When many have regarded you as ‘the most evil corporation on the planet,’ it makes sense you would have to pay someone to say good things about you and your products.
Check out how this works.
For-profit U.K.-based consultant group PG Economics puts out a report on a ‘study’ they complete each year called “Global impact of biotech crops: socio-economic and environmental effects.” The latest one is hot off the presses.
In the report’s introduction, PG Economics says:
“This study(10) examines specific global socio-economic impact on farm income and environmental impacts in respect of pesticide usage and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, of crop biotechnology, over the sixteen year period 1996-2011(11).”
What does the little footnote for #10 stand for next to the word ‘study’? This:
10 The authors acknowledge that funding towards the researching of this paper was provided by Monsanto. The material presented in this paper is, however, the independent views of the authors – it is a standard condition for all work undertaken by PG Economics that all reports are independently and objectively compiled without influence from funding sponsors. [emphasis added]
According to the PG Economics website, their client base includes all the usual suspects, from top biotechnology companies, to sweetener manufacturers, to the UK government and the European Commission.
Does that little addendum the authors added about how the paper represents their ‘independent views’ (views they were paid to even contemplate in the first place and have been paid to have every year for the last decade or so) make anyone anywhere even the slightest bit more confident in the legitimacy of the information being presented?
So now that Monsanto has a bright, shiny new environmental impact study burning a hole in its pocket, what can it do with it?
Well, the first thing is to get it picked up by a large media outlet to attempt to validate it in the eyes of the public.
Croplife is an online media publication describing itself as the “nation’s brand leader in ag retail communication.” Croplife’s May 6th headline for the PG Economics study was “Report: GMO Crops Benefit Farmers, Consumers Worldwide.”
Wow! Worldwide benefits to both farmers and consumers!? Genetically modified organisms are great for everyone, everywhere!!!
Except independent studies not paid for by Monsanto and the biotech industry show that GMOs aren’t great, actually.
GMO crops aren’t so great in studies PG Economics apparently overlooked, studies like this one Reuters reported on last month where Monsanto’s glyphosate pesticide Roundup was linked to cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and a multitude of other negative health issues like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and even autism.[pullquote]Unfortunately, people read mainstream headlines and believe what they are told without looking much past them at whose interests are really at stake.[/pullquote]
Another study PG Economics failed to mention was one published last year that concluded (complete with disturbing picture proof) that rats fed exclusive diets of Monsanto’s GM corn grew huge cancerous tumors and it damaged their livers and kidneys. The study was helmed by a molecular biology professor with over 20 years of experience and over a hundred publications under his belt. He’s also been appointed to two governmental commissions regarding GMO risk assessment in addition to the European Commission specifically commissioning him to prepare a defense of the EU’s commercial GMO moratorium. (Monsanto still tried to discredit him anyway.)
By the way, if GMO can do that to a rat, it can do that to a human. At least, that’s the whole centuries-long basis for using rats in scientific studies in the first place.
PG Economics also apparently forgot to include a study independent doctors at the University of Sherbrooke Hospital Centre in Quebec, Canada conducted that found 93 percent of unborn babies had Bt toxin pesticide residues in their blood (even though biotech companies tell people these toxins are magically broken down in the gut…somehow…).
Although, from a common sense standpoint, spraying pesticide all over something and eating it sounds like a really dumb idea in the first place. I doubt that if we just looked inside ourselves — instead of looking to so-called ‘studies’ or governmental regulatory agencies or billion-dollar companies with billions of dollars at stake — we would even really need to be told that.
Even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s own scientists warned more long-term studies were needed to account for the unpredictable negative side effects of GMO, the FDA (whose Food Safety Czar is Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto lobbyist) didn’t listen. Big surprise. I wonder why?
Oh yeah, that’s right.
Check out this summation from The Institute for Responsible Technology of just a sliver of independent studies that have been conducted in the years since GMOs have been approved:
- Thousands of sheep, buffalo, and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton plants
- Mice eating GM corn for the long term had fewer, and smaller, babies
- More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, and were smaller
- Testicle cells of mice and rats on a GM soy change significantly
- By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies
- Rodents fed GM corn and soy showed immune system responses and signs of toxicity
- Cooked GM soy contains as much as 7-times the amount of a known soy allergen
- Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced
- The stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth, a condition that may lead to cancer
- Studies showed organ lesions, altered liver and pancreas cells, changed enzyme levels, etc.
Unfortunately, people skim headlines and believe what they are told without looking much past them at whose interests are really at stake.
Beyond that, how many people do you know would prepare dinner for their families but, before bringing the food to the table, they make sure to dump a bunch of dangerous chemicals all over it first?
Most of us wouldn’t dream of doing that, but in essence that’s what’s happening every time a family serves up a bunch of genetically modified food that has been scientifically altered to produce its own pesticide and withstand chemicals being continuously sprayed all over it.
No amount of propaganda can really change that fact.
Propaganda case in point: every year Croplife Media, biotech giant DuPont and Farm Chemicals International host something called the “Environmental Respect Awards.”
To enter, companies fill out a self-audit. This supposed environmental ‘respect’ includes items like “Is your property fenced?” (which just means a company physically put up a fence but not that the fence in question does anything to stop GMO cross-pollination, for example) and “Do you have a detailed written emergency response plan?” (meaning these companies have an official too-little, too-late policy if their GMOs and pesticides wreak havoc on their immediate environment).
Because when I think of playing mad scientist all over nature’s creation in a way that has been shown in studies again and again and again to make money off hurting the environment and everything living in it in horrible, grotesque ways…I always think respect.