from the hashtag-cowspiracy dept.
Food Politics reports that Rick Friday, a long time cartoonist for Farm News, was dismissed for offending "a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in a cartoon." The political cartoon is critical of Big Ag CEOs, which earned more than 2,000 Iowa farmers combined.
In a Facebook post the cartoonist, Rick Friday, explained:
I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon which was published yesterday. Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of It's Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa.
I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon.
That's okay, hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the country.
The CEOs at the ag giants earned about $52.9 million last year, based on Morningstar data. Monsanto and DuPont, the parent of Johnston-based Pioneer, are large seed and chemical companies, and Deere is a large farm equipment manufacturer.
Profits for the three companies, all with large operations across Iowa, also have declined as farm income has been squeezed. After peaking in 2013, U.S. farm income this year is projected to fall to $183 billion, its lowest level since 2002.
It seems like in the U.S. you free to say what you like, but if you offend the wrong people you're free to lose your job despite the protections you are provided and encouraged to use.
Monsanto announced that it has received an unsolicited purchase offer from Bayer AG. The offer is under consideration by Monsanto's board of directors. The companies are both major sellers of pesticides and of seeds for crops. Monsanto's market capitalisation on 18 May was $42.43 billion.
According to Dow Jones Business News via NASDAQ:
Folding Monsanto's world-leading seed franchise and its trademark Roundup herbicide business into Bayer would create a company with a combined $68 billion in annual sales, marketing products ranging from Aspirin pain-relief pills to crop genetics that enable plants to withstand bugs and weedkillers. The combination would sell about 28% of the world's pesticides and about 36% of U.S. corn seeds and 28% of soybean seeds, according to Morgan Stanley estimates.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Motley Fool
- New York Times (older story)
- Bloomberg (older story)
- USA Today (older story)
- Fierce Pharma (older story)
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch (older story)
- MarketWatch (older story)
Cartoonist Fired for Criticizing Big Agriculture