For a couple of years, the Institute for Responsible Technology has predicted that the US would soon experience a tipping point of consumer rejection against genetically modified foods; a change we’re all helping to bring about. Now a December article in Supermarket News supports both our prediction and the role the Institute is playing.More than half of Americans? And that’s before most Americans learn that GM corn causes liver and kidney damage in rats and RoundUp causes human birth defects. Perhaps Monsanto is the new RJ Reynolds….“The coming year promises to bring about a greater, more pervasive awarenes” of the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply, wrote Group Editor Robert Vosburgh, in a trade publication that conventional food executives and retailers use as a primary source of news and trends in the industry. Vosburgh describes how previous food “culprits” like fat and carbs “can even define the decade in which they were topical,” and suggests that GMOs may finally burst through into the public awareness and join their ranks.
Vosburgh credits two recent launches with “the potential to spark a new round of concern among shoppers who are today much more attuned to the ways their food is produced.” One is our Institute’s new non-GMO website, which, he says, “provides consumers with a directory of non-GMO brands . . . developed ‘for the 53% of Americans who say they would avoid GMOs if labeled.’”
But that doesn’t mean big food won’t fight back. The Supermarket News article ends by taking the Forbes line that all Monsanto needs is better PR:
The study raises an interesting question: Is genetic modification a problem of science, or of marketing? Ultimately, that’s the question to answer: Not whether GMO foods are bad, in and of themselves; rather, does the technology allow us to reduce or eliminate older, more obvious evils?Indeed, it’s not genetic modification itself that’s the problem. It’s unsafe genetically modified crops that either require pesticides or themselves produce pesticides, either way causing organ damage and birth defects, plus strong-arm legal tactics having already produced monopoly and monoculture, both of which are problems in themselves. Given that GM seeds are produced by these same monopolies, there’s not much chance of seperating genetic modification from monopoly any time soon, short of anti-trust actions that haven’t even started yet. Try to imagine genetic modification for diversity, not monoculture. Historically, Peruvian farmers did that all the time with potatoes to fit them to appropriate niches of altitude, moisture, and soil, and of course farmers have been breeding livestock for various traits as long as there have been domestic animals. But that’s not what modern genetically modified plants and animals are modified for. Those are modified for massive monoculture for maximum profits by monopolies. And that’s the root of the problem.