Five New Reasons Monsanto’s ‘Science’ Doesn’t Add Up
To hear the pesticide and junk food marketers of the world tell it, anyone who questions the value, legitimacy or safety of GMO crops is naïve, anti-science and irrational to the point of hysteria. But how long can Monsanto ignore the mounting actual scientific evidence that their technology is not only failing to live up to its promises, it's putting public health at risk?
Jim Goodman, farmer, activist and member of the Organic Consumers Association policy advisory board, recently wrote about Monsanto's deceptive use of the expression "sound science."
But, 'sound science' has no scientific definition. It does not mean peer reviewed, or well documented research.
'Sound science' is only a term, an ideological term, used to support a particular point of view, policy statement or a technology. 'Sound science' is little more than the opinions of so-called "experts" representing corporate interests. Simply put, 'sound science' always supports the position of industry over people, corporate profit over food safety, the environment and public health.
Here are five new reports and studies, published in the last two months, that blow huge holes in Monsanto's "sound science" story. Reports of everything from Monsanto's Roundup causing fatal, chronic kidney disease to how, contrary to industry claims, Roundup persists for years, contaminating soil, air and water. And oh-by-the-way, no, GMO crops will not feed the world, nor have they reduced the use of herbicides and pesticides.
Poultry is already the most deadly source of food borne illness. And working in a slaughterhouse is already the most dangerous job in America, according to some reports.
So what is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) latest plan to protect consumers and workers? It wants to privatize poultry inspection, putting companies in charge of their own inspections. And then increase the slaughtering line speed. In other words, the USDA's new "Filthy Chicken Rule" will put both consumers and factory farm workers at greater risk.
According to a recent Consumer Reports survey of factory-farm chicken, the state of America's poultry, even at the current rate of government inspection, is grim: "More than half of the samples contained fecal contaminants. And about half of them harbored at least one bacterium that was resistant to three or more commonly prescribed antibiotics."
And now our poultry is about to become even more putrid. Unless we can convince the USDA to rescind what Food & Water Watch has dubbed the "Filthy Chicken Rule."
Coexistence. It sounds like a good idea. Cooperative. Peaceful. But for organic farmers and non-GMO farmers, co-existence with Monsanto is a lopsided proposition.
Wherever GMOs grow, nearby non-GMO crops are at risk of contamination. And so far, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has failed to provide real solutions, or real compensation, for organic and non-GMO farmers who lose their crops, their organic certification or their livelihoods when the seeds and pollen from GMO crops “accidentally” drift into their fields.
In 2011, the USDA formed a committee to study what it can do to “promote the broad adoption of local, voluntary solutions aimed at facilitating coexistence” between genetically modified crops and organic/non-GMO crops. The USDA’s best idea so far? Force organic farmers to buy crop insurance.
According to a recent USDA report, in 2013, about half—169 million acres—of land in the U.S. used for crops were planted in GMO crops (mostly corn, cotton and soybeans). If you think we should protect the other half, please send your comments to the USDA before midnight March 4 (2014).
Okay, it is a joke. The Onion, America’s favorite purveyor of satire, recently poked fun at Monsanto in an article announcing that the Biotech Bully has developed “a hardier strain of corn that yields 4 times normal litigation.”
“We are excited to introduce our newest variety of corn, which is capable of producing up to 1,000 patent infringement cases per growing season,” said Monsanto spokesman Richard Gringell, explaining that this proprietary strain of the large cereal grain had been carefully engineered to withstand even the harshest countersuits. “Moreover, our new variety can cross-pollinate with nearby farmers’ crops three times faster, generating new targets for legal action much more efficiently than before. In fact, just one acre of our new corn is able to bankrupt as many family farmers as 10 acres of our previous formula. It’s a huge leap forward for our company.”
It’s clever satire. Entertaining and funny. Unless you’re one of hundreds of farmers who have been sued by Monsanto for so-called patent infringement when GMO seeds drifted into your organic or non-GMO fields.
Why are we sharing satire from the Onion?
Because it proves that the work you’re helping us accomplish gains a little more traction each day. Monsanto, a company that operated in the shadows just a few years ago, is mainstream news. People are paying attention.
Even the Onion.
The OCA is powered by people like you. You may not think you have anything to do with the news reports that expose Monsanto for what it is, a monopolistic, greed-driven poisoner of food, farms and fields.
But you do. With every dollar you contribute, we’re able to reach more people with the truth, fight more of the politicians who betray us, and move the world toward hope and health. And there’s nothing funny about that.
While the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) continues its search for lawmakers willing to help launch the lobbying group’s Bill to Kill state GMO labeling laws, states are charging ahead with laws and initiatives to label and ban GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
The latest state to introduce a GMO Labeling bill is California. Undaunted by the narrow loss in 2012 of Proposition 37, a state ballot initiative that would have required mandatory labeling of GMOs, pro-labeling activists took their campaign to the state legislature.
On February 21, California State Senator Noreen Evans (D - Santa Rosa) introduced SB 1381. The bill already has support from Californians for GE Food Labeling, a broad-based coalition of 17 environmental, consumer (including the OCA), food groups and small businesses representing over 500,000 Californians.
Meanwhile in Maui, citizen-activists launched a petition on February 24, asking that voters be allowed to float a “temporary moratorium initiative” in the November 2014 election. The initiative calls for suspending production of GMO crops on the Hawaiian island until further environmental and public health studies have been completed. Their concerns? Groundwater contaminated by pesticides and the rising number of birth defects on the island. The group has until March 31 to submit 8,500 registered voters’ signatures
"Unfolding with gentle joy and an unexpected beauty, this ode to the miracle of the Earth’s topmost layer gives us a newfound respect for the ground beneath our feet." - New York Times, Critics Pick
“Symphony of the Soil,” the latest documentary from the director of “The Future of Food,” is now available on DVD—and for every copy purchased here, the filmmaker will contribute $5 to the OCA.
“Symphony of the Soil” explores the complexity and mystery of soil. Filmed on four continents, the film portrays soil as a protagonist of our planetary story. In a skillful mix of art and science, the film reveals soil for what it really is. A living organism. The foundation of life on earth.
Its creators hope it will inspire people to stop treating soil like, well, dirt