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Serving Science or Monsanto?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our California News page.

With about a week to go before California voters head to the polls to decide the fate of Proposition 37, which would require GMO foods to be labeled, I expected an already ugly campaign to get even uglier.

But the latest gift to the No on 37 campaign smells especially bad. Last week, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS - goes by "Triple A-S") released this "statement" on GMO labeling that sounds like it was drafted by Monsanto. The statement ends with the non-scientific but very quote-worthy conclusion that "mandating such a label can only serve to misĀ­lead and falsely alarm consumers." While Prop 37 is never mentioned, what purpose could the timing serve other than persuading Californians to vote no on the measure?

This paragraph of the AAAS press release sounds especially familiar:

Several current efforts to require labeling of GM foods are not being driven by any credible scientific evidence that these foods are dangerous  Rather, GM labeling initiatives are being advanced by "the persistent perception that such foods are somehow 'unnatural,'" as well as efforts to gain competitive advantages within the marketplace, and the false belief that GM crops are untested.

These talking points come straight from the No on 37 campaign. For example, "gain competitive advantages"? What does that have to do with science? Nothing, but it's a favorite refrain from the No side, which I know because it showed up on the mailer sent to my home.  


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