What do Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, Nestle, General Mills, Kellogg, Smithfield, Del Monte, H.J. Heinz, Campbell Soup, Hershey and JM Smucker have in common? Collectively they contributed $11.7 million dollars to defeat Proposition 37, a voter initiative in California that would have required food producers to identify if the food products they were selling contained genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
GMO foods have been dubbed “Frankenfoods,” as no one really knows what the long-term effects of consumption will be. Big Agriculture claims these foods are safe and points out that throughout history we have been modifying foods, for example hybrids of tomatoes, apples and fruit. Point well taken, but these hybrids were not created in the lab by splicing genes. They developed over time.
Monsanto, who contributed $4.9 million to defeat the measure, is the creator of Roundup, a herbicide used to kill weeds. Monsanto genetically engineered crops so that while the surrounding weeds would die, the crops would not. Although so-called “Roundup Ready” crops were resistant to the poison, there is no telling how much of it the crops absorb, poison that can find its way onto consumer plates.
And while Roundup worked well – for a time, evolution won out. New strains of super-resistant weeds have emerged, which means it is back to the lab to develop even more toxic chemicals to combat them.
What’s the bottom line. Don’t buy any of the products manufactured by the above companies if you want to make sure what you are eating or drinking is really safe. The term “natural” doesn’t mean anything, so natural ingredients can include ingredients that were genetically modified and, absent laws requiring disclosure, the public is in the dark; exactly where Big Ag wants them to be.