While there’s no imminent or specific threat of soybeans sprouting from our ears due to Monsanto chemicals and its genetic modification of food, the real risks are far worse.
The disturbing misanthropic history of Monsanto includes polyurethanes, aspartame, herbicide glysophates, and Agent Orange production, which makes the thought of their involvement with food immediately questionable at best. Many scientists, politicians, citizens, and even most of Europe agree that Monsanto should be stopped.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, which formed in 1969, now consists of over 400,000 citizens and scientists who put “rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems.” The UCS says Monsanto GE practices not only pose serious and identifiable risks to the environment and public health, such as allergens and concentrations of toxic metals, but also pose risks that we “don’t know how to identify” due to the side-effects of “novel gene combinations,” such as new viruses. (See: UCS info.)
It’s important to note that much Monsanto’s profits come from its weedkiller product, Roundup, demand for which from farmers growing GE foods has increased exponentially. “Roundup Ready” seeds manufactured by Monsanto are sterile, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that sterile seeds are unsustainable to agriculture. (See: MIT info.)
Two million people in 436 cities around the world protested against Monsanto on May 25, 2013. On the heels of this protest, Monsanto officially stopped its fight to push Europe into accepting GM foods. Large-scale public opposition to Monsanto has always been present in Europe, and even the German Agricultural Ministry has been “highly critical of gene modification technologies.” (See: Article)
While Europe listens to its citizens, the US does things like passing the Monsanto Protection Act, which effectively prohibits individual states from making their own decisions about the labeling requirements on GM products.
Recently, wheat farmers have filed class-action lawsuits against Monsanto due to GM wheat illegally popping up in their fields. Yet in spite of public outcry, US Political leaders have not listened to concerned citizens – or even their own elected members, such as US Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the US Agricultural Committee, who states: “The Monsanto Protection Act undermines the basic tenants of the US constitution.
Perhaps the difference is that Debbie Stabenow is not on the candidate recipient list for contributions from Monsanto, as are Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Barack Obama, Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ann L. Wagner (R-MO) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Indeed, Monsanto contributes to both Democrat and Republican committees and associations almost equally. Not to mention the $5.97 billion that is spent by Monsanto on lobbying. (See:Open Secrets.)
Recent Monsanto lobby petitions include H.R. 935, The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013 that proposes to “amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to clarify Congressional intent and eliminate the requirement of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the use of pesticides already approved for use under FIFRA.”
So, Monsanto, you don’t want to pay for a permit to make sure excessive amounts of pesticides aren’t going into clean water? How about you make up for it by personally paying for the healthcare and grave plot costs of Agent Orange victims, or the cancer treatment for Grannies who thought consuming large amounts of aspartame to keep trim was okay, or perhaps you should put the next landfill for polyurethanes in your backyard.
Instead of charging Monsanto with murder, it’s given the World Food Prize. All-hail profit over risk America; accountability has always been a foreign concept. And never mind the “Roundup Ready” soybeans, corn, canola, alfalfa, cotton, and sorghum that are already in nearly 70% of our processed foods without our knowledge or consent. Looks like we’d let you get away with GM ear sprouts too.