New report sheds light on the GMO seed giant that is major force behind keeping genetically modified food unlabeled

Apr 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Featured Story

On the heels of the Public Health Committee’s vote to pass out of committee HB 6519, the Connecticut bill for the mandatory labeling for genetically modified food, the consumer advocacy nonprofit Food & Water Watch released Monsanto: A Corporate Profile. As a leading corporation funding anti-labeling efforts, Monsanto represents a serious threat to the freedom of information desired by consumers who want the right to know whether or not their food has been genetically modified.

monsanto-food-water-watch-profile“There is a growing and vibrant local and organic food system in Connecticut—small farms, organic farms, urban farms, community farms and gardens, agriculture commissions, farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture farms and more,” said Bill Duesing, executive director of the Connecticut branch of the Northeast Organic Farming Association and founding chairman of the New Haven Ecology Project and its Common Ground High School. “The great work of all these people is undermined by an industrial food system that hides the truth about the GMOs in our food system.”

The new report on Monsanto provides a thorough overview of the biotechnology giant’s role in the food system. “Even though you won’t find the Monsanto brand on a food or beverage container at your local grocery store, the company holds vast power over our food supply,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and author of the book Foodopoly. “This power is largely responsible for something else we cannot find on our grocery store shelves—labels on genetically modified food. Not only has Monsanto’s and other agribusinesses’ efforts prevented the labeling of genetically modified foods, but they spend millions to block grassroots efforts like California’s Prop 37 in order to keep consumers in the dark.”

The grassroots movement to pass a labeling bill in Connecticut, Right to Know GMO CT, gained momentum yesterday when the Public Health Committee voted in favor of passing the bill out of committee.

“The strong vote in favor of HB 6519 in the Public Health Committee is very encouraging and proof that the legislature of Connecticut supports our right to know what is in our food,” said Tara Cook-Littman of GMO Free CT, part of the Right to Know GMO Coalition. “We are looking forward to the day that we all have transparency in labeling so that we can choose for ourselves whether to buy GMOs or not.”

Many Connecticut residents have been active in the fight increase transparency in Connecticut’s food system. “Consumers should have the right to know what we’re eating, and this bill is about Connecticut residents standing up for that right,” said Geri Mauhs, a local activist with the Right to Know GMO CT movement in Hamden. “My family has a history of health problems and cancer, and I deserve the right to make informed choices to avoid untested, potentially harmful foods.”

Monsanto: A Corporate Profile provides a deep-dive into Monsanto’s history as a heavy industrial chemical manufacturer; a reality at odds with the environmentally friendly, feed-the-world image that the company spends millions trying to convey. The report outlines Monsanto’s history and its undue influence over lawmakers, regulators, academic research and consumers, and offers a timeline of milestones in the company’s history including chemical disasters, mergers and acquisitions, and the first genetically modified plant cell.

 

The report concludes with recommended actions for the federal government to take to rein in Monsanto’s anticompetitive practices and control over agricultural research and government policies. It also suggests steps that regulators should take to better protect consumers and the environment from the potentially harmful effects of genetically modified crops.

Monsanto: A Corporate Profile can be downloaded here: http://fwwat.ch/MonsantoProfile

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

Contact: Katherine Sawyer, Food & Water Watch Western Connecticut organizer (ksawyer@fwwlocal.org, 805-433-5232)

 

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