Unlike the former Monsanto cartoon on this subject, this version shows a bit more clearly who surrendered the future of organic agriculture to Monsanto. There’s been a lot of talk from both sides (organic and biotech) about compromise. That is misleading and almost laughable (read: cryable).
You poisoning us (consumers of organic food) and us allowing you to poison us, is NOT a compromise!
A recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers’ and rural residents’ risk of getting cancer (more offenses, here) . However, according to Phil Angell, Monsanto’s former director of corporate communications, “Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.” And with so many pro-Monsanto men and women (many, former Monsanto employees) well embedded in our government, one can only conclude that the higher up decisions are not made with the safety of the people, animals, or the environment in mind.
Back to the missing panel…
Why would Whole Foods Market, Stonyfield Farms, and Organic Valley cave to pressures from Biotech?
According to informed sources, the CEOs of WFM and Stonyfield are personal friends of former Iowa governor, now USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, and in fact made financial contributions to Vilsack’s previous electoral campaigns. Vilsack was hailed as “Governor of the Year” in 2001 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and traveled in a Monsanto corporate jet on the campaign trail. Perhaps even more fundamental to Organic Inc.’s abject surrender is the fact that the organic elite has become more and more isolated from the concerns and passions of organic consumers and locavores. The Organic Inc. CEOs are tired of activist pressure, boycotts, and petitions. Several of them have told me this to my face. They apparently believe that the battle against GMOs has been lost, and that it’s time to reach for the consolation prize. The consolation prize they seek is a so-called “coexistence” between the biotech Behemoth and the organic community that will lull the public to sleep and greenwash the unpleasant fact that Monsanto’s unlabeled and unregulated genetically engineered crops are now spreading their toxic genes on 1/3 of U.S. (and 1/10 of global) crop land.
WFM and most of the largest organic companies have deliberately separated themselves from anti-GMO efforts and cut off all funding to campaigns working to label or ban GMOs. The so-called Non-GMO Project, funded by Whole Foods and giant wholesaler United Natural Foods (UNFI) is basically a greenwashing effort (although the 100% organic companies involved in this project seem to be operating in good faith) to show that certified organic foods are basically free from GMOs (we already know this since GMOs are banned in organic production), while failing to focus on so-called “natural” foods, which constitute most of WFM and UNFI’s sales and are routinely contaminated with GMOs.
From their “business as usual” perspective, successful lawsuits against GMOs filed by public interest groups such as the Center for Food Safety; or noisy attacks on Monsanto by groups like the Organic Consumers Association, create bad publicity, rattle their big customers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Supervalu, Publix and Safeway; and remind consumers that organic crops and foods such as corn, soybeans, and canola are slowly but surely becoming contaminated by Monsanto’s GMOs.
Contamination is inevitable. More GMO’s in our environment and in our food is inevitable. The road to an organic-free future is becoming inevitable, more so with this decision. However, knowledge and people are power. Read some of the links below and form your own opinion on the goings-on of GMO giant, Monsanto. Then, take action, spread the word, and be a part of the solution!
More on Monsanto
From Twilight Earth: The World According to Monsanto–documentary
From Organic Lifestyle Magazine: Monsanto Company Profile
From The Organic Consumers Association: Millions Against Monsanto
From me: Monsanto cartoons