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Environment & Energy

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(49,601 posts)
Tue Oct 25, 2016, 01:14 PM Oct 2016

Don't Like Monsanto? Then You Should Be Pro-GMO, Not Anti. Here's Why. [View all]


Injecting big bad Monsanto fears into public perception of GMO has been a brilliant tactic–the phenomenon is hardly a fluke. With non-GMO and organic industry bigwigs pushing the myth that GMO equals big corporations and bad food trends, it’s no accident that these memes are pervasive, from the blogosphere to mommy groups, and mainstream media to street protests. Take the Organic Consumers Association, an anti-GMO lobby group largely funded by the “natural food” and organic industries. With objectives that include increasing organic market share and achieving a “global moratorium on genetically engineered foods and crops,” it founded the “Millions Against Monsanto” campaign “to fight back against Monsanto and the other Biotech Bullies.”

In the public psyche, the term GMO has become synonymous with Monsanto and the evils the agricultural company symbolizes. While business practices of massive corporations can and should be questioned, much of why Monsanto is hated is based in myth (for example, the company doesn’t sue farmers for unintentional contamination). I will not defend Monsanto here, but it’s interesting to note that Whole Foods, leading seller of “non-GMO” fare, outdid Monsanto’s revenue in 2015 at just over $15 billion.


Conflating “GMOs” with Monsanto creates a crude narrative and regulatory quagmire that stifles innovation, discouraging smaller entities from developing and commercializing GE products. As a May 2016 Nature Biotechnology article states:

“Multinational corporate crop developers can bear these high regulatory costs for high value, huge-volume commodity crops, but only as long as global sales are large enough to justify the regulatory expenditures. With development costs so high, researchers in the public sector as well as those at nonprofit organizations and small startup companies rarely have sufficient resources to navigate the complex, expensive and uncertain regulatory approval process.

Under these circumstances, it is difficult to justify the expense of developing GE varieties of lower-market-value products, such as so-called specialty crops—fruits, nuts and vegetables—or (especially) the staple crops grown primarily by subsistence farmers in less developed countries.”

Non-browning Arctic Apples and Innate Potatoes, neither of which are Monsanto products, are poised to hit the market, and will reduce food waste due to brown spots and bruises. But these are the exception and not the rule, due to the burdensome regulatory atmosphere that misinformation and ideology have sown. Gluten-free wheat with the potential to help celiac disease patients, tear-free onions, and bananas resistant to xanthomonas wilt (which is threatening food security in Uganda and eastern Africa) are all among GE plants stuck in purgatory. Remember these the next time you have the urge to utter, “but Monsanto.”

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yawn niyad Oct 2016 #1
Yeah, food security is rather a tedious subject. progressoid Oct 2016 #3
and that was clearly such industry propaganda. so, yes, yawn. we have heard niyad Oct 2016 #21
Which industry propaganda? progressoid Oct 2016 #26
WTF? ReRe Oct 2016 #2
Kavin Senapathy is the source. progressoid Oct 2016 #4
Without GMO how can massive corporations patent living plants? mackdaddy Oct 2016 #5
Corporations (massive and small) patented plants long before GMOs. progressoid Oct 2016 #6
"...Monsanto’s promise to never sue a farmer whose fields have been (unknowingly) contaminated..." OnlinePoker Oct 2016 #7
Did you read the court's conclusion? It wasn't unknowingly. progressoid Oct 2016 #9
Why should I be pro-GMO??? Wilms Oct 2016 #8
That's the thing. progressoid Oct 2016 #12
Screw GMOs and Monsanto both! How's that? upaloopa Oct 2016 #10
Sure. progressoid Oct 2016 #15
Science can be good and bad upaloopa Oct 2016 #25
"I Used to Work as a Scientist with GMOs... nationalize the fed Oct 2016 #11
More Dunning Kruger effect from the people that think they can fly if they meditate hard enough. progressoid Oct 2016 #13
Many GMO Pushers say that all scientists agree that GMO's are the new sliced bread nationalize the fed Oct 2016 #14
I'll take the word or scientists over an attorney from the Maharishi University of Gibberish. progressoid Oct 2016 #16
And how will you slime those that endorsed his book? Or the first PhD in that post? nationalize the fed Oct 2016 #17
So you're saying the vast majority of scientists who find the nonsense in that book to be nonsense.. HuckleB Oct 2016 #31
I don't think you actually understand what "science" is. kristopher Oct 2016 #33
More AAAS scientists believe GMO food is safe to eat than believe humans cause most climate change OnlinePoker Oct 2016 #18
You'll no doubt want to ignore the PhD's listed in post #17 nationalize the fed Oct 2016 #19
Do you never eat at a restaurant. OnlinePoker Oct 2016 #20
Let's unpack that statement kristopher Oct 2016 #35
in other words, the experts in europe, who have forbidden gmo's, have no idea what niyad Oct 2016 #22
Europe has forbidden GMO's? FBaggins Oct 2016 #23
Europe hasn't forbidden GMOs. progressoid Oct 2016 #27
That's unfortunate. GliderGuider Oct 2016 #29
Looks like your spinning seed didn't fall on fertile soil here. GliderGuider Oct 2016 #24
So you think the actual reality of the science is spin? HuckleB Oct 2016 #32
No, I think this message is spin. nt GliderGuider Oct 2016 #34
food security LWolf Oct 2016 #28
With a stable global population under a billion all such problems would go away. GliderGuider Oct 2016 #30
Yep. LWolf Oct 2016 #36
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