Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

Hillary vs. Bernie on Frankenfood


Stephen D. Melkisethian/Flickr

Why would voters choose Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton?

Food is a good reason for Democrats and Republicans to abscond from their "politics as usual" party loyalties and vote for Bernie Sanders, the 38-year Independent running against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic primary. This article deals with both candidates' positions on two issues that relate to the food we eat - GMOs and the Trans Pacific Partnership.

GMOs and the Fight for Healthy Food
Whether you believe that GMOs are good eats or not, you can't ignore the legions of people in this country who want to exercise their right to know whether the food they are feeding their children and themselves contains genetically engineered (or transgenic) ingredients. About 80 to 95 percent of the processed foods in supermarkets would need labels to identify that a GMO was involved in some aspect of its manufacture.

I'm trained as a master gardener, so I have a holistic view of agriculture. One input or toxin added to the system has a cascading effect on the entire ecology. Transgenics, while well-meaning, is specialized. Scientists take years to find a strain to meet their objectives, whether developing plants that resist an herbicide or include a pesticide in their genetic makeup. When seeds leave the laboratory, lab scientists are not responsible to review the safety of the chemicals sprayed on their creations.

A significant source of seed in large-scale farming operations is the RoundUp Ready® brand. Lately, chemical/seed companies are developing plants that resist 2,4-D (a component of Agent Orange) and dicamba to overcome the 'superweeds' RoundUp® no longer conquers. The FDA doesn't require the manufacturer of these chemicals to conduct tests of chronic ingestion of their products.

I find it troubling that the FDA doesn't require humans to consume these herbicides in combination with mercury (found in fish), aluminum (commonly used as a preservative in vaccines), and synthetic glutamate (a ubiquitous flavor enhancer found in many processed foods) in longitudinal tests. These neurotoxins pass from gut to blood to brain more easily when glyphosate chelates (carries) them. Once a neurotoxin enters brain tissue, it stays there and accumulates. We need to conduct more studies to find out if combinations of these toxins cause autism, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The World Health Organization has already proclaimed that glyphosate is a "probable carcinogen."

Is Hillary a Shill for Monsanto?
How is Hillary personally involved in supporting big agriculture? The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which gathers leaders to solve the world's problems, promotes Monsanto, the maker of RoundUp® and RoundUp Ready® seeds. Hugh Grant, Monsanto's Chairman and CEO spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in September, 2014. Ms. Clinton's top campaign advisor, Jerry Crawford, was a lobbyist for Monsanto for years and is now the political pro for her Super PAC, "Ready for Hillary." Clinton spoke in favor of the government's Feed the Future (FtF) program, a USAID funded, corporate-partnered program that brings RoundUp Ready® technology to the most vulnerable populations of the world. Monsanto and Dow Chemical support Hillary and Bill's 'Clinton Foundation' with generous donations.

Last year, at a San Diego biotech conference, Hillary coached her audience in messaging. "Genetically modified sounds Frankensteinish. Drought-resistant sounds like something you'd want. Be more careful so you don't raise that red flag immediately."

It's also highly unlikely for Hillary Clinton to stand up against her benefactors, saying she favors a review of RoundUp, 2,4-D, and the even more toxic poisons used by farmers worldwide when she has friends in the industry telling her that they will "feed the world" someday with their agricultural methods.