Organic Consumers Association

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The Audacity of Genetically Modified Foods

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page. TAKE ACTION: Sign the Millions Against Monsanto Truth-In-Labeling Petition!

The biotech industry, led by Monsanto, promotes the idea that the arguments about genetically modified crops should focus on the science and the economics as Monsanto sees them. I maintain that the real discussion should be about the audacity and illegitimate way GM crops have been forced on a reluctant United States and world -- the money, corruption, politics and obfuscation that characterize its rise to dominance. The discussion should focus on how GM crops have taken over our food supply with little concern for safety or our right to choose.

Does it bother you that we consumers are largely unaware that 70 percent to 80 percent of the processed foods we buy contain GM ingredients? We are "largely unaware" because these foods are not labeled -- even though 90 percent of Americans want them labeled and think that we have the right to know what is in our food. The biotech industry fights labeling viciously because they know that, if GM foods were labeled, many would refuse to buy them as is the case in Europe. It`s not financial considerations that leave us with no choice; it`s our lack of awareness that allows them to take advantage of us. How many realize that Kraft Mac & Cheese is non-GM in Europe but does contain GM ingredients in the United States?

Our regulatory bodies and government are staffed with pro-GM people, a veritable revolving door. Michael Taylor, a Monsanto lawyer, moved from Monsanto to the Food and Drug Administration where he wrote the rules that were used to justify the release of Monsanto`s bovine growth hormone RBGH. He then returned to Monsanto as vice president. He currently is the FDA deputy commissioner for foods -- not the best place for a person with such apparent bias. And Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, previously general counsel for Monsanto, supported a ruling that GM alfalfa could be released. He does not recuse himself in cases like this involving conflict of interest.

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