Friday, May 25, 2012

Monsanto's Official Position on Labeling GMO's

Never wanting to be unfair, and always being a person who likes to look at both sides of the story, I searched online to see if anyone at Monsanto had seen fit to respond to any of the serious allegations that you can read about on the Wikipedia page about the company.

I was not surprised at the amount of Newspeak that I saw on the page, but I certainly was disgusted. Rather than waste my time and yours complaining about what large companies get away with, and the sad part about the people who work for them who really believe they are doing the right thing, I will just get on to the main point of contention, and the one most relevant to the topic of this blog: Monsanto's "official" position on the mandatory labeling of GMO foods.

Basically, I would have expected at least the same amount of energy devoted to developing a defensive posture and logical sounding argument as I saw with the other allegations. But, to my surprise, they seem to be willing to settle for the collective ignorance they assume everyone is comfortable with. Their argument against the mandatory labeling of GMO's amounted to this:

(I am not paraphrasing, this is coming directly from Monsanto's official blog.)

"U.S. labeling laws are based on health and safety. Requiring labeling for ingredients that don’t pose a health issue would undermine both our labeling laws and consumer confidence. Ensuring that such labeling is accurate would also put a huge burden on regulatory agencies."

So because an agency that is thought by many to be corrupt (the FDA) and is widely considered to be for sale to the highest bidder has not found any conclusive evidence of health effects of a technology that is younger than I am (I was born in 1978 - the first GMO plants did not grow to maturity in US soil until the late 80's), we should not label GMO foods. Because that would, like, you know, lower consumer confidence in the whole labeling procedure.

This almost qualifies as circular reasoning. They almost just said, "We shouldn't label GMO's because we shouldn't."

Anyways, I hope this will help to fuel the fire within anyone reading this to get the word out between now and November.

A lot of folks I talk to feel dispassionate and hopeless about politics, with the presidential pissing contest in full swing. So many of us have become disillusioned about being able to make a difference in a world where rather than carefully choosing a candidate that aligns most closely with our core values, we are forced to choose the lesser of two evils.

Here is one issue that we can really make a difference on. Join us in the fight for food sovereignty.

Now that we have achieved the preliminary victory of over a million petitions signed, we need to double down and educate everyone of voting age we talk to about this initiative, and keep our wits about us. The Biotech industry is not going to go down without a fight. Let us not repeat the mistakes of others who thought they had this thing in the hole and got thwarted by PR campaigns at the last minute.

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