(NaturalNews) In recent days, The New York Times published a story about how the biotech industry has thus far failed to deliver on its many promises regarding GMO crops. The article was published less than one month after the industry petitioned congressional leaders for $3 million in taxpayer money to “educate” the general public about how biotechnology of the sort practiced by Monsanto, Syngenta and others is supposed to benefit humankind immensely.
First off, Common Dreams pointed out, the biotech and bio-agricultural industries don’t need to tap the federal Treasury for “education” funds just to market their products and attempt to make their case to the people. Secondly, Congress should not be using taxpayer funds to promote what international organizations and scientists have, for years, said is a technology that is not living up to the hype and promises and, indeed, “is counterproductive to resolving the critical issues of global food sovereignty and global warming,” the site reported.
Benefits of GMOs? What benefits?
While the so-called “global warming” issue isn’t real, the lack of food sovereignty certainly is, as is the fact that GMO foods are not delivering as Bio-Ag has promised.
Farm Futures reports that 56 groups, including biotech and food industry lobbying organizations, have penned a letter asking four members of the House Appropriations Committee to add $3 million to the 2017 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, to “ensure key federal agencies responsible for the safety of our nation’s food supply – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – are able to more easily convey to the public science- and fact-based information about food.”
The dozens of groups are attempting to justify their outlandish request to have taxpayers foot the bill for an industry marketing campaign, by claiming that the “benefits” of GMO foods and the knowledge thereof will be passed along to consumers, who will experience lower food prices, greater nutritional access, strengthened rural economies and greater “food security” at home and abroad.
The groups also claim that the funding and resultant campaign are necessary due to a large amount of “misinformation about agricultural biotechnology” in the public sector.
But opponents of the appropriations request would argue what The Times investigation confirmed: Most of the “misinformation” about GMOs and other crop biotech is due to the fact that the technology has not been built on honesty.
No ‘education’ campaign should be permitted by Bio-Ag because the science doesn’t support the claims
In particular, as The Times noted, GMO crops have not produced higher yields, and have led to greater, not reduced, use of pesticides.
In its investigation, The Times noted that two decades ago Europe was largely rejecting GMO crops just as the United States and Canada were embracing them. Using independent academic and industry research data supplied by the United Nations, The Times compared results on both continents. The data analysis is clear: The technology has not delivered as promised.
There was no discernible advantage in crop yields when measured against Western Europe, a part of the continent with comparably modernized agricultural operations like France and Germany. Other data showed that there was little evidence to suggest that introducing GM crops in the U.S. has produced gains beyond those in conventional crops.
What’s more, herbicide use has also increased in the U.S., The Times reported, even as major crops including corn, soybeans and cotton are all now pretty much genetically modified. The U.S. has fallen behind Europe’s largest grower, France, in cutting back on the overall use of pesticides, which includes both insecticides and herbicides.
As such, there is no reason why taxpayers ought to be funding a campaign that would be built entirely on falsehoods. For that matter, the Bio-Ag industry shouldn’t be allowed to launch a campaign at all, even with its own funds, since the science doesn’t support its claims.