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“Greenwashing” Catches On At Monsanto, Smithfield, Who Proclaim Themselves “Sustainable”

December 10, 2010: 10:56 AM EST

The largest pork producer in the U.S. – Smithfield Foods, Inc. – has joined genetically modified seed producer Monsanto in proclaiming itself a “sustainable” enterprise. New Hope 360 blogger Kelsey Blackwell says the term sustainable may soon join the ranks of other “meaningless eco claims” like “natural, green and earth smart.” Monsanto, which has been accused numerous times of environmentally unfriendly activities, including dumping toxic waste materials into rivers and landfills, recently unveiled a new motto: “The sustainable company.” It proclaims that “sustainable agriculture is at the core of Monsanto.” Smithfield recently hired a chief sustainability officer, yet the CEO said sustainability would be very difficult because of price demands of big customers like Walmart. Blackwell calls all of this “greenwashing,” a trend among firms well aware of growing consumer interest in environmentalism.

Kelsey Blackwell, "Another eco-label loses its street cred", New Hope 360, December 10, 2010, © Penton Media Inc
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