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The edges of conspiracy a constant in the organic movement …

The edges of conspiracy a constant in the organic movement

Noticed in 2009 surge of activity around vitamin regulation

An alternative angle of ‘food security’
Questioning of global governance of food

Populist political arguments about food

A new space of ‘doing’ politics around food

Investigate an under-research area of social movement theory

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  • 1. The Codex ConspiracyMatt Reed - Senior Research Fellow - CCRI Presentation at the Institute of British Geographers, Edinburgh, July 2012
  • 2. OutlineThe edges of conspiracy a constant in theorganic movementNoticed in 2009 surge of activity around vitaminregulationAn alternative angle of ‘food security’ Questioning of global governance of food Populist political arguments about food A new space of ‘doing’ politics around food Investigate an under-research area of social movement theory
  • 3. Social Movements of the ‘right’ Little study of ‘right wing’ movements Conspiracy a frequent feature in ‘right wing’ movements These movements tend to mobilise in response to a perceived external threat Populist forms of argument & rural protest Overlap of discussions about conspiracy theories & populism
  • 4. The Petition No.10 website - 60,000+ signatures of UK citizens Oct 2009 We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to oppose the adoption of the Codex Alimentarius (WHO/UN) proposals for restriction of the presently freely available herb/ vitamin/mineral food supplements. FSA (Food Standards Agency) response There are no plans to make vitamin and mineral or botanical food supplements available on prescription only. Herbal remedies are subject to separate controls and are overseen by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority.  Herbal remedies do not fall within the scope of Codex guidelines
  • 5. The politics of conspiracytheories and populism Fenster - progressive elements in conspiracies, could they be recovered? Olmsted - reality of government conspiracies McNicol-Stock - of how progressive rural movements turned into the militia movement Discussion of populism, Laclau - possibility of recovering a progressive argument Zizek - it is a temptation that needs to be resisted [it] ‘harbors in the last instance a long-term protofascist tendency’ (Zizek 2006:557).
  • 6. Methodology and sourcesGathered wide variety of materials from snowballinternet search, Articles/documents/Videos Public chatroom logs and discussions Coded in Nvivo 9 - more material to be analysedDiscussions in English - UK, US, Australia, NZparticipantsTime span from approx. 1998 - present
  • 7. The NWO visits TotnesNew Age, dietary awareness and anti-status quoMeets the NWO (New World Order) on the web NWO Agents - Aliens - David Icke - Jewish/Bankers/Govt/Others Ends - Global government & sustainability Means - depopulation = requires control of food
  • 8. The Codex’s (supposed) Aims “Imagine a world in which no food product could be penalised because of its origins or the way in which it had reached the supermarket shelf. A world where it was impossible to tell if a food item was organic, genetically modified or impregnated with hormone, and where herbal remedies were outlawed, undermining the complementary and alternative health care industry”. Aims of the Codex to make vitamins & herbal remedies available on prescription, to dilute organic standards, total domination of big Pharma/Farma over the supply of food
  • 9. Codex & 2009“National laws such as S.510 and Food Bill 160-2 aremerely the domestic ground-level implementations ofinternational policy handed down from Codex Alimentarius,the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations,entities that are themselves nothing more than tools in theGreat Work known as the New World Order.”“Thanks to the Internet, millions of health consciousAmericans can unite to protect health freedom from CodexAlimentarius. We have the power to turn Codex into ablessing if all of us in the natural health community use it toget active, get organized, and stand up for health freedom. Together, we will let Big Pharma know that we seethrough their deception and will protect our access tonatural health care”.
  • 10. Contesting the conspiracy “I, too, am leery of ‘everything is a conspiracy theory zealots....I”m more prone to believe something (like GMOs taking over the production of natural foods) may result in a devastating conclusion due to corporate greed, without conscience, than because there is a plot to kill the lower class”. “A few of us were actually having a rather good discussion about the Codex and is possible threats [which IMHO (in my humble opinion], are rather exaggerated - living in the EU and under its food safety directives based on the Codex should give me some perspective on this ...). agreeing on some issues, disagreeing on some - but you know our little clique of conspiracy theorists after some insults, ad hominems, hit-and-run manovures etc we were practically told to bugger off and start our own thread because we’re ‘disruptive and irritating’.”
  • 11. ConclusionsFear and anxiety Rituals of fear as part of cultural protest Understanding movements as embodied not solely representational Control of food - a globalised social stakeUnobtainable democracy and conspiracytheories Populism & the anti-status quo Tracing a democratic deficit
  • 12. Matt ReedSenior Research Fellow, TheCountryside and CommunityResearch Institute,www.ccri.ac.ukMatthew.Reed@uwe.ac.uk