It hasn’t been a good week for Monsanto and the rest of the biotech industry.
Just three days ago, Mexico banned genetically engineered corn. Citing the risk of imminent harm to the environment, a Mexican judge ruled that,
effective immediately, no genetically engineered corn can be planted in the country. This means that companies like Monsanto will no longer be allowed
to plant or sell their corn within the country’s borders.
At the same time, the County Council for the island of Kauai passed a law that mandates farms to disclose pesticide use and the presence of
genetically modified crops. The bill also requires a 500-foot buffer zone near medical facilities, schools and homes — among other locations.
And the big island of Hawaii County Council gave preliminary approval to a bill that prohibits open air cultivation, propagation, development or
testing of genetically engineered crops or plants. The bill, which still needs further confirmation to become law, would also prohibit biotech
companies from operating on the Big Island.
But perhaps the biggest bombshell of all is now unfolding in Washington state. The mail-in ballot state’s voters are already weighing in on
Initiative 522, which would mandate the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Knowing full well that 93 percent of the American public
supports GMO labeling, and that if one state passes it, many others are likely to follow, entrenched agribusiness interests are pulling out all the
stops to try to squelch yet another state labeling effort.
This time, however, things aren’t going quite as planned. On Wednesday, Washington state Attorney General Bob Feguson filed a lawsuit against the
Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). The GMA, a lobby for the junk food industry, has been by far the largest donor to efforts to defeat the
labeling initiative. The lawsuit alleged that the GMA illegally collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its
The source of the money has now been exposed, and it turns out to be Pepsico, Coca-Cola, NestleUSA, General Mills and a few other junk food companies.
The lawsuit revealed that GMA leadership held a series of secret meetings to plot how to perpetrate a money laundering scheme and illegally hide
member donations from Washington state voters, in direct violation of campaign disclosure laws.
Unlike the junk food companies that feared consumer backlash, Monsanto hasn’t even bothered to hide the more than $4 million the company has given
to the “no” campaign. In fact, GMA, Monsanto and a handful of other corporate donors have now broken a state record by pouring more than $17
million into their effort to stop Washington’s GMO labeling ballot initiative.
Mexico banning GMO crops is just the beginning. Hopefully now more countries will follow suit. I mean if they have to spend that much money and
fighting labelling, what the hell is in it?!
A friend once gave me some advice.. Never eat anything that has an advert on TV, never eat anything they have to spend millions of pounds in
advertising to get people to eat it.