ACDC News – Issue 06-02

The fog started to burn off.

Robert Derham observed that phenomenon several months ago during the BioValley Green Biotech Event in France.

The auditorium vibrated with exciting research reports and proposals, Derham explained, while subdiscussions broke out about concerns, such as how transgenic research was being misunderstood and politicians were not helping. Nothing cleared the fog, however, until one of the speakers “offered a paradigm shift.”

“You have to take the time to communicate to the public,” said the speaker. “If we don’t, the activists will.”

“And with that,” Derham observed, “people settled back into their chairs and side conversations almost immediately ceased – the fog of doubt and disbelief had abruptly cleared the room.”

Citation: Communicate to the public
Archived October 24, 2005, at:

Update on U.S. public sentiment about genetically modified (GM) food.

During November the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology reported results of the fourth (2005) comprehensive survey involving a national sample of American consumers. Among the findings:

  • Americans continue to know relatively little about GM foods and biotechnology.
  • Awareness of transgenic animals is quite low and people are opposed to research into genetic modification of animals.
  • Consumers most strongly support GM uses designed to protect against disease.
  • Although consumers know little about the potential importation of GM products from abroad, they favor American regulation.
  • Consumers strongly believe that ethical and moral considerations should be part of the animal cloning regulatory equation.

Citation: Public sentiment about genetically modified food: November 2005 update
Summary posted at:

Communicating about avian flu. 

Given the global threat of avian/bird flu, we are beginning to actively scout for documents about public perceptions, media coverage and other communication aspects of this issue. You can monitor the ACDC collection by using the Subject search term, avian flu. Here are samples of documents being added to the collection:

Infectious diseases
Posted at:

Avian flu pandemic could be massive disaster and few are noticing
Posted at:

Superb flu pandemic risk communication: a role model from Australia
Posted at:

Consumer group calls on federal government to calm fears, criticizes animal rights groups for fueling needless panic
Posted at:

Legacy of farming methods comes home to roost
Posted at:

To help strengthen this new and important part of the ACDC collection, please send us documents about the communication aspects of avian flu, or refer us to them. Thank you.

Covering the meth epidemic in rural America.

A special report from the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues describes efforts by nearly two dozen newspapers and broadcast stations to report on the complexity, severity, and personal and social fallout of methamphetamine abuse in rural areas. One reporter was cited as adding to her coverage with a poem titled “Ms. Crystal Meth.” It concluded:

Now that you’ve met me
What will you do?
Will you try me or not?
It’s all up to you.
I can show you more misery
Than words can tell.
Come, take my hand.
Let me lead you to Hell.

Citation: Special report: Covering the meth epidemic in rural America
Posted at:

Communicator activities approaching

March 1, 2006
Registrations due for the 2006 conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education in Clearwater, Florida, May 14-17, 2006.

March 6-8, 2006
“Practice change for sustainable communities.” Conference of the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) in Beechworth, Victoria, Australia.

March 23-25, 2006
Spring meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council in Memphis, Tennessee.
Information: Jeri Mattix Omernik of Rocky Mountain Marketing Communications at:

“Things my mother taught me.”

In closing, we pass along to you these food-and-farm insights from Annabelle who posted them on Fortune City:

My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
“Close that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”


Best regards and good searching.

When you see interesting items you cannot find locally or online, get in touch with us at Tell us the titles and/or document numbers. We will help you gain access.

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas for the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communication documents we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or electronic form at .

 January, 2006


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