I was pleased to see the Town Crier covering Idyllwild’s participation in the May 25 global March Against Monsanto.
However, I was dismayed at the editorial comment the Town Crier tacked on to the end of the photo caption: “Locals take part in a national rally against the Monsanto corporation, which is drawing heavy protest across the nation for its genetically modified food designed to feed a growing population.”
In its ads, Monsanto claims it “strives to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population,” but it is not good journalism to assume that any company’s ad slogans are anything more than empty rhetoric.
Coca-Cola’s advertising slogan “Things go better with Coke” has not been scientifically proven, and neither have Monsanto’s claims. And in fact, a side-by-side comparison of crop size (Agronomy Journal #93) showed a decrease in crop size for GMOs as compared to organic food (or as our grandparents used to call it, “food”).
If Monsanto’s goal is not to make money but to solve the world hunger problem, why would it demand growers to sign an agreement stating they “will not save or sell the seeds from their harvest for further planting, breeding or cultivation?” (quoted from Monsanto’s Web page, Seed Saving and Legal Activities).
Perhaps the producers of DDT, Agent Orange and bovine growth hormone believe their own propaganda, but one would expect independent journalists to dig a little deeper.
Monsanto did not genetically modify corn and soybeans in order to increase crops, they were modified to be compatible with their otherwise poisonous Roundup weed-killer, and in fact they named their inventions “Roundup Ready Corn” and “Roundup Ready Soybeans.”
The problem, of course, is that living beings — such as humans, livestock and bees) — have not had such genetic modifications, and thus are not Roundup Ready.
That is one reason why global protests were held, to promote the idea that when Monsanto (or any other company) invents a new food source, it should be tested for safety before it is sold to the public.