Sunday, March 02, 2008

More on Monsanto

Just in case you're not totally sick of me going on about this, and in case it is not crystal clear why I feel comfortable stating categorically that Monsanto is blatantly opposing freedom of speech in this country, I want complain about it some more. Because I think it is truly outrageous.

I personally would prefer to stay far, far away from genetically modified foods. Not everyone feels this way. I'm fine with that. Monsanto, however, does not want me to be able to exercise my right to choose, because they aggressively pursue legislation designed to prevent truth in labeling.

If Monsanto was arguing that labeling to warn consumers of the presence of genetically modified ingredients was burdensome, I would have to think it over. But when they argue that labeling that tells people a product is FREE of genetically modified materials is inaccurate (For the love of all that is holy! INACCURATE?????? How can being precise about something's content be inaccurate?) then (obviously) my blood starts to boil.

The point Monsant's lawyers continually argue is that if companies are allowed to label their food as free of GMOs, or any of Monsanto's synthetic hormones, then consumers are apt to get the mistaken idea that those substances are harmful. Well, pardon me, Monsanto, but it is impossible to prove that something is not harmful. All you can ever prove is that you haven't found evidence that it is. Some nasty little fluke of circumstances can always be lurking around the corner to wreak havoc and misery, and if that happens, what good is your pathetic "Oops!" or even worse "No, that wasn't our fault. We could not have foreseen that," or "No, really, that was somebody else's fault." I don't want to hear it.

Furthermore, if farmers or food processors are producing crops and products that are GMO-free, for a market of consumers who want their food to be GMO-free, then denying producers the right to inform people of the fact that their produce (or product) is GMO-free is a clear violation of their right to free speech. The same argument applies, of course, for those who produce and prefer hormone-free milk and milk products.


Monsanto not only pursues legislation to weaken standards for organic food, allowing GMO ingredients to be included in food that is certified organic, but they have actually sued dairy farmers who have merely stated that their milk was free of hormones. I know there are people who think Starbucks is obnoxious. I think Monsanto is evil.


Blogger zelda said...

On an initial reading my impulse is to whole heartedly agree. I could read something later that changes my mind but I think this is the sort of thing that allows Trader Joe's to slap the word "organic" or the words "cage free" on something conventional and everyone feels all warm and gooey for getting healthy, sustainable food on the cheap.

I think Trader Joe's is as bad a place as I've ever seen for stuff like this. I stopped shopping there when everytime I went something new was recalled for contamination.

The food industry is a mess. Holy ick, Batman.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I couldn't agree more about Trader Joe's. It pains me, too, because who doesn't like inexpensive groceries?

3:39 PM  

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