Dismantling The Big Lie About GMOs
The agribusiness has perpetuated a great lie through their creative PR. Monsanto’s PR, and also that of just about every major commercial participant in the industrialised food system, is to focus on the promotion of one single idea–that industrial producers in the food system want you to believe is that only they can produce enough for the future population. Monsanto is joined by other corporations like Cargill, Syngenta, Bayer, The U.S. Farm Bureau and organizations like the Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and now even NASA who raise the “urgent problem” of how are we going to feed the growing population that is expected to grow to 9 to 10 Billion by 2050.
Food Integrity Now spoke with Jonathan Latham, PhD. Dr. Latham is co-founder and executive director of the Bioscience Resource Project, which is the publisher of Independent Science News. We were intrigued by an article he recently wrote entitled “How the Great Food Wars Will be Won“. Dr. Latham’s spoke with me today about what he thinks is the answer to winning the food war–dismantling this lie that we need GMOs to feed the world.
Dr. Latham shared information about the over food production in this world. In his article, he states:
“There is no global or regional shortage of food. There never has been and nor is there ever likely to be. Granaries are bulging, crops are being burned as biofuels or dumped, prices are low, farmers are abandoning farming for slums and cities, all because of massive oversupply.”
This begs the question that if there is no food shortage, why do we need GMOs?
In the interview, Dr. Latham proposes that the food movement through its labeling campaigns need to switch their focus from “we have the right to know” to discrediting the agribusinesses claims of food scarcity and needing GMOs to feed the world. In the article he explains how the food movement can divide and conquer:
“Food campaigners might also consider that a strategy to combat the food scarcity myth can unite a potent mix of causes. Just as an understanding of food abundance destroys the argument for pesticide use and GMOs simultaneously, it also creates the potential for common ground within and between constituencies that do not currently associate much: health advocates, food system workers, climate campaigners, wildlife conservationists and international development campaigners. None of these constituencies inherently like chemical poisons, and they are hardly natural allies of agribusiness, but the pressure of the food crisis lie has driven many of them to ignore what could be the best solution to their mutual problems: small-scale farming and pesticide-free agriculture. This is exactly what the companies intended.”
Dr. Latham expanded on how PR works and how agribusiness has been able to convince so many people that this lie is true. He believes that people in general want what is fair and what will help their neighbor. If he is correct, it is easy to see how this plays into the notion that we need GMOs to help our neighbors and what about the starving people in Africa? Has this massive PR campaign been so powerful that it preys on people’s beliefs to the point that they might believe that if they buy organic food and not GMOs, they are taking food away from people who are starving? This certainly is a question to ponder.
Dr. Latham further explained how if the PR experts are correct that food shortage is of utmost importance to their industry then if makes sense for those who oppose this industrialization of food and agriculture to make the dismantling of this lie their top priority.
He feels that the crucial struggle in the food war is the one inside people’s heads and that the great food war will be won by the side that understands that and uses it best.
If we can disprove the food crisis, can we destroy the industrial model of agriculture forever?
To listen to this very interesting interview, click on the link at the bottom of the page:
If you would like to donate to Food Integrity Now to help us cover costs of creating these podcasts, click here for a $10 donation or go to our homepage for a different amount. We are funded by your donations. Thank you! [ssd]
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 35:18 — 16.2MB) | Embed
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS
I also heard that we throw so much food away..Monsanto only need GMOs for control and not to feed people..
Lots of efforts have already gone into the deconstructing of the GMO lie, and much more is stillneeded. But I think that it would be fair to say that the fact that we do produce more than double the needed food for 2050 already today, has been on the radar of many activists for some time now. What is usually lacking is to be a bit more specific, and make the point that in the industrialised countries we overproduce with the help of subsidies, while in the emerging countries, production remains low because of lack of Government interest to help the farmers, who because of that system, remain poor and unable to increase farm productivity. In addition, many major development agencies and development banks are supporting the type of agriculture, still believing that the solution is green revolution technology. It also need to be noted that farmers in the emerging countries could easily, with organic and agroecological production methods double and treble their production, and so have food security at the local and regional level. I know this is possible because I have spent 27 years in research, capacity development and sustainable agriculture and food system development in Africa. The report I co-chaired with Prof Judi Wakhungu, now Minister of the environment and water resources in Kenya, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), titled “Agriculture at a crossroads”, did already in 2009 make the clear statement that GMOs are not a solution to the problems and challenges ahead (Climate Change, need for diversification, job creation, health of the people, the environment and the economy), that the merely treat symptoms as do pesticides, and that much more research (public) would be needed, and that in the meantime, there are many proven agroecological and organic agriculture practices that can be implemented. Instead Bill Gates and consort, i,e., AGRA, the G8, WEF with the support of the governments that did not endorse the IAASTD keep promoting the green revolution 2.0 with the backing of agribusiness who would have so much to loose if the world would go where the IAASTD has pointed to. A recent article makes that point very well http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/02/06/re-colonization-africa.
The point made by Dr Latham regarding the need to be better organised and start major public campaigns and actions is right on the spot. From production to consumption, there are too many splinter groups with narrow interest, although all well meaning and successful in their little world, but the time to act has come, and also the time to coalesce and gather around the issue we all agree on, leaving behind the few other areas, we can deal with later. The need now is to defeat agri -food business as it is, perhaps also from the inside, as demonstrated well a few days ago by Zen from wwww.momsacrossamerica.org at the Monsanto AGM.
Production patterns will not change unless the consumers change the demand. This is a feedback loop that has to be considered, as farmers, small and large from the North and South will only produce what consumers will buy and ultimately eat. Again, we do know how to grow food that is wholesome, nourishes people rather feeding them, that nurtures the earth rather than exploiting her. The road blocks that stand in the way are clear to anyone that care to know. The input and output producers and merchants are the ones that control both ends of the chain, from production to consumption. They control more and more of the land, the seeds and the data, they control the major brands of processed food and also have stakes in the retail…and now also the pharma industry, for which they produce sick people, and more to come. How long will we, as responsible citizens, sit on the edge and watch the wanton destruction of our lives and the life supporting systems of our and future generations?
We must require any GMO in any food to on the label of ALL products even if they are a small portion of a product!! More than 60 countries do and WE don’t!!! Get rid of the F lobbyists!