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Monsanto ‘Biotechnology Book for Kids’ Caught Brainwashing Children

Anthony Gucciardi
Natural Society / News Analysis
Published: Thursday 22 March 2012
“The public is not buying the lies regarding Monsanto’s GMO crops, and as a result biotech giants are scrambling to preserve their dwindling role in our society.”
Article image

Facing direct opposition from the public, biotechnology giants like Monsanto and Dow are now making a disturbing attempt to brainwash developing minds into accepting their genetically modified foods using blatant lies and propaganda. In a last ditch effort to potentially sway public opinion, the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) has launched the “Biotechnology Basics Activity Book” for kids. With the intent to be used by ‘agriculture and science teachers’, the activity book spreads absurd lies about GMO crops — even going as far as to say that they ‘improve our health’ and ‘help the environment’.

The book can be seen on the organization’s website, and makes it extremely apparent that it is full of misinformation and propaganda that completely ignores scientific research surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In fact, let’s examine some claims made by this book that serves as an ‘educational’ tool to be used by teachers. The first claim by the activity book is that genetically modified seeds actually grow more food than traditional seeds, and is followed by even more ridiculous statements. The activity book reads:

“Hi Kids! Welcome to the Biotechnology Basics Activity Book. This is an activity book for young people like you about biotechnology — a really neat topic…. You will see that biotechnology is being used to figure out how to: 1) grow more food; 2) help the environment; and 3) grow more nutritious food that improves our health. As you work through the puzzles in this book, you will learn more about biotechnology and all of the wonderful ways it can help people live better lives in a healthier world. Have fun!”

Disproving Monsanto’s Propaganda

According to 900 scientists, GMO crops actually do not grow more food than traditional farming practices. In fact, they are simply not an effective tool to fight starvation in any capacity, thanks to their excessive costs and immense failure to yield crops. Funded by the World Bank and United Nations, an organization was created known as the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Made up of 900 scientists and researchers, the group — whose mission was to examine the issue of world hunger — found that genetically modified crops were not a meaningful solution to the problem.

Instead, the group found that the genetically modified seeds were outperformed by traditional “agro-ecological” farming practices. Therefore, to say that biotech seeds and crops produce more food than traditional agriculture is not only scientifically incorrect according to these 900 scientists, but it is an outright lie.

Do GMOs ‘Improve Our Health’?

But what about the claim that GMOs improve our health? It turns out nothing could be farther from the truth. A prominent review of 19 studies examining the safety of GMO crops found that consumption of GMO corn or soybeans can lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice – particularly in the liver and kidneys. Of course the negative effects do not end there. Monsanto’s modified biopesticide, known as Bt, has been found to be killing human kidney cells in conjunction with Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup. That’s right, it exhibits direct toxicity to human cells.

Further adding to the long list of negative health consequences that go against the claim that the biotech inventions ‘improve our health’ , Monsanto’s Roundup ready crops have also been linked to mental illness, obesity, infertility, and DNA damage. Peer-reviewed research shows that Monsanto’s products are far from healthy, and to say that they actually improve our health is truly concerning when you consider the fact that children are reading this information as fact. The biotechnology organization also failed to mention how Monsanto has been caught running slave labor rings, forcing ‘employees’ into illegal working conditions in which they were forced to work 14 hours or more per day on the field. What’s more, the laborers were unable to leave the premises if they expected to ever receive their pay.

‘Helping the Environment’

The next claim that needs addressing is perhaps the most ludicrous of them all. Do Monsanto’s products really help the environment as the book claims? Remember, this is given to teachers as scientific information, not just presented as an opinion. Research has shown that Monsanto’s modified Bt pesticide is actually mutating the very genetic coding of insect life on the planet, creating super resistant ‘mutant’ bugs that are wreaking havoc on farms using Monsanto’s harmful concoctions across the globe. At least 8 populations of insects have developed some form of resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole.

