While many Americans remain undecided about the long-term health and environmental impacts of genetically modified foods (GMOs), they almost unanimously agree that they want foods clearly labeled to reflect the inclusion of GM ingredients. While some may feel that the question of GMO safety still hangs in the balance, an increasing number of savvy consumers are choosing to cut them out altogether. A 2013 HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 82 percent of Americans were in favor of GMO labeling.
This firm stance is clearly not sitting well with the government or its Big Agri cronies. While a recent Pew study found that 39 percent of Americans believe that GMOs are worse for your health than conventionally grown produce, the government wants us all to believe that “the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic, and humanitarian impacts” of biotech crops are superior to those of organically grown crops. And they’ve decided to throw money at the problem.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be allocating $3 million of its taxpayer-supplied funds to a “consumer outreach and education [campaign] regarding agricultural biotechnology.” They believe this is necessary to counter the “tremendous amount of misinformation” about GMOs that people have been exposed to.
Of course, this idea hasn’t gone down too well with some parties in government. Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) accurately pointed out that it is not the responsibility of a government agency to launch a propaganda campaign to try to disabuse the American public of the notion that GMOs aren’t good for you. [RELATED: What other lies are you being told? Find out at Propaganda.news]
“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,” Lowey said.
Ah, but then, when has any government agency not been in the back pocket of some big industry? The Center for Responsive Politics found that Big Agri has recently donated over $26 million to various political campaigns, including to politicians who ended up on the House agriculture appropriations committee.
While it is unclear what this campaign will consist of or when it will launch, it has been established that it will be handled collaboratively with the Departure of Agriculture, and will include the “publication and distribution of science-based educational information.”
See how they did that? “Science-based educational information,” i.e. if you dare to claim that GMOs are not as healthy or might have as yet unknown environmental impacts, your viewpoint isn’t scientifically sound.
Nonetheless, scientific studies have actually found that with increased use of GM seeds comes greater use of herbicides like Roundup, the main ingredient of which is glyphosate. And the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently announced that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, i.e. it likely causes cancer. Still think those GMOs are harmless?
And what about Big Agri’s claims of greater yields from GM crops? An extensive analysis by The New York Times found that biotechnology does not actually increase crop yields, in spite of the big promises made to American and Canadian farmers two decades ago.
It is also unclear why it is necessary for the government to step in and start disseminating pro-GMO propaganda in the first place. After all, agricultural giants like Monsanto and DuPont have more than enough ill-gotten gains to do the job themselves. And they’re already at it; pretrial motions in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, where plaintiffs are accusing Monsanto of causing their cancer, have revealed that the company has been quietly hiring internet trolls to make vicious attacks on anyone who dares to post a negative article or comment against the use of GMOs or herbicides like Roundup.
One wonders what’s really behind this latest misuse of hard-earned taxpayer funds.