by Amber

Fresh Look: Chipotle’s GMO War

It’s not news that Chipotle has a GMO-free menu. That happened weeks ago, as did the rash of damage control propaganda that hit mainstream news sources across the US within days of Chipotle’s press release singing across the wire. Naturally, like all other skirmishes in the GMO war, Monsanto’s spin team leapt into action allaying this new development to tilt people’s perspectives back in their favor. Classic astroturfing was published on venerable news websites: Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and Time Magazine.

The Post negates Chipotle from start to finish, but closes with this Monsanto-penned dig:

“Chipotle is by no means an outlier; other American corporations have also joined the no-GMO bandwagon. Our point is that no one should confuse any of these companies’ behavior with real corporate responsibility. That would require companies to push back against the orchestrated fear of GMOs instead of validating it.”

Time’s Money section twisted the use of canola oil as a sticker for natural plant pest control into disinformation that Chipotle fries their tortillas in a pesticide, and to drive their unbalanced point home they link to an EPA page that lists it as a pesticide. For all those out there that remain staunchly disconnected from the soil, this spin will carry the desired weight. YOU CAN USE ANY NATURAL OIL AS A STICKER AGENT – THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT A CHEMICAL PESTICIDE. IT’S JUST AN INGREDIENT. Any material that can be used in a pesticide – natural or chemical – is listed with the EPA. Unfortunately, the unaware will fall for this ruse.

The op ed piece in the LA Times throws this punch into the melee:

“in misrepresenting the science surrounding a poorly understood innovation, Chipotle joins the too-populous ranks of companies that endeavor to deceive the public. Chipotle stokes the anti-GMO hysteria that threatens to marginalize a field of science”

Poorly understood innovation indeed. And now the innovators have addressed the mounting kinds of weeds that have developed an immunity to glyphosate-based weed killers in a desperate attempt to survive against the onslaught by switching to crop seed modified to tolerate 2,4,D and Dicambra. Not that this innovation will do away with glyphosate applications. No, it adds two new herbicides to the farmers’ artillery that aren’t non-selective. The newcomers are only going to kill the currently Roundup-resistant weeds. Do you realize what that means? Those die-hard undesirables will develop a resistance to the new herbicides too. It’s only a matter of time.

And what will heavy, repeated applications of these new pesticides due to the environment, wildlife, meat animals, and ultimately people who eat the end product? The effects aren’t even proven. This is a desperate measure to maintain market hold. It seems that the agribusiness giants sorely misunderstood the fact that weeds are inevitable. You can count on them in life, just like you can taxes and death. This will go the same way as battling disease with antibiotics. Like bacteria, the weeds will continue to alter themselves in a campaign to survive against the odds. The scientific term for this behavior is: evolution. It’s acceptable for some plants and animals (which includes humans), but not for varmints, insect pests, and unwanted plants.

Have you noticed that through all of this anti-GMO war that the corporate responsible have totally lost sight of people having a choice? Being a vegetarian in the US was once totally weird. No one catered to this eating style of choice, but they do now. It became a mainstream thing without all this propaganda, but the spin did erupt over going organic. Why do you suppose that is? No clue? You can be vegetarian, and still consume products with ingredients that are treated with chemical pesticides, but all those beloved scientific innovations profit makers are excluded. They still belittle organic, but the GMO is their baby – the last key to exclusivity, global dominance, and profit. They will fight tooth and nail to keep it rolling, even though:

“The introduction of Roundup-resistant traits in corn and soybeans led to increasing Roundup use by farmers (Benbrook 2012). Increasing Roundup use led to weed resistance, which led to further Roundup use, as farmers increased applications and dosages. This translated into escalated ecological damage and increasing residue levels in food. Roundup is now found in GMO soybeans intended for food use at levels that even Monsanto used to call “extreme” (Bøhn et al. 2014).” — Independent Science News

If you find the possibilities with the new 2,4,D and Dicambra warfare on crop weeds worrisome, you should read up on what they are working on in GMO land now. RNA interference using double stranded RNAs – a technology that is very dangerous, and known to kill vertebrate animals. We humans are vertebrate animals, by the way. The new Arctic Apple, and Innate Potato are both concoctions that contain this dsRNA… which is also unproven, and some super troublesome stuff.

It’s got some scientists who were pro-GMO withdrawing from that group and swapping sides, because the medical science community has been trying to perfect using dsRNA technology to cure disease for years. It does not work. The foods containing it is a death sentence to all lab animals. No problem says agriscience – it’s their next big thing, according to Jonathon Latham PhD, an independent scientist, and the author of the article linked above. An article everyone concerned about GMOs in the food system should read. Follow the link below:

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Monsanto’s Worst Fear May Be Coming True


One last thought: Chipotle is just the first fast food restaurant to see the rapidly growing market for a GMO-free menu. Others will follow when it proves to be a positive move.

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The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.