The mainstream media seems oddly perplexed.
A few days after a report released by the National Research Council claiming to “prove” that GMOs are safe to eat and are harmless, data still shows that customers want non-GMO food and they are doing whatever they can to get it.
Many outlets are now asking the question “why don’t consumers seem to care about the NRC report? Why don’t they seem to care about the ‘science!?!?!?’”
After all, as USA Today reports,
Concern over GMO ingredients has grown in recent years, swept along by local ballot measures that proposed requirements for labeling foods with GMOs. Increasingly, the phrase GMO became part of the question about what’s considered safe, healthy and natural food. Sales of foods labeled as non-GMO have gone from $12.9 billion in 2012 to $21.2 billion in the year ended April 30, according to Nielsen.
And all this in the middle of an economic depression.
Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst at the NPD group has an answer. According to Seifer, the debate is “based on fear, not logic.” Of course, the debate is partly based on fear. Consumers are generally fearful of contracting cancer, chronic illness, and irrevocable environmental destruction. The fact that GMOs pollute and distort the natural environment is well established and the science demonstrating harmful effects to humans is also there despite the need to save pennies to fund it. So Seifer is obviously wrong when he says that anti-GMO activists are illogically fearful. They have a logical basis for their claims and are fearful of legitimate and quite possible outcomes.
But the mainstream media always happy to chalk up criticism of major corporations, banks, GMOs and pharmaceuticals to ignorance and stupidity of the little people who don’t have impressive letters behind their names (always careful to omit the ones that do) is having a hard time rationalizing why these consumers would still fear GMOs after allegedly reputable scientific organizations declare them safe.
To paraphrase another famously imbecilic and frustrated bit of propaganda, mainstream outlets are saying “just eat your damn GMOs!” But it is not science that consumers are so skeptical of. Indeed, after decades of approving GMOs, Vioxx, mercury, BPA and derivatives, American regulatory agencies simply no longer have any credibility in the minds of any thinking American.
Take the infallible NRC as an example. The organization which professes to stand for independent scientific research is instead packed full of industry scientists, GMO promoters and millions of dollars of donations from major biotech companies. In fact, the NRC has been described as having a revolving door of staff directors who move back and forth between the federally chartered organization and Big Ag corporations.
Food and Water Watch also presents evidence that the NRC regularly provides scientific conclusions on agricultural issues that are heavily watered down and mostly based on industry science. Indeed, while major corporations involved in the biotech industry and pro-GMO academics are welcome in the NRC, critics are shunned.
According to Food and Water Watch,
With the NRC’s 2016 report, more than half of the experts selected to participate in the project have apparent conflicts, such as receiving research funding from industry, developing GMOs (or patents), consulting for industry or working for industry-funded organizations… Some of these scientist also have promoted GMOs in the media or lobbied government regulators in favor of GMOs.
Food and Water Watch states,
Corporate influence at the NRC is by no means limited to the work that the group does on GMOs. In 2014, the NRC undertook an investigation into how to improve “sustainability” in animal agriculture through research and development. The NRC took corporate funding and recruited industry scientists to produce this report, with Monsanto, Tyson, Smithfield, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association and other industry groups involved.
In this instance, the NRC appeared to function as a private, for-hire research contractor, lending its name to a report that had both industry funders and authors – and that made findings that largely support industry’s goals in animal production. Industry advocates can use the report, which bears the prestigious NRC name, to defend controversial industry practices, which has already occurred.
Food and Water Watch makes four recommendations in regards to industry influence at the NRC.
- Congress should expand and enforce the Federal Advisory Committee Act to ensure that the scientific advice the NRC produces for the government is free of conflicts of interest and bias.
- Congress should immediately halt all tax-payer funding for agricultural projects at the NRC until meaningful conflict-of-interest policies are enforced.
- The NRC should no longer engage funders, directors, authors or reviewers that have a financial interest in the outcome of any of the NRC’s work.
- The NRC should prohibit the citation of science funded or authored by industry, given the obvious potential for bias.
