Portland, Oregon has proposed legislation for labeling GMO foods, and the party opposing the labels has raised nearly twice as much money as those in favor of it. I bet you can’t guess who the biggest donor against labeling is… I couldn’t be Monsatan—er, I mean Monsanto—could it?
Of course it is. Monsanto has given nearly three million dollars to make sure Portland doesn’t start requiring food producers to label their products if they have GMO ingredients. And why would Monsanto be against the label? Well, they have made it very clear on their website:
We oppose current initiatives to mandate labeling of ingredients developed from GM seeds in the absence of any demonstrated risks. Such mandatory labeling could imply that food products containing these ingredients are somehow inferior to their conventional or organic counterparts.
They don’t want customers thinking their food is inferior to conventional or organic foods. After all, there is no real proof that GMO ingredients are inferior, right? No, of course not. Monsanto has provided millions if not billions of dollars to research institutes and legislators in order to make sure that GMO ingredients are rigorously tested. And no one would ever falsify research or brew up corrupt legislation just for money, right? That never happens.
But honestly, Monsanto is right about GMO labeling. It isn’t necessary. If a product doesn’t say “contains no GMO ingredients,” guess what? It probably contains GMO ingredients. Monsanto has its fingers in nearly everything, and it has become harder and harder to find foods of the “conventional and organic” varieties.
My distrust for Monsanto is not really due to its size or its corporateness. I distrust Monsanto because its first priority is money, no matter what has to be sacrificed in the long-term. Its legal war against conventional soybean farmers, its patent on living organisms, and its dubious emphasis on GMO foods, are all very troubling to me. And they should be to you as well.