Perhaps most concerning is the mounting rootworm resistance as a result of Monsanto’s GMO corn usage. A group of 22 academic corn experts recently petitioned the EPA over the extreme danger presented by the crops, urging the EPA to take long awaited action. The experts sent a letter on March 5th to the agency explaining their worries regarding long-term corn production prospects in light of GMO crops failures. If nothing is done, experts worry that the future of agricultural stability is threatened. Experts are also concerned about the mass amount of ‘superweeds’ currently springing up around the globe as a result of Monsanto’s Roundup. These resistant weeds currently cover over 4.5 million hectares in the United States alone, though experts estimate the world-wide land coverage to have reached at least 120 million hectares by 2010. The onset of superweeds is being increasingly documented in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Europe and South Africa.

The public is not buying the lies regarding Monsanto’s GMO crops, and as a result biotech giants are scrambling to preserve their dwindling role in our society. There is a serious war on for the minds of developing children right now, and it is being waged by government-approved mega corporations who care not for the health of these children but for profits. The claims made within this book are not only scientifically unfounded, but they are seriously dangerous to the health of children and adults alike. This phony book is far from an ‘educational’ resource.



Author pic
ABOUT Anthony Gucciardi

Anthony is an accomplished investigative journalist whose articles have appeared on top news sites and have been read by millions worldwide. A health activist and researcher, Anthony’s goal is informing the public as to how they can use natural methods to revolutionize their health, as well as exploring the behind the scenes activity of the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA.

The biotech book is actually

The biotech book is actually pretty good. There is nothing in there that is not factual (except that Mendel didn't do his work "almost 200 years ago". More like 150).

As usual the article above finds every thread they can grab. It is the same tired argument. For instance, "22 species of roundup resistant weeds". True. But that is true with any herbicide it is not a problem specific to GMO.

The "19 studies" are all small studies, in low-impact journals, usually from the same set of labs. While anti-science, anti-GMO types demand "independent" testing of transgenics (which happens) they do not have the same standard for the reports they choose to hold as supreme evidence. I've examined these reports, some good data, but not conclusive at all. I discuss this on my blog, "Illumination".

It is the same old fear tactics (look at the picture up top), not science, that are being used to frighten the gullible into a science-less position.

Gina, there is not one thing

Gina, there is not one thing you eat that is in the form humans found it. Everything has been significantly altered by human intervention- crossing and selection. God gave us trashy plants with minimal yield or nutritional value. Learn about crop domestication. Biotech is just a much more precise way to add a trait to a plant. I'd rather eat one added gene than 40,000 that are added by introgression during conventional breeding.

Your first logical fallacy,

Your first logical fallacy, KEVINFALTA, is to pretend that random natural mutation such as breeding different grasses together and developing wheat is the exact same thing as, or could ever accidentally produce something similar to, (as another poster just asserted, above,) the deliberate induction of taking, say, a gene from a jellyfish and puting it into a tomato, or removing a gene sequence from a bacterium and putting it randomly into a plant cell nucleus and choosing the plant that seems to grow the best and with insect resistence. The list is long and this is *not* the same as plant breeding through pollination and selection (!)

Similarly, one of Monstanko's favorite tactics is to make plants without seeds - so that the farmers will have to depend on buying the cloned stock again and again, every year, from the company. This is a corporate form of slavery, which also proscribes all future natural beneficial mutations entirely.

Your further fallacy is that of numbers: as if swapping hundreds of naturally-occurring genes (as occurs in every single sexual reproduction exchange, even for plants) could matter "more" than adding the one or two completely foreign (jellyfish or bacterium, or man-made hybrids of same) genes in the first place!

Nice try, though!

;-)

Your an idiot

Your an idiot

Not even a good teaching tool

Not even a good teaching tool for the intended teaching point. However, this would be a great tool for teaching older students critical thinking...

Here we go again with Mr.

Here we go again with Mr. Gucciardi writing a polemic masquerading as reportage. Not only is this kind of distortion unbecoming to the progressive media, Gucciardi proves repeatedly that he is unqualified to evaluate the issues and the science concerning food production. In this article he has added mental instability and DNA damage to his growing list of GMO crop dangers that include crop failures, liver disease, kidney disease, infertility, obesity and cancer.
Gucciardi naively thinks that ingestion of GMO corn as 30% of the diet in rats and mice is representative of the effect of normal amounts of GMO corn in the human
diet. Sorry, wrong species, wrong dosage, no cigar.