This article (MSM Can’t Understand Why Consumers Want Non-GMO Despite Industry Science) can be republished under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Brandon Turbeville and Natural Blaze.com.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense SolutionsandDispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 600 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
Hershey Just Broke Up With GMO Sugar Beets
Corporate demand largely fueled the proliferation of genetically modified and glyphosate-resistant sugar beets as a cheap source for sweeteners in candy, chocolates and beverages. Imagine getting a farming contract from a corporation as big as Hershey, for instance. Farmers could get back to work if they filled that demand for the white beets and hopped aboard the GMO train. Consumer apathy and demand for chocolate blissfully fueled the arrangement for a time.
However, as consumers now walk away from GMOs, so must Big Chocolate.
Enter: a huge step for candy-kind.
Star Tribune reports:
Something was different about a lot of the Hershey’s kisses in your stocking this year: The popular chocolates no longer contain sugar made in Minnesota.
For decades, the Hershey Co. has used sugar made from both sugar beets and sugar cane, but it decided earlier this year to stop buying beet sugar because it comes from genetically modified, or GM, seeds that some consumers don’t like.
Hershey, with 2014 sales of $7.4 billion and more than 80 brands of candy sold around the world, was a huge customer for beet sugar farmers, and its decision was significant enough to be noted earlier this month at two annual shareholder meetings of sugar beet cooperatives.
This year was a record harvest year for sugar beets – but what will happen now as the multi-billion dollar corp has left the arena? The media – practically for the first time – is actually concerned about the economics of farmers (and as usual is supporting Monsanto’s oft-repeated claims of safety).
When did GMO sugar beets crash the U.S.?
According to Non-GMO Report:
The USDA “de-regulated” Roundup Ready sugar beets in 2005. The agency had originally de-regulated RR sugar beets in 1999, but candy manufacturers refused to use sugar from GM plants due to consumer concerns, and the beets never took off.
Ten years later and we seem to be back in the realm of a cautious 1999. But, as usual, Hershey like most big food companies and the media is not questioning the safety of GMOs or distancing themselves. Rather, they are being “responsive” to the changing winds. Labels will still say “sugar” either way. Last year, General Mills announced that it was dropping GM sugar and Campbell’s is heading in the non-GMO direction.
Sugar beets currently fuel over half of the U.S. sugar supply and nearly 100 percent of those beets seeds are engineered to tolerate massive amounts of glyphosate pesticides.
As for Hershey, the communications director said:
More than three-quarters of the sugar we are using today is cane sugar – and as we get into 2016, our expectation is to be at or near 100 percent.
“If it hadn’t been for those pesky anti-GMers…”
It is interesting to note that instead of honoring consumer demand – that the CEOs of big sugar companies and farming co-ops refer to the so-called “anti-GM movement” as a thorn in their side and their biggest “challenge.” In other words, they would rather trick consumers with a lack of transparency and untested GE food. They would spend time, money and energy on campaigns against those pesky anti-GMer “claims.” Yet any claims on GMO safety on the part of biotech companies remains unproven and the burden of proof is on them, not on consumers who have legitimate health concerns about what they give their children to consume.
But there has been a GMO test. Doctors partnered with Jefferey Smith’s Responsible Technology site have put their patients on strict non-GMO diets only to find them “miraculously” recovering from conditions that are considered irreversible. Another form of evidence is when a lab autopsy shows that deformed dead or stillborn piglets were saturated in glyphosate. Or that two weeks on organic food can eliminate all pesticides from an entire family. Some would call that anecdotal and some would call that evidence.
Consumers aren’t the ones with claims – they simply question the wild claims of a mammoth corporation and wish for responsible technology. I applaud Hershey’s move to listen to consumers and I applaud the parents who stopped feeding glyphosate and engineered organisms to their children.
Hershey Just Broke Up With GMO Sugar Beets by Heather Callaghan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Natural Blaze thanks you for republishing our work with this message intact or providing a source-link for quotes.