Monsanto has a lot of money invested in the genetically modified seed, farm chemical and many other industries, but they also have a lot invested the hearts and minds of the next generation.
After all, as more and more people catch on to the truth about GMOs; that their main function is to sell more agricultural chemicals like Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup, and that they really aren’t the answer to “feeding the world” after all, more and more people are beginning to consciously avoid making decisions that could support pro-GMO companies.
Monsanto in particular is doing everything it can to counteract this awareness movement by spending more money on the public relations side of things, in an attempt to convince the younger generation that GMOs are a “scientific advancement” rather than the environmental and health catastrophe they’ve actually been.
It’s something they’ve been at for a long time, as one of the items on the list below demonstrates.
Here are five glaring examples of how Monsanto and Biotech have attempted to indoctrinate our kids with pro-GMO propaganda:
1. Monsanto at Your Local Zoo- The St. Louis Zoo is home to the infamous Monsanto Insectarium, a display that seems to suggest that the GMO giant is some sort of great protector of insects even as the company continues to widely use bee and butterfly-killing neonicotinoid pesticides that have long been implicated in causing mass insect and other small animal deaths in the ecosystem.
The exhibit even features its own butterfly wing — which kids will no doubt associate with Monsanto, the company that is likely more responsible for the deaths of butterflies than any other.
One recent study even directly linked GMO corn to monarch butterfly deaths, as this ABC News article notes.
You can learn more about the exhibit in this article.
2. Biotech Propaganda in School Textbooks- In September 2013, a grassroots Internet campaign to remove pro-Biotech language from books for 8th graders published by the company Evan-Moor was successful, as even the CEO of the company, William E. Evans, was forced to apologize for the blatantly pro-GMO content in one particular activity book.
Mr. Evans even went on to say that he doesn’t allow GMO foods in his own home, and promised to fix the error and to not let it happen again under his watch. This is just one example of blatantly pro-GMO and pro-Biotech language in school textbooks.
If you see any in your kids’ books, be sure to let school officials know you don’t appreciate it (and to get on social media and voice your opinion).
3. More Pro-GMO Books for Kids- One of the most egregious examples of Monsanto (and Dow, Bayer, and five other companies in this case) targeting kids with their propaganda is the “Biotechnology Basics Activity Book,” titled ‘Look Closer at Biotechnology,’ which was created for elementary school-aged kids. You can see the PDF of the book by clicking on this link.
The book actually “teaches” kids that the biotechnology can “help improve the health of the Earth and the people who call it home.”
Another section is titled, ‘How Can Biotechnology Help the Environment?’ even as Monsanto’s pesticides and GMOs have clearly done the opposite (read more in this article).
This is what happens when corporations begin influencing our educational system; luckily many alternative web sites picked up on the story and called these companies out before further damage was done.
4. Associating Monsanto with Sustainability- The Monsanto Fund has given countless thousands of dollars to local schools to help them build gardens and tackle other projects, which on the surface is a good act.
But in the process, these schools and kids are beginning to associate Monsanto, responsible for soil depleting and bee and butterfly-killing pesticides and GMOs, with sustainability, which is a dangerous notion.
Monsanto has even created a ‘Kids Garden Fresh Program’ which has helped launch gardens at various schools. Kids learn an important skill, but at what cost?
One teacher in a video on Monsanto’s website notes that the kids are now beginning to think, “Where does my food come from…What is it I’m putting into my body and how does it affect me in the long term?”
Unfortunately, many of those participating in the project may well be overlooking the number one source of the unhealthy and unnatural food they’re putting into their bodies on a daily basis because of their association with the project: Monsanto.
5. The Monsanto House of the Future- A Disneyland attraction that was demolished in the late-60s, the Monsanto House of the Future showcased a mostly synthetic future dwelling including a microwave oven, wall-mounted big screen TV, and cutting edge furniture made from synthetic materials.
This is probably the most tame example on the list, but it’s just one example of how chemical corporations used various PR tactics to pave the way for the “better living through chemistry” era we’re just now coming to terms with, an era that has brought tens of thousands of health-damaging, synthetic chemicals into our lives through our food and many other sources.
And it also goes to show just how long Monsanto’s been at this game of shaping public perceptions from behind the scenes — and perhaps why they were so good at it, until the ongoing grassroots movements began beating them to the punch, that is.