I followed the link to the scientists letter to the EPA and read it carefully. Nowhere did it express 'extreme danger of the crops and urged the EPA to take long awaited action', concerns about 'GMO crop failures', or that 'the future of GMO crop stability is threatened'. These are lies. Follow the link provided and read for yourself. Gucciardi is a rabblerouser and a fraud. He has no business reporting for Nation of Change.

I will continue to point out that over a 10 year period monitored several years ago,three trillion doses of GMO foods were consumed without a single adverse event. If these crops were so dangerous, shouldn't someone have gotten sick by now, including you and me?

Trevor Smythe: ...obviously,

Trevor Smythe: ...obviously, you're just another corporate shill. Sad.

I wish it were possible to

I wish it were possible to return the earth to a pristine condition. We (humankind) have done so much damage that nothing will restore what has been lost completely. All we can do is stop the current ecologically damaging things done by industry and poorly designed programs that don't do anything but destroy our country's landscape.
Keystone LX needs to be completely forbidden. Fracking needs to stop. Canadian fishermen need to stop killing baby seals. Nuclear plants need to be closed. Wind and Solar power needs to be put into the fast lane. Alternative buildings need to be built w/ things that are recycled. Many reusable items are just dumped into the ocean or buried in landfills. These pollute the oceans and the ground waters and aquifers.

Ellenie, Were wind and solar

Ellenie, Were wind and solar power here in the "pristine condition"? Buildings? I agree with you on so many levels, but let's remember that we need to be thoughtful stewards of technology. Technology can be safe, can be helpful. We'll look back in 100 years and wonder WTF were we doing. At that time I think we'll have solar, wind and nuclear power and GMO will allow more food to be produced from all crops with fewer agricultural inputs that harm the environment.

...and definitely fewer seeds

...and definitely fewer seeds from Monstroso's clone-banks for the farmers to re-use, too!

Your first logical fallacy, KEVINFALTA, is to pretend that random natural mutation such as breeding different grasses together and developing wheat is the exact same thing as, or could ever accidentally produce something similar to, (as another poster just asserted, above,) the deliberate induction of taking, say, a gene from a jellyfish and puting it into a tomato, or removing a gene sequence from a bacterium and putting it randomly into a plant cell nucleus and choosing the plant that seems to grow the best and with insect resistence. The list is long and this is *not* the same as plant breeding through pollination and selection (!)

Similarly, one of Mutanto's favorite tactics is to make plants without seeds - so that the farmers will have to depend on buying the cloned stock again and again, every year, from the company. This is a corporate form of slavery, which also proscribes all future natural beneficial mutations entirely.

As for the corporate food industry: food is a NEED - so it isn't affected by the usual supply-and-demand rules; if the cost rises, the demand can not decrease!

That makes the food industry into an addictions industry!

If and when Monsanto can literally destroy it's competition by destroying and replacing their crops, they will own the world because they can then set the prices and so determine who lives and who dies!

Your further fallacy is that of numbers: as if swapping hundreds of naturally-occurring genes (as occurs in every single sexual reproduction exchange, even for plants) could matter "more" than adding the one or two completely foreign (jellyfish or bacterium, or man-made hybrids of same) genes in the first place!

Nice try, though!

;-)

Were wind and solar power

Were wind and solar power here in the "pristine condition"? Buildings? I agree with you on so many levels, but let's remember that we need to be thoughtful stewards of technology. Technology can be safe, can be helpful. We'll look back in 100 years and wonder WTF were we doing. At that time I think we'll have solar, wind and nuclear power and GMO will allow more food to be produced from all crops with fewer agricultural inputs that harm the environment.

It's all very well that those

It's all very well that those with eyes to see can realize just how awful this GMO business is. HOW do we stop it?
Realize we are up against serious greedheads who want nothing but money and power: get their kicks from steering huge operations (Monsanto : $10+ bn a year, 27,000 employees.) All the directors are well-connected across the 1% - see http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/guess-whos-on-monsantos-boar....

