Over three decades ago President Ronald Reagan said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
Well, that’s certainly the case today — only with one new word added: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help Monsanto.”
That help arrived in the form of approved funding to the tune of $3 million earmarked for FDA-sponsored “consumer outreach and education” about GMO crops.
If that all sounds a bit strange to you, you’re not alone. In fact, when you scratch the surface of this so-called education campaign, you’ll find out who’s really running the FDA.
Wow, talk about a nanny state!
Only this, time the government wants to make sure you eat all your veggies — but not just plain, old garden-variety ones. No, the vegetables the feds want to shove down our collective throats are the genetically-engineered varieties.
Especially the top four GM crops — corn, soy, canola and sugar beets, nearly all of which can be found in the processed foods we eat every day.
Of course, this FDA campaign to “educate” us about the “benefits” of GMOs has a bunch of backers — but when you read the fine print, you’ll see they’re the ones who are profiting from these alterations of what Mother Nature created.
They represent the corn, soybean, canola and sugar-beet lobbies, as well as other key agribusiness groups like the Grocery Manufacturers Association and various state universities that often receive grant money from agribusiness interests.
And more than 50 of them signed a letter last month, urging the feds to counter “a tremendous amount of misinformation about agricultural biotechnology…”
But perhaps the biggest support of this new campaign has come from the deep pockets of Monsanto — the biotech giant that holds patents on most genetically-modified (GM) seeds, as well as the maker of Roundup, the herbicide with which the resulting crops are sprayed.
Just last year, Rep. Robert B. Aderholt of Alabama, the chair of the House agriculture appropriations subcommittee, received $10,000 from Monsanto.
And Aderholt isn’t the only member of that committee whose campaigns have been funded by Monsanto and other companies with a vested interest in GMOs. In fact, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2016 the company contributed more than $26 million to political candidates.
But other groups and legislators are questioning why the federal government should be using any of our tax money to help corporations like Monsanto spread pro-GMO propaganda.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the biotech industry has gotten by with a little help from its friends in Congress.
Last year, it managed to push through legislation that prevented a Vermont law requiring the labeling of GMO foods to go into effect. And remember, 64 other countries around the world — including China and Russia — require these Frankenfoods to be labeled!
So before you see a disguised infomercial for Monsanto put out by the FDA, remember these three important points about GMOs that I doubt the agency will be telling you:
#1: The health effects of eating GMOs has never been fully thought out or even carefully researched. But we do know that studies have linked consuming these foods to organ damage, an increase in food allergies, and cancer.
#2: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup — the chemical these GM crops are designed to withstand and are doused with — has been identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (a branch of the World Health Organization) to be a “probable carcinogen.”
#3: The overuse of glyphosate has created “super weeds,” meaning that more and more GM crops are being planted and even more toxic chemicals are being sprayed on them to try and solve the problem we created.
These are just a few of the reasons why it’s more important than ever to either buy organic foods (both fresh and processed ones) or to look for processed foods that bear a label either saying they’re Non-GMO Project Verified or made with NO genetically-modified ingredients.
“The government is going to counter ‘misinformation’ about GMO foods” Caitlin Dewey, May 3, 2017, The Washington Post, washingtonpost.com