The takeover of the American food supply by genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, was done without the consent of the public, and now most of the country is still coming to grips with the fact that 70-80% of its food products contain GMO ingredients that are banned in dozens of countries.
This radical change to our food supply could only have happened with the support of our major politicians and the silence of the media, and that’s exactly how it came about.
Since the introduction of genetically modified organisms, several high profile politicians have gone to bat for Monsanto and other agrochemical giants.
But even as they push GMOs on the unsuspecting public, what are they really eating in the privacy of their own homes?
Several news sources have reported on the private diets of many of the top politicians from across the political spectrum, and — surprise, surprise! — it really does seem as if there’s nothing new in the way these politicians go about their business (saying one thing in public and doing the opposite behind our backs).
Organic Food and the Politicians that Love It
Hillary Clinton made headlines for all the wrong reasons in June of this year when she served as a cheerleader for the Biotech industry, saying that GMOs should be “re-branded” so people won’t be afraid of them anymore.
But despite her ongoing public support for GMOs and her work that began as a legal counsel for Rose Law Firm, which has connections to Monsanto, Hillary Clinton seems adamant about having organic food on her dinner plate.
As this Organic Consumers Association article notes, the Clinton family, including Bill Clinton who appointed the infamous former Monsanto attorney Michael Taylor to head of the FDA where approved the highly controversial rBGH chemical for use in milk-producing cows, “dined regularly on organic foods including wagyu and grass-fed beef.” They also ate quite a bit from their own White House garden according to Walter Scheib, the White House’s executive chef from 1994-2005, who said that all produce was grown without the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The article also notes that it was much the same for George W. Bush’s family, according to Scheib.
Bush’s tenure as president was yet another win for Monsanto and GMOs; he often went to bat for genetically modified foods in Europe where opposition has been fierce, and worked to de-regulate them in the United States.
Obama, Romney Both Supported GMOs, Eat Organic
In yet another illustration of how politicians from both major political parties support GMOs publicly while buying organic on their own time, 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney and winner Barack Obama both have been said to have similar practices as the Bush and Clinton families according to this article from Health Impact News.
In regards to Romney’s eating habits, “everything’s organic, I’m told, including the ingredients to Romney’s favorite, peanut butter and honey sandwiches,” wrote Peter Alexander of MSN.com. Mitt has been tied to Monsanto going way back to the 1970s according to the Health Impact News article, when the crops were still in the research and development phase.
As for the Obama family, we all know about first lady Michelle Obama’s commitment to organic food through the official White House organic garden, a story that made major media waves. Obama is also said to eat organic foods in the White House kitchen through executive chef Cris Comerford, even as he appointed Taylor to be his “food czar” and former Biotech Governor of the Year Tom Vilsack to be the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
While Michelle and Barack spend their time eating and growing organic, the Obama Administration has been nothing but supportive for Monsanto and other agrochemical organizations, much to the disappointment of supporters who remember his campaign promise to label GMOs vividly (see the video at the bottom of the page for Obama’s broken promise).
Of course, the articles don’t say whether they eat GMOs and other packaged foods, but it seems there’s a clear trend toward insisting on organic among the biggest politicians in America.
Will Anything Change After the 2016 Elections?
With Clinton the favorite in the upcoming election, it seems as though another Monsanto and GMO-friendly administration is another strong likelihood. Unfortunately, the long line of pro-GMO (and quietly pro-organic at the same time) presidents and especially Congresspeople who’ve been bought off has continued over the past few decades unabated and shows no signs of slowing down.
That’s the bad news, but the good news for citizens tired of the hypocrisy of our politicians on the issue of GMOs is that our most important votes are cast every day at the cash register, or at our local organic farms where we can empower and inspire more organic food growers to change our system one plant at a time.