Eat it up Monsanto!

Blogpost by Caroline Jacobsson – February 10, 2012 at 14:069 comments

GMOs - No Thanks

There’s a story doing the rounds again,  about how Monsanto, one of the world’s largest profiteers of genetically engineered (GE) food, banned GE food from its own corporate canteens!

Monsanto had its pants pulled down by Friends of the Earth in 1999, who revealed that the company was refusing to serve to its own staff the very same GE food that it incessantly foists upon impoverished nations on the premise that it will save populations from starvation. Although it has never been proved, Monsanto constantly claims that GE food is harmless – so why wasn’t it serving it in its own office?

In one canteen, run by external provider, Sutcliffe Catering, a notice read that a decision has been taken to remove, as far as practicable, GE soya and maize from all food products served in the canteen. “We have taken the above steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve”, the provider said.

“We believe in choice”, said Monsanto, while the company actually made sure that by not serving GE food in its canteens they did not give staff the opportunity to ‘choose’ whether or not to eat GE food as they de facto ensure that the staff did not get to eat GE food. Yet the same choice isn’t available to farmers around the world, who most of the time have no choice but to plant GE crops, thanks to a seed market that is often dominated by Monsanto.

Once the GE seeds are in the ground, a vicious circle is started; farmers no longer have the opportunity to choose, as once GE seeds have been released into the environment it is not possible to contain or control them, as an individual seed travels with wind or is swept away by rainwater and may set root in soil owned by a farmer who does not at all want to plant GE seeds. In a recent protest in a Manhattan courtroom US farmers said it is no longer possible for them to keep GE seeds off their fields due to contamination.

If Monsanto decided for its staff that it cannot eat GE food, and actually removes the staff’s own right to choose, how come the rest of us cannot have the same opportunity? Over 90% of all processed food in the US – such as breakfast cereal and the chicken nuggets often served to kids -are now contaminated by GE, even if the farmers who produced the food actually did not intentionally grow any GE crops.

In one Monsanto office location, staff was reportedly happy to eat GE food, as they preferred food sprayed with fewer pesticides. However, the widespread and increasingly intensive use of pesticides in association with the use of GE crops poses suspected further risks to the environment and human health, such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and birth defects. Monsanto’s sales pitch to farmers continues to promise  reduced labour and financial savings by simplifying and reducing the costs of weed control. The reality turns out to be somewhat different, with GE crops attracting increasing health, biodiversity and environmental concerns, and the development of weed resistance.

Genetic Engineering, corporate control of people’s food and the over reliance on pesticides and herbicides are not the solutions. So what is? Ecological Farming. It’s safe. It’s do-able. And it’s happening now. Help us support farming for the future.

So Monsanto, if you feel so confident in the food you serve up to the rest of the planet – are you serving GE food in your canteen these days?

GM foods not served in Monsanto cafeteria

August 22, 2011crisisboomLeave a commentGo to comments

cbc

The fight to ban genetically modified foods has won more converts — some employees of Monsanto the company that is doing the most to promote GM products.

The Independent newspaper reports that there is a notice in the cafeteria of the Monsanto pharmaceutical factory is High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, advising customers “as far as practicable, GM soya and maize (has been removed) from all food products served in our restaurant. We have taken the steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve.”

The notice was posted by the Sutcliffe Catering Group.

Monsanto confirms the authenticity of the notice, but company spokesman Tony Coombes says the only reason for the GM-free foods is because the company “believes in choice.” Coombes says in other Monsanto locations employees are happy to eat GM foods because they are “sprayed with fewer chemicals.”

Adrian Bebb with Friends of the Earth says the notice in the Buckinghamshire plant is hard to misinterpret. “The public has made its concerns about GM ingredients very clear – now it appears that even Monsanto’s own catering firm has no confidence in this new technology.”

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