By Tim Schwab
Journalism and agriculture students, watch out.
Your administrators are laying out the red carpet for corporate press junkets at a campus near you.
Last year, I reported on HungerU and Biotech University, billed as educational opportunities but actually greenwashing campaigns to promote corporate agribusiness. This week we get news that Hunger U is hitting the college circuit again, with a new slogan: “DuPont is Helping us Feed the World.”
Exactly. DuPont helps us feed the world by selling pesticides and herbicide and GMOs.
Hunger U last year stopped at only a handful of universities, wooing students with a $2,500 grant and embarking on a mission to “educate college students about the significance of modern agriculture.” This year the program is traveling across the country, even stopping in the nation’s capital.
Events like Hunger U and Biotech University are an unfortunate sign of the times at our nation’s public universities, where corporations pour hundreds of millions of dollars into our agricultural colleges, distorting the science and perverting the mission of higher education. Increasingly the message from our universities really is: Dupont is Helping us Feed the World.
You find the names Monsanto, Cargill and Tyson emblazoned on university buildings around the country, and corporate representatives sometimes play key roles in determining the research direction of our agricultural colleges. In its most benign form, industry rolls up on campuses with programs like Hunger U or Biotech University.
Food & Water Watch detailed the ways in which industry is buying influence at our public universities in our report Public Research, Private Gain.
Don’t biotech and pesticide companies already have too much influence over our public universities? Do we really need to greenwash our campuses by inviting Hunger U to spread the gospel of agrochemicals and GMOs? If you attend one of these schools, call your university administrators and tell them enough is enough.