Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
Tenacity can be a virtue. But the persistent push by giant food conglomerates to deceive us consumers has turned their tenacity into raw mendacity.
Brand-name food peddlers are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbyists, lawyers, campaign donations, PR hypesters, and political manipulators so they can genetically (and dangerously) alter the dinner we put on our family tables, without bothering to tell us which items they've messed with. With practically no public notice, their first deception was to get Washington to okay the production and introduction of genetically modified organisms into corn, canola, soy, and other crops. Then they quietly pushed to prevent federal regulators from requiring that these tampered Frankenfoods be labeled as containing GMOs. Next, they tried a grand deception insisting that foods tainted with GMOs qualify for the national "organic" label.
Even our usually-submissive regulators balked at that one -- but, look out, for here they come again! Big Food's industry front group, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, is now demanding that foods with genetically-engineered ingredients be allowed to use the word "natural" on their packages.
Natural? Let's see -- one, these biotech mutations are not products of nature, but of corporate technicians; and two, the plants are manufactured in corporate labs by extracting genes from a foreign plant or even an animal, then splicing those genes into the manufactured creature. The very DNA of this man-made "food" is altered, with no understanding of the long-term environmental or health consequences.
A Twinkie is more natural than that! They're perverting both our language and nature's reality. To oppose these profiteers' tenacious mendaciousness, contact the Environmental Working Group: www.ewg.org.
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