Who’s Really in Charge of GE Food Safety?
Who is ensuring the safety of Monsanto’s products? Not Monsanto.
“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 F.D.A.’s job.” — Philip Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications (“Playing God in the Garden,” New York Times Magazine).
But neither is the US FDA…
The FDA has not conducted a single independent test of any genetically engineered product. The agency simply accepts the testing completed and provided by biotechnology corporations like Monsanto. The FDA makes this very clear:
“Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety” — FDA (“Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties” (GMO Policy), Federal Register, Vol. 57, No. 104, p. 229).
Does that make you a bit concerned about the integrity of our food safety system?
There are many variables to consider with these genetically engineered foods. GMOs are living, synthetic organisms that can reproduce and proliferate, and they can mutate and migrate. Can we trust a small group of chemical companies to control and monopolize our foods and restructure the world’s food system?
The USDA has implemented a new fast-track process that is a part of efforts by the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack (5), to “transform USDA into a high-performing organization that focuses on its customers,” namely big biotech bullies like Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, BASF, and Syngenta.
The USDA recently posted 12 new genetically engineered (GE) crop submissions for public comment, and nine are under the new fast-tracked process. It’s no coincidence that Vilsack was named Governor of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Association in 2001…
Former United States Secretary of Agriculture (who served from 1995 until 2001), Dan Glickman, was a big promoter for biotechnology and pushed for these products to be sold in Europe to secure profitable exports. He concluded after his USDA departure:
“What I saw generically on the pro-biotech side was the attitude that the technology was good and that it was almost immoral to say that it wasn’t good because it was going to solve the problems of the human race and feed the hungry and clothe the naked. And there was a lot of money that had been invested in this, and if you’re against it, you’re Luddites, you’re stupid. There was rhetoric like that even here in this department. You felt like you were almost an alien, disloyal, by trying to present an open-minded view on some of the issues being raised. So I pretty much spouted the rhetoric that everybody else around here spouted; it was written into my speeches.”
“FDA Shouldn’t Order Costly GMO Labels Just to Satisfy Scientific Illiterates”
Arrogant biotech scientists make alarmingly dishonest blanket statements suggesting all scientists agree that genetically engineered foods are beneficial to us and our environment. I invite you to read GMO Myths and Truths if you’d like to completely debunk that lie.