To stoke up your rage even more, see the appalling exposés at http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Monsanto

You can fret about Big Oil, Big Pharma, whatever - Monsanto is the #1 evil company on the planet.

What we need is a really shattering piece of media. Where is Michael Moore these days? Monsanto has already demonstrated heavy pressure on media - see http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Monsanto_and_Fox:_Partners_in...
- we need the counterblast.

"Monsanto is the #1 evil

"Monsanto is the #1 evil company on the planet."

Every source that I am coming across is indicating that you are right. Monsanto is the very embodiment of corporate malice to mankind. Little pissants like TREVOR SMYTHE are probably employed by them to scout any and all newsgroups to try and refute the growing antagonism to everything Monsanto stands for. His single topic comments should raise suspicions about him being a corporate shill. All he does is argue FOR Monsanto. Have any of you readers ever seen him comment on ANY other topic?

When I read this again I have

When I read this again I have to laugh. For Gucciardi to say that MON/DOW is "brainwashing" is an ironic accusation from an article designed to wash brains.

1. 900 scientists- This is the Union of Concerned Scientists. This is an activist group. They may see no merit in GMOs, but ask 9 million farmers and other neutral scientists (like me). It is reasonable technology.

2. Human health- the reports cited all come from from Seralini's lab. No independent verification, no further tests. These are mostly in vitro. They put cells in a petri dish and dump a chemical (usually herbicide used in GMO like glyphosate (I mean Roundup-glyphosate has no effect) on them. At high concentrations the chemical causes changes in the cells.

If you actually READ the papers you'll see that there is little to be concerned with. Of course, nobody actually reads them, including Gucciardi, or else he would not have cited them with such authority here.

3. Environment. What he fails to point out is that GMO technology has kept millions of TONS of insecticide out of the environment. Bt cotton is a huge success in this regard. Roundup Ready corn/soy limits tilling and loss of topsoil, let alone saving labor, time, fuel etc. Big environmental wins.

Look at SCIENTIFIC sources of information, not anti-GMO websites. PubMed and the National Academies of Science websites are a good start.

For brainwashing, look here. Tell me that photo of the children eating corn is responsible journalism based on evidence. That folks is an emotional appeal to frighten you into a decision without evidence.

That is the definition of brainwashing.

I'm a public academic

I'm a public academic scientist and I agree with Trevor. This technology is really good, it has no evidence of harm (real evidence), and it has saved farmers money with less environmental impact than conventional farming.

To John's original point, how do we stop it? Deregulate it. Admit that it is safe technology and lower the bar for producing transgenic food crops. Right now MON, Dow Agro, Bayer, Pioneer are the only companies that can play the game because they have the money, time, R&D and lawyers to make it happen. You keep out the small competitors. If you want to end their domination, open up production of useful GMO crops to academic and government science.

What on earth, makes some

What on earth, makes some arrogant scientists' in lab coats, think they now more about how to create our food than our "Creator"?Do they somehow think they know more than the creator of heaven and earth and the creator of mankind about how our food is supposed to be produced? Get real. They are a bunch of Dr. Frankensteins experimenting with our food supplies and using humans, animals and the earth as their guinea pigs. The only problem with our food, has been by the so-called betterment by men who think they somehow are smarter than God in designing the perfect food source for humans and animals. Stop interferring with our crops and thinking you own the earth that God has shared with all of us to enjoy. This problem started when they somehow thought they were gods on earth who believe they have the right to own seeds, crops, and alter the very food that was already designed as intended for our consumption and health. Let's face it, to them, it is just about the almighty dollar, and they don't care what they have to expose us to in order to maintain it. Everything was fine and as it should be until these so-called scientists tried to interfere with the natural order of things. If you really want to help people, stop interferring in our food supplies and help to return our earth to a pristine condition (as close as can be done) considering all of the damage humans have created on our planet.

It's not the men in lab

It's not the men in lab coats--it's the men in the board rooms, although some men in lab coats sell themselves out to the men in the board rooms. But I agree with you: the majority of decisions made when not positively connected to our nurturing surround are likely destined to cause problems in the longer term.

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