How Krause misleads

I really, really don’t want this to turn into KrauseWatch, but here is a quick example of how Vivian Krause can be misleading. In The American attempt to kill B.C.’s salmon farms published in the Feb 1, 2011 VSun, Krause writes:

Since 2000, these 56 organizations have been paid at least $815 million by the Packard foundation. Half of that ($407 million) was paid to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the mother ship of the sustainable seafood movement.

However, the vast bulk of the $407 million goes to the actual operation of the aquarium. Why bring up the $407 million at all? Why doesn’t Krause simply state outright how much was given to the programs (Seafood Choices) she objects to? It’s confusing. One thinks on purpose. It earned a rebuke from the Aquarium:

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program has received $7 million -not $407 million -from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation since the program’s inception in 1999.

Oops. Now Seafood Watch is part of the Seafood Choices program. Krause then writes:

Since 2000, Packard has paid $23 million to SeaWeb, a Maryland based non-profit that specializes in media relations. Of that, $11 million was for Seafood Choices.

According to the Packard Foundation website, Seafood Choices (through SeaWeb) has rec’d $5,477,500 since 2005, which would be above the contribution to Seafood Watch. Since the online database only goes to 2005, let’s concede the $11 million figure cited by Krause.  Put them together and round up – that’s $20 million for 10 years to both programs. Or $2 million/yr.

Again…why can’t any of this be stated succinctly and directly? Because it’s a shell-game. She’s throwing figures around to make the amounts seem bigger than they really are.

Bonus:

The only place where Packard funds a region-specific Seafood Choices program is British Columbia

Er, a quick glance at the Seafood Choices website shows multiple programs and publications for Europe and the United States. What gives here?

Bonus bonus:

Even if only two per cent of Packard’s millions were spent on demarketing farmed salmon, that would rival the combined budgets of all the Canadian aquaculture industry associations that have been on the receiving end of Packard-funded campaigns.

Using Krause’s figures I calculate that as $16,300,00 over 11 years. Or $1.48 million/yr. Now, was she comparing the combined Associations’ budgets over the same time period? Or the combined budgets for just one year? (As a point of reference the BC Salmon Farmers Associations budget for 2008 was $670,015)

See? Yes? No? Confused? Me too.

Why just narrowly restrict it to “associations”? Why not include the “companies” that make up the associations, and which have marketing budgets of their own. The recent big-budget PR campaign BCSalmonfacts.ca is an initiative of the above mentioned BC Salmon Farmers Association…and oh yeah…multinationals Marine Harvest Canada, Mainstream Canada, Grieg Seafood and Ewos and Skretting. Oops.

Advertisements