The Information!

Forget Jason Bourne. Please forget Good Will Hunting. Forget even his haunting duet with Sarah Silverman. Matt Damon’s finest hour will be as the rotund and self-aggrandizing agribusiness executive, Mark Whitacre, hero of The Informant!. The story is one I covered in Stuffed and Starved, a tale of greed, fraud and corruption within Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world’s largest food conglomerates. The story doesn’t end with Whitacre’s incarceration though. The folk at CorpWatch have a website with the bigger picture, and recent updates on ADM’s continued shady dealings.

Oo, and don’t think that ADM is a black sheep in the food industry – they’re the norm, though sometimes it’s hard to see why. The Financial Times has run a series of flaccid press-release-based stories about Cargill recently. Normally thoughtful journalists like Javier Blas ignore much that’s wrong with the company, including for instance, the company’s admission of responsibility for, and recently settlement regarding, its selling toxic meat through Cargill Meat Solutions (Meat Solutions!) to a dance instructor who has been left with kidney and cognitive damage. But there are places to find out more about all these companies: the Agribusiness Accountability Initiative is a bank of antidotes to the PR campaigns currently bankrolled by the agro-food industry. Innoculate yourself today.

2 Replies to “The Information!”

  1. Raj, while we’re on the topic of agribusiness, I’d like to draw your attention (if you haven’t already seen it) to the undercover footage shot by Mercy for Animals at an Ohio farm:

    For me, agribusiness = evil. Evil. EVIL!!!

    And seemingly, this is normal & routine in modern ag. The ag writers I found on Twitter were nonchalant about what they saw in the video, exclaiming that Mercy for Animals was overplaying the issue, what with them being vegan and all.

    There has got to be something we can do to stop the torture.

    Oh yes, there is. Go vegan! (that’s why I did, anyways).

    And I’m always defending myself against people who haven’t seen videos like this one, and who, when I tell them about it, look at me like I’m nuts. They don’t believe there is cruelty on farms. They believe the childhood fantasy of happy cows frolicking on grassy hills. It is time for the world to wake up.

  2. Hi Raj,

    What a great post! Thanks so much for the shout out about our new site on ADM, this is a fun collaboration with Participant Media.

    We’re a big fan of your work as well – we’ve included a link to “Stuffed and Starved” in the resources section of our ADM Wiki company profile:

    ( is a site for Collaborative Research on Corporations)

    Tonya Hennessey

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