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GMO labeling initiatives rise from fear

Recently, Monsanto shareholders curiously presented a resolution during the company’s annual general meeting in St. Louis, to force the company to take the lead on labeling of GMO food and food products. According to news reports, over 150,000 “concerned” people have signed a petition supporting the shareholders’ resolution. Coinciding with this, an ad appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch urging Monsanto to disclose risks posed by its GMO business.

My first thought would be for the biotechnology company to respond with its own ad in the newspaper consisting of two words to those shareholders – You Ninnies!”

There. Feel better.


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My second thought would be to ask the shareholders what the heck they think would happen to the share price should biotechnology continue to be attacked by nincompoops and nitwits, to wit: themselves.

And as for the signers of the petition? Thank goodness, there are only 150,000 of them. That’s one out of every 2,111 Americans. The other 2,110 go on with their lives every day, happy that America has grocery stores galore, each lined with aisle after aisle of fresh, safe, inexpensive food. Thankfully most are still wrapped in labels which are not used to wage philosophical battles against modern agricultural production methods.

On the other hand, day after day, we have to listen to obnoxiously clueless people like Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, a senior scientist at Pesticide Action Network.

“Agricultural scientists warn that introduction of Monsanto’s new crops are a very bad idea, and would lead to a surge in antiquated and hazardous pesticide use across the country. The end result is severe damage to vulnerable crops, loss of farm businesses, and harm to rural communities’ health.”

Exactly where Marcia has been the last 18 years is anybody’s guess, but she certainly has not been in the presence of a real agricultural scientist. Ask around, the use of harsher pesticides has decreased significantly since genetically-engineered crops entered the market in 1996.

We would hope that most Americans understand that emotion is driving GMO initiatives. Like Justin Danhof, director National Center Free Enterprise, who was to have addressed shareholders in St. Louis.

“Some people fear GMO foods because they can’t tell the difference between them and the more traditionally-grown foods, but fear isn’t always rational. When it isn’t, we shouldn’t let it make our decisions for us.”

“The demonization of genetically-modified foods could have a tragic result if it stops or slows the use of seeds that improve agricultural yields and nutrition in the Third World,” adds Amy Ridenour, chairman of National Center for Public Policy Research and Monsanto shareholder. “GMOs are even more environment-friendly than traditional farming. As GMOs are safe, why surrender the benefits?”

By the way, the GMO labeling resolution was soundly rejected by shareholders.

TAGS: Outlook
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