Hey…You gonna eat that? That’s the question that comes to mind for many of us when food is presented. We often make our decisions because of caloric levels, fat content and even pesticides used but, more and more, genetic modifications are a concern. Enter GMO giant, the Monsanto Corporation.
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, have made their way into the nation’s fruit and vegetable supply and, recently, the Food and Drug Administration took public comments on so-called “Frankenfish.”
Monsanto has been in the news for a host of issues. They alone control 23 percent of the world’s seed market, while Bayer controls 20 percent of the global pesticide market. According to SumOfUs.org:
Monsanto has long been one of the most dangerous organizations to the planet. In the past few years alone, the biotech giant has:
- Created toxic waste dumps with deadly carcinogens like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- Destroyed small businesses and manipulated small farmers to create an agricultural monopoly
- Blocked all efforts to investigate its products or label genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
- Pushed the Monsanto Protection Act through Congress, granting it immunity from prosecution even if GMOs do turn out to be dangerous
If that’s not enough, other problems that have arisen are Monsanto’s:
- arms race with nature resulting in super-resistant weeds and insect populations and the potential threat to the biosphere
- unchecked influence on governments and and regulatory agencies like the FDA especially pertaining to the labelling of GMO food products
- history of scientific fraud and market manipulation
- human rights violations and legal attacks on small farmers
- ‘trade wars’ with nations opposed to Monsanto and GMO Crops
In what should probably surprise no one who had been following the Proposition 37 issue, a California proposal that would have required the ingredients in all GM foods to be labeled, the so-called “Big 6″ pesticide corporations have become the pro-labeling movement’s main opponents.
Filings released by the California Secretary of State’s office last year noted that the world’s six largest pesticide corporations — Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta — have become the six biggest contributors to opponents of Prop 37. In all the 6 largest companies funneled well over $20 million to oppose something that consumers should already see: labels that clearly identify food as genetically engineered or modified.
For those who wonder why GM or GE foods should be labeled, the most direct reason is because GMOs are not natural and they aren’t even creations of agriculture companies. GMOs are Monsanto creations, and the conflict lies in the fact that the very same biotech and chemical company that brought us DDT, PCBs and Agent Orange and even bovine growth hormone (rBGH) for milking cows is now creating food and refusing to identify it.
When it comes to allowing consumers to know what’s in the GM foods they are buying there’s much at stake. According to Dr. Charles Benbrook, who conducted the study using federal government data, GM crops have “increased pesticide use by over 400 million pounds in the United States over the past fifteen years.” In other words, it’s all about following the money — as usual. These firms don’t want consumers to know that genetically engineered crops increase and facilitate the use of dangerous pesticides.
The seed companies and their chemical company counterparts that produce pesticides have been working diligently for years to dominate and monopolise the food system at the expense and to the detriment of smaller companies, independent farmers and consumers around the world. Interested in participating? Find a location for a March against Monsanto near you on May 25th. The march is about helping to reveal Monsanto’s role of corruption and destruction to communities around the globe, and to the planet we call home.