also care for the environment. We accept that environmental protection and sustainable resource use are generally compatible. For more information about the AEF visit

3 thoughts on “Monsanto's Aussie astroturfing claim

  1. Astroturf all the way. The AEF is a joke of an org, a shame to see Don Bourke at it’s head. How did that happen? What do they say about well meaning fools?

    But it’s not just on the GMO’s it’s also on forestry and coal, their first awards went to Gunns for stewardship of the land and a hunting group, so it looks like this exercise in green think tankery exists to greenwash and give cover to a whole range of corps with an enviro cred problem.

    “Look an award, see we’re green”.

    They should be ashamed of themselves, but thankfully they won’t get a look in with the new Govt like they did under the Howard Govt.

    As an aside, I note that Media Watch is now going to do PR, this could be a great story for them to cover first up.


  2. Oh dear…first it was POSILAC(Monsanto’s Corporation use in on cows to produce more milk) and now this….

    It shows that big corporations are willing to do almost anything just for $$$$$$.What a shame!Thats really unethical.

    p/s: watched “The Corporation ” movie during my active citizenship subject class.The movie was very interesting.It really got me thinking! I went to Dymocks and get a copy of the book 🙂


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