When food becomes a weapon in disinformation war

Experts fear the spread of lies about food insecurity by Russia and US right-wing media can be even more radicalising than conspiracy theories about vaccines and voter fraud.

Farmers blocking a highway in the Netherlands in July in a protest against nitrogen reforms, which could see livestock reduced. PHOTO: AFP
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When the Dutch government announced plans in June to reduce certain greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 70 per cent, farmers erupted in protest. The change requires sharply reducing the waste produced by livestock operations, potentially forcing some of them out of business. They clogged traffic on highways with their tractors, dumped manure in the streets and set bales of hay on fire.

The demonstrations were covered extensively by the conservative news media in the United States, with outlets such as Breitbart and Fox News describing how the farmers were staging their own versions of this year's "freedom convoys" of Canadian truckers who were opposed to mandates for coronavirus vaccines and other Covid-19 policies.

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