When you talk to Maui schoolteachers there is no doubt that Monsanto has worked their way into the classrooms. From K-12th there is a genetic engineering curriculum for all, available free from Monsanto. There are free coloring and activity books, a “Discovering Farmlands” lesson plans and materials for 9th-12th, as well an honors course in “Biotechnology” for 12th grade. In a day when the schools have precious few resources all this “free” material is a boon to the teachers but at what cost to the truth. It seems like a silk purse except for the fact they seem to be following the tobacco industries credo ‘YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE RIGHT YOU JUST HAVE TO CREATE DOUBT” and what they want us to doubt is all the research that tells us to take caution when it comes to the growing of, consumption of and development of G.E. crops. To that end what they are teaching our children are half-truths at best and out and out lies at the worst.
Let’s look at a few of their arguments they use to explain to elementary students why they (yes 6 year olds) should like genetically engineered foods:
- Don’t you like variety and choice? It would be boring to just have one rose color or type of dog. Don’t you want variety? It’s no different then natural breeding.
- GM foods are strictly regulated and tested for safety.
- It increases the world food supply.
- The crops use fewer insecticides because the plant itself kills insects as they eat it.
- Helps small farmers make more money.
- It complements organic and conventional farming.
These are the teachings your child will likely be exposed to.
Parents it’s up to you to remediate this with your child. You can let them know:
- Creating a new rose variety or new breed of dog is done by a natural method called “hybridization”. Nothing artificial or from a lab needs to be used. You simply keep breeding for the traits you wish to enhance. G.E. uses the laboratory to split genes of plants and insert genes from animals (fish) or bacterium (e.coli) to make the changes that they desire.
- E. foods are not regulated or tested for safety by Federal regulators. Actually the tests are done by Monsanto themself. They have produced the “Studies” they site as fact. The few studies done on humans have shown problems. On Maui the EPA stated that they do not regulate Monsanto’s crops or test fields.
- The food supply has actually decreased.
- These crops have increased our use of pesticides by…These crops require pesticides to grow…
- Farmers around the world have gone bankrupt from switching to G.E. crops. The seeds are “terminal”, the plants will not produce seeds, and so the farmer has to buy from Monsanto. They also have to buy herbicides. Many farmer’s went bankrupt.
- It cannot complement organic or even conventional; farming practices. Their crops actually require excessive use of herbicides. This creates “Superweeds”.
These retorts at least provide a conversation and at most they stop blind indoctrination. The most disturbing lesson plan, “Trait Stewardship Lesson Plan Resources/Protecting Today’s investments for tomorrow’s innovation” calls the students to learn about “Careful and responsible management of biotechnology in crops/Protecting the science in crop genes using biotechnology.” In the lesson plan they are told that one of the foundations of biotech, or “pillars” as they call them, is termed “Intellectual Property”. It is explained that “plant traits are protected under patent” and that “keeping seeds or using them to breed plants is piracy-stealing.” Wow! So that’s why they sued farmers whose crops became contaminated with G.E. pollen, so they turned G.E. Monsanto took their land and said that they were “stealing’. No further comment here…
So is it a good thing or a bad thing that Monsanto wants to be in our schools? The executive director of the non-profit “Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood”, Josh Golin states “Anytime you have an interest that has a financial stake in impressing students we should not allow them in schools. That is not education that’s propaganda!”. Quite frankly I could only imagine the blow back if we produced a “Sustainability” coloring book for schools…or maybe we should. Let’s us know.
The 10 GMO myths Monsanto Wants You to Believe
Questions about EPA-Monsanto collusion
Raised in cancer lawsuits
Secret Documents showed Monsanto knew about glyphosate link to cancer over 35 years ago
We have to import over $200 million worth of organic corn and soy to meet demand.
7 G.M.O. Myths Debunked by Vandana Shiva
RationalWiki on Monsanto
Genetic Seed Sterilization is Holy Grail for Ag.
Monsanto Sues Farmers to protect seed patents
Golden Rice No Silver Bullet
Monsanto GMO farmer suicides
Pesticide Use Proliferating With GMO Crops
Pesticide Use Ramping Up as GMO Crop Technology Backfires
Hybrid Seeds vs. GMO seeds
10 Reasons That Monsanto Will Not Feed the World