If it isn’t one industry group, it’s another who sneaks the approval or cost of promoting their interest onto a bill. Saving the US government from shutdown over the new budget is always last-minute, and this year’s unwanted surprise is providing $3 million dollars in funding to the FDA to stage a pro-GMO food campaign. So, every time you see advertising concocted to convey the scientifically safe wonders of GMO crops and food products… it’s your tax dollars hard at work protecting you from “misinformation” (according to Big Ag/Big Food).
That’s what they identify the problem as being. Too many Americans just don’t get it. The same pro-GMO groups that waged war on GMO labeling now think that “consumer outreach and education” regarding genetically engineered crops and foods made from them will change the way consumers feel about what they’re eating. It’s an about-face from their 2014 concept that US consumers are too stupid to know what’s in their food. Thirty-six months ago, the big concern was that GMO labeling would ruin the market.
Apparently, we’re smarter than they give us credit for because, despite their aggressive battle against food transparency, the market for genetically modified foods is shrinking. Stagnating non-organic food sales and loss of market share have had Big Food companies gobbling up organic labels for the past few years. They’re chasing the changing food dollars of all those consumers who prefer to a) know what they’re eating, and/or b) don’t want to eat what they’re selling.
Still, industry representation for all those mainstream food makers, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, is just one of 65 food, biotech, and agriculture groups who signed a letter to Congressional leaders last April laid out this new FDA pro-GMO education campaign in 2017 spending bill. The $3 million dollar budget is exactly the amount they requested for a combined USDA-FDA effort “to promote understanding and acceptance of biotechnology,” and how it benefits food and agricultural production.
Apparently, the belief is that consumers will pay more attention to industry science if the delivery vehicle for the social-engineering is the FDA. An agency whose actual job is to make sure that food and medicine are safe, but has yet to do any independent testing of the safety of GMOs in food.
I’m inclined to agree with New York Rep. Nita Lowey whose overruled (29 to 20) amendment to this part of the bill was that the FDA is not in the advertising business. Nor should tax dollars be used to convey pro-industry propaganda. But that’s exactly what’s going on here…
“The FDA’s new budget for GMO promotion will allow the organization to conduct consumer research and advertise the advantages and lack of health risks of GMO crops. This puts the FDA, a governmental agency, in the position of promoting private industry.” — Modern Farmer
They call this innovation in agriculture, but it’s really more like patenting the right to eat, and forcing an unwilling market through force-feeding. We don’t need what they’re selling, they just want it to be that way. The real answer to solving hunger is more money for the 99%, because 50% of food already produced in the US is thrown away. And why does it matter if it’s scientifically safe? It’s not natural or normal! If I don’t want to eat it, I ain’t gonna, no matter what THEY say.
More Details & Sources:
- Funding Request Letter
- News Origin: WAPO subscription or Free Access
- Modern Farmer
- Too Stupid for Labeling
- Food Beautiful = Food Waste Phenomenon
- Source: FDA Is Going to Launch Propaganda Campaign to Counter Misinfo About GMO Foods
Featured image of the newest approved GMO – pink pineapple – courtesy of Extra Crispy.