Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

Save Organic Standards campaign banner image

The Ultimate Food Betrayal: How Big Biotech Rigged the Research on GM Foods

In 2004, the peer-reviewed British Food Journal published a study claiming that when shoppers in a Canadian farm store were given an informed, unbiased choice between genetically modified (GM) corn and non-GM corn, most purchased the GM variety.

The research, which was funded by the biotech industry and conducted by four staunch proponents of GM foods, other findings around the world that show how people avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs) when given a choice.

The controversial article was nonetheless given the Journal's prestigious Award for Excellence for the Most Outstanding Paper of 2004. It is often cited by biotech advocates as proof that people are embracing GM foods.

Fortunately Stuart Laidlaw, a reporter from Canada's Toronto Star, had visited the farm store several times during the study and described the scenario in his book Secret Ingredients. Far from offering unbiased choices, huge signs placed over the non-GM corn bin read, "Would you eat wormy sweet corn?" It further listed the chemicals that were sprayed during the season.

By contrast, the sign above the GM corn stated, "Here's What Went into Producing Quality Sweet Corn." No wonder 60 percent of shoppers avoided the "wormy corn." In fact, it's a testament to people's distrust of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that 40 percent still went for the "wormy" option.

In addition to the signs, the "consumer education fact sheets" in the store were nothing more than pro-GM propaganda. And the lead researcher, Doug Powell, was even seen trying to convince a customer who purchased non-GM corn to switch to the GM variety.