Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

How Your Tax Dollars Are Used to Promote Corporate Propaganda

Did you know that the 2017 spending bill1,2,3 includes a rider allocating $3 million for consumer education and outreach by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to "promote understanding and acceptance of" biotechnology?

The deal was recently passed by the Senate, 79 to 18, “under a bipartisan agreement to keep the government funded through the end of September,” The Washington Post reports.4 In other words, if you are American, you are paying for Monsanto to spread their pernicious propaganda. The fact that they can get away with this and slip it in to avoid government shutdown is dystopian, to say the least.

Not only have the government and the food and chemical technology industries fought to prevent the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), your tax dollars are now to be spent on efforts to “assure” you that genetically engineered (GE) foods are of no concern.

FDA and USDA to Promote Biotech and Chemical Technologies

To quote The Washington Post, “The money is to be used to tout ‘the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic and humanitarian impacts’ of biotech crops and their derivative food products.” This joint effort by the FDA and USDA is an outrage. As noted by Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., who unsuccessfully fought to get the rider struck from the bill:5

It is not the responsibility of the FDA to mount a government-controlled propaganda campaign to convince the American public that genetically modified foods are safe. The FDA has to regulate the safety of our food supply and medical devices. They are not, nor should they be, in the pro-industry advertising business.

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