Conspiracies theories, spin doctors, whistleblowers, power and leverage everything but lust

Like a phenomenal amount of people I am addicted to the TV show “House of Cards”

The more I watch it the more I question why. The main character Frank Underwood is so evil and so Machiavellian each new episode of the show depresses me more. On reflection  I think I watch it to remind me that ‘fair is never equal” and I need to toughen up.

As I watched it yesterday this story popped up on my twitter feed Hoping to Kill off Competitor Parmalat goes after A2 Milk. It caught my attention  as I found myself in the middle of the controversy after The Australian picked up content in my post  A2 snake oil merchants in the firing line.

My goodness doesn’t this story in The Age have everything. Whistle-blowers, conspiracy theories (even Dairy Australia gets a mention), secret meetings, controversial spin doctors and the best one of all it appears to be promoting scientific theories that have no sound science behind them.

Are they saying Malcolm Riley  Head of Nutritional Research at CSIRO’s Animal, Food and Health Sciences division in Adelaide doesn’t know what he is talking about? Surely I have misunderstood???

Malcolm Riley, head of nutritional research at CSIRO’s Animal, Food and Health Sciences division in Adelaide, said some claims made about A2 milk — not all promoted publicly, however, by its manufacturer, the A2 Corporation — were staggering, extending to the cure and prevention of heart disease, asthma, eczema, schizophrenia, diabetes and even autism.

“These are such serious claims that if they were true, everyone would switch to drinking A2 milk, but the scientific evidence and the trials in humans just aren’t there now,” he said yesterday. Source Sue Neales
The Australian April 05, 2014

Well I have had a few whistleblowers contact me since The Age and the SMH released their David and Goliath victim stories

I am now led to believe that the A2 corporation is spending big money on a White Knight rescuer PR company and have I believe engaged ( I won’t say controversial because I have no idea what The Age used as their definition of controversial) the very interesting Ian Smith who is the driving force behind Bespoke Approach — a boutique lobbying firm.

As I don’t move in these circles and his name was unfamiliar to me I did a Google search and this was what I found

Bespoke was established by Ian Smith, one of the more plugged-in political and business consultants in the nation, the chief executive officer of the high-powered public relations firm Gavin Anderson and Company (Australia) and former chief adviser to Jeff Kennett when Kennett was Victorian premier.

This conservative insider also happens to be married to former Australian Democrats leader Natasha Stott Despoja. Source

And believe it or not this content from a previous piece in The Age

“He loves political leverage and has an ability to insert himself into power situations … Ian Kortlang [a well-known PR consultant] used to say that for Smithy it’s all about lust, leverage and dollars.”

Bespoke may not have one of the longest client lists but it does have one of the most impressive. We’re talking about big companies with big issues on their plate: Woodside Energy, Petrochina (the world’s second largest company by market capitalisation), Huweiwei Technologies (the world’s second largest exporter of telecom equipment), coal giant Xstrata and beer behemoth Fosters.

“The magnitude of the issues and the quality of the client book is something I’m particularly proud of,” Smith says. Read more here

Well I didn’t notice any ‘lust’ in this story but ‘leverage and dollars’ do come to mind and apparently the A2 corporation may just have big issues on their plate or in a glass in this case

This is my perspective.  This is not a story about

Parmalat vs. A2 Corporation

Goliath vs. David

Big vs. little

Its a story about

Fairfax vs. Murdoch

Big PR vs. Big PR

Lactose free milk vs.Perceived lactose free milk

Real science vs. flawed science

All milk is good for you vs  perceived  A2 milk is better for you

I am fascinated by this interesting quote in The Australia from the A2 Corporation

“We are good at marketing but we are also evangelical about the product”

Yes I will agree A2 you are very good at marketing but evangelical oh my goodness that’s a bit scary Definition here

I have said my piece. The only thing that I am interested in is I know the science behind A2 being better for you is flawed and until A2 have credible independent scientific research to back up the claims that A2 milk has any extra or ­superior health attributes at all they can do clever marketing, hire all the spin doctors in the world and be as evangelistic as they like but I will remain dubious about their product.  .

Now time to move on to more important matters

Disclosure statement

I was owner operator of a dairy farm business that supplied Parmalat and Dairy Farmers

Parmalat is a sponsor of Art4Agriculture

Art4Agriculture is a network of young people who share a passion to tell others about the pivotal role Australian farmers play in feeding the world. Mostly we are young rural people who love working in agriculture, be it in the beef, sheep, dairy, cropping, wine or horticultural industries. With our ‘home-base’ in the Illawarra region of NSW, Art4Agriculture reaches into many different communities around the nation.
Art4Agriculture has a vision for agriculture that is full of promise.
We want an innovative exciting dynamic and profitable agrifood sector. A sector that our next generation best and brightest sees as a career of first choice.
We see our role is to turn our vision for agriculture into everyone’s vision
To achieve this Art4Agriculture delivers events and activities which focus on youth, career opportunities, the environment, community and the arts – all linked with agriculture.

Our programs are tailored to both enhance the image of farmers and farming and encourage young people to consider agriculture related careers.

Our school programs are education and awareness focused and use creative arts and multimedia to engage urban and rural students in the challenges of feeding, clothing and housing the world with a declining natural resource base.

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

2 thoughts on “Conspiracies theories, spin doctors, whistleblowers, power and leverage everything but lust”

  1. What a great blog piece. I feel exactly the same way, Lynne. I feel really disappointed that people attempt to discredit a really healthy product – milk – in the name of profit. It’s not good for farmers, parents or the Aussie kids who need the calcium, protein and minerals in this wonder food.

    1. I was going to walk away from this mess but it makes me so cranky I had to have one last say
      I hate marketing that denigrates another person’s product in order to benefit theirs. I hate it more in this case because it impacts on all the great Aussie farmers producing the best quality highly nutritious affordable milk for Australian families that happens to contain a combination of A2 and A1 protein

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