by Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola.com
The food, chemical, and biotechnology industries have all built up intricate and powerful systems designed to manipulate public and scientific opinion using false front organizations and industry shills posing as independent experts.
The mission is to mislead people — including lazy reporters — about issues that threaten the corporate bottom line.
So-called astroturfing techniques are frequently used to discredit the opposition and create the false appearance of scientific consensus on a particular issue.
Astroturfing refers to the effort on the part of special interests to surreptitiously sway public opinion by making it appear as though there’s a grassroots effort for or against a particular agenda, when in reality such a groundswell of public opinion might not exist.
One hallmark of astroturfing is attacking those who question the status quo, and using derogatory terms such as “crank,” “crack,” “nutty,” “pseudo-science,” and “conspiracy theorist” to describe them and their argument.
These shills also inject themselves into social media discussions, pretending to be “regular people,” when in fact they have a very clearly defined agenda to steer the conversation.
© 2015 Dr. Joseph Mercola