It’s starting to become common knowledge that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is fully invested in Monsanto and other GMO companies, but what about her Republican counterparts?
By and large, big money politicians have sided with Monsanto and against the will of the people on at least labeling GMOs, and Bush, the former Florida governor and possible GOP front-runner, is no different.
And unlike President Barack Obama, he doesn’t even attempt to hide his unabashed love for Monsanto’s GMOs, as evidenced by a recent appearance with some of the industry’s heavy hitters.
Jeb Bush Against Your Right to Know
In May 2015 Bush made an appearance at the Iowa Ag Summit, taking the stage along with top candidates including Scott Walker and Ted Cruz for one-on-one interviews.
Video of Bush’s appearance can be seen below.
A the conference Bush said he supported country-of-origin labeling for produce like the avocados and cilantro that go into his homemade guacamole, but said he said that he did not support the right to know if our food is GMO.
“I think that’s a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist,” Bush said, while calling GMOs one of the “greatest high technology innovative sectors of our economy.”
“We should not be trying to make it harder for that kind of innovation to exist, we should celebrate it…” he continued.
GMOs and High Yields?
In the video Bush conflates GMOs with large food production increases since the 1950s. This is merely another political technique to confuse the masses.
According to USDA data farming productivity has increased an average of 1.9 percent a year since the late 40s. The USDA says the yield increases have been due to increasing use of technology as well as chemical inputs in agriculture.
But to equate GMOs with these increases as Bush did is highly disingenuous: they’ve only been in our food with any sort of regularity since the mid-90s.
And the farming technology of the 50s and subsequent years as mentioned by Bush could be considered archaic at best.
Between 1945 and 1960 for example, the number of tractors doubled from 2.4 million to 4.7 million. Mechanical harvesting of crops didn’t even become the norm until the late 1960s.
It’s clear from the video that Bush remains pro-GMO from an economic and production standpoint.
But U.S. farmers have consistently lost billions due to other countries’ rejection of GMOs, including most of Europe, Russia and even China, and sales of non-GMO products are skyrocketing meaning that consumers are rejecting foods with GMOs worldwide.
As far as “feeding the world,” even the United Nations admits that small-scale organic is the way to do that, and in Iowa itself where the conference was held over 400,000 Iowans face hunger issues according to National Geographic, even in a state surrounded by vast fields of GM corn.
Genetically modified organisms been good for at least one thing, however: increasing the use of carcinogenic pesticides like Roundup (the EPA classifies herbicides as pesticides and their use has increased by 527 million pounds since GMOs were introduced).
And in that time frame, we’ve been losing staggering amounts of topsoil thanks in large part to GMO monoculture farming.
Bush in WSJ: We Could Be the Saudi Arabia of Food Production
Writing in this editorial in the Wall Street Journal, Bush officially let the American public know where he stands on GMOs in March 2015, repeating the same old lines of tired, Monsanto-funded propaganda.
“Given advances in agriculture and bioengineering, America could be the Saudi Arabia of grain in a century when the world is clamoring for more food,” Bush said.
But considering that we can’t even feed the children of Iowa, is Bush’s vision for America and GMOs even rooted in reality?
Or is he simply another in a long line of Bush family politicians in the “deregulation business” (as George Bush Sr. told Monsanto during his visit as vice president) for GMOs?
That’s the question millions of voters who care about real food should be asking themselves as they prepare to head to the polls in 2016.
Would a vote for Jeb Bush be a vote for any sort of positive change? That depends on your point-of-view.
But keep in mind that it almost certainly would be something of a dream vote for Monsanto and the GMO industry.