The Gateway Pandit once again tests the limits of logic and sanity. The far-right outlet has linked the country’s current egg shortages and soaring prices to a chicken feed company’s alleged ties to Jeffrey Epstein and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
On Wednesday, the Gateway Pandit wrote a story alleging that an 85-year-old home and farm supplies supplier, Tractor Supply Company, is selling chicken feed that causes chickens to stop laying eggs.
It is claimed that the formula of Tractor Supply’s Producer’s Pride brand was recently changed to reduce the amount of protein, which may have been “on purpose”.
Tractor Supply did not immediately respond to an email inquiry about whether it changed the formula of its chicken feed or whether it worked with Jeffrey Epstein to create an egg shortage.
The story appears to be based almost entirely on a viral tweet from last weekend. the tweet included a video of a woman claiming her chickens started laying again after switching them to goat feed. She did not identify the brand of chicken feed she gave the hens.
Where the Twitter user got the video from is unclear. In a later tweet, she said that they are buying eggs from a local farmer, suggesting it is not their video.
Somehow the Gateway Pandit found it. The article acknowledged that an outbreak of bird flu, chickens laying fewer eggs over the winter and inflation are contributing to high egg prices – all of which are true.
Then the story takes a sharp right turn into conspiracy land.
“Recent reports of chickens not laying follow ongoing public concern that the World Economic Forum is artificially creating food shortages,” it said. Some conspiracy theorists believe the WEF is intentionally creating a food shortage.
The Gateway expert digs even deeper, drawing a line from the egg shortage to the work histories of three Tractor Supply board members.
It reports that a member used to work for Vanguard, an index fund that it claims contributes to the WEF. Vanguard is one of two dozen members of the WEF’s Global Parity Alliance, which formed last spring. It is not clear if it contributes directly to the WEF.
This board member left Vanguard in 2015 and has only been on the board of Tractor Supply since 2021.
Another board member, Gateway Pundit continues, used to work for an agribusiness that was criticized for using genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs are somewhat controversial, and last summer the WEF published an article arguing that GM crops could help fight climate change, but the company isn’t the only one using them.
The alleged link between Tractor Supply and Jeffrey Epstein is equally tenuous. “Most shockingly,” explains the Gateway expert, is that another board member was President of Victoria’s Secret 16 years ago. In his view, this is relevant because the owner of Victoria’s Secret gave Epstein extensive control over his personal finances at the time.
Anyway, a sane person might wonder how a deceased billionaire who preyed on young women and girls could have anything to do with the protein content of Tractor Supply chicken feed.
That didn’t stop the Gateway Pandit smash in a tweet: “Tractor Supply chicken feed reportedly causes egg laying to stop, board has ties to WEF, Jeffrey Epstein.”
The online discourse suggests that many people believe that Tractor Supply is up to something. The comment with the most likes on the article is: “You know [damn] well, that’s intentional. Criminals must be shot.”
Some have taken to Tractor Supply’s Twitter account to accuse him of wrongdoing.
Others pushed back saying that they feed their hens Producer’s Pride and have not noticed an atypical drop in egg production.
“Egg production slows down in the fall and winter. Conspiracy closed,” one Twitter user pointed out. “Even commercial chicken farmers almost certainly don’t feed their chickens ‘Producer’s Pride’. This is a witch hunt and it’s stupid. There are real problems in the world to chase after – this isn’t one of them.”
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*Initial publication: January 25, 2023 5:15 pm CST
Claire Goforth is a staff writer at the Daily Dot and covers all topics related to politics and technology with a focus on far right and conspiracy theories.
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/gateway-pundit-tractor-supply-world-economic-forum-jeffrey-epstein-eggs/ Gateway pundit claims tractor shipments linked to WEF, Epstein