One of the most difficult challenges in breaking Monsanto and the GMO industry’s icy grip on the U.S. agricultural sector is untangling the roots of how this vast agrochemical behemoth actually operates.
If Monsanto merges with Bayer as anticipated, the newly formed company is expected to control more than a quarter of the world’s seeds and pesticides market, but nobody is bothering to ask whether the two agrochemical giants are the ones we really want calling the shots.
A souped-up, big money PR department combines with millions of dollars in university donations and the company’s infamous revolving door between its front office and government agencies, all joining forces to help maintain a toxic agricultural system littered with “Broken Promises,” as noted in this recent blockbuster report in The New York Times.
Monsanto insists its GMO crops and chemicals are not only safe but needed to “feed the world,” two assertions that have each been denied by the United Nations, which recommends small scale natural and biodynamic farming instead.
Despite this, the Biotech industry and its vast network of well connected supporters continue to paint the narrative that the organic movement is a “fad,” on the “fringes” modern society, and an outdated model that is far inferior to the “new” way of doing things (which the Times report showed to be patently false, by the way, based on data from other countries where GMOs are not used).
Now, with the organic movement gaining more momentum than ever before, one major Monsanto-funded university has released research linking the non-GMO movement to Russia as part of an “asymmetrical war” — an assertion that once again glorifies GMO “science” while marginilizing supporters of traditional non-GMO food systems.
Russia is Funding Anti-GMO Articles, Monsanto-Linked University Claims
According to a report from the Des Moines Register, Iowa State University researchers have called out two Russian media stations, publishing research that the country is funding pieces that “question the safety of GMOs in an effort (to) hurt U.S. agriculture interests and bolster its position as the ‘ecologically clean alternative’ to genetically engineered food,” according to ISU assistant professor of sociology and researcher Shawn Dorius.
The paper said that the Russian government funded websites RT and Sputnik published more “anti-GMO” articles than five major U.S. websites (MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, Breitbart News, and the Huffington Post) combined, with RT producing 34 percent of the articles and Sputnik 19 percent.
The articles were also said to have by far the highest number of alleged “clickbait” style headlines containing the word GMO, with RT coming in first in that category.
This alleged campaign to turn people against GMOs “would have a clear negative effect on an industry in the U.S. and could advantage Russia,” Dorius said according this article from GMWatch.org.
Dorius also said that Russia may be “stirring the anti-GMO pot” to help serve its political, economic and military objectives.
But what if the country simply doesn’t want to be a part of the GMO experiment, and prefers not to subject its citizens to a food supply that’s been created and modified in a laboratory setting by for-profit scientists “playing God” with our food?
Dorius and his colleague Carolyn Lawrence-Dill have instead chosen to craft the narrative that GMO food is the clear choice of so-called scientifically minded societies, painting Russia’s preference for organic food as a purely political decision.
But what he fails to mention is that his university has its own political reasons for supporting Monsanto’s side of the story, the company notorious for its role producing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, PCBs, and other deadly chemicals — as well as a huge portion of our food supply.
Is Iowa State University is Beholden to Monsanto Cash?
Unfortunately, as the GMWatch article points out, Iowa State isn’t mentioning their long history of involvement with the Monsanto Company itself.
The company has donated countless millions of dollars over the years to the point where it could be argued that it is an integral part of the university’s agricultural program itself.
“Monsanto has been a longtime partner with Iowa State in the improvement of agriculture and the preparation of students for successful careers in agriculture,” a press release from ISU states.
“The firm has supported Iowa State with grants totaling more than $2 million to support research in all areas of agriculture and economics; with gifts totaling more than $5 million to various academic departments, athletics and Extension; and with state-of-the-art equipment, such as three mass spectrometers valued at more than $1 million.
“In addition, Monsanto supports graduate fellowships for minority students in genetics, hires many Iowa State graduates and is an active partner in some of the university’s most important initiatives…”
While it’s convenient to simply blame the fast-growing non-GMO movement on Russian intervention in order to craft a political narrative of “us vs. them” the fact of the matter is that the movement is as authentic, and grassroots, as they come here both here and overseas, something that Iowa State University, long on the payroll for Monsanto itself, clearly is not.
University’s Research Ignores U.S. Media Bias, Growing Tide of Pro-Organic Websites
While the new Iowa State University research paper does shed light on the tendencies of Russian media and may be useful for Washington, D.C. lobbyists and politicians seeking to push GMOs on the rest of the world for financial gain (Wikileaks), their choice of topic highlights a lack of research on the other side of the issue — what is the ratio of pro-GMO articles in mainstream U.S. news compared to anti-GMO or pro-organic articles, and should that be a cause for concern considering the world’s growing distaste for lab-engineered Biotech “food crops?”
After all, GMOs have been foisted upon us without our consent and without labels, and probably wouldn’t be nearly as prevalent without the unabashed support they’ve enjoyed from the U.S. media.
Already over 30 countries worldwide ban the cultivation of GMO crops in some form, including most of Europe where cultivation is rare.
And as anyone who reads the news on a daily basis knows, the lack of GMO acceptance across the world is a subject that is rarely if ever broached in the mainstream media.
At the end of the day, people deserve to know who’s promoting GMOs and who stands to gain from them, too, instead of simply being fed a media narrative designed to protect an industry that clearly began making its own rules a long time ago.
Unfortunately for those who want the truth about which agricultural system is actually superior, we may never get the full story — until we get the Biotech industry money out of our universities, media and political institutions, anyway.
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