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Fishy Stew

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Fishy Stew

By James McWilliams
April 2013

Forget all the acronyms and bedfellows and smarmy press release babble and just remember this: whenever an environmental group hooks up with an industrial producer of animals and seeks approval from an industry-funded certifying agency you have, mark these words, the pretext for financial gain under the guise of ecological correctness driven by a false sense of consumer responsibility.

Bring the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) together with Bumble Bee Foods (BBF), and then toss in the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the European Seafood Exposition (ESE), have them hawk a product called Wild Selections (WS) and you have more than just a bowl of alphabet soup. You have a roiling stew of corruption fueled by the fire of ersatz environmentalism. Fish stew to be precise. Here you go.

Here’s the deal: BBF is giving WWF a million bucks. WWF will promote BBF’s new line of fish products called Wild Selections (insert that little “R” here) to well heeled enviro types. BBF will have WS approved by MSC. A portion of WC sales will go to WWF who will, with the help MSC, promote WS. ESE will showcase the new product next month in Brussels.If you ask me, it’s a bunch of BS.

Forget all the acronyms and bedfellows and smarmy press release babble and just remember this: whenever an environmental group hooks up with an industrial producer of animals and seeks approval from an industry-funded certifying agency you have, mark these words, the pretext for financial gain under the guise of ecological correctness driven by a false sense of consumer responsibility.

It’s beyond decency. Eighty percent of the world’s fisheries are completely or dangerously overfished. But here we have one of the world’s most powerful environmental organizations linking arms with a company that’s trying to sell more fish. Worse, WWF will profit as the sale of fish increases, providing an organization that promises to fight overfishing a financial incentive to . . . fish.

I mean, it’s as if you had a company like Whole Foods purchasing value-added animal products from farms that have been welfare approved by a certifying organization whose board is full of Whole Foods executives. Oh, wait