J. D. Heyes
Oct 11, 2012
Advocates for genetically modified foods (we are most definitely not on that list) harp continually about how safe and how good for us they are. What we can’t understand is that if that were true – and it’s not – why do industry advocates obfuscate, cover up and otherwise try to taint so-called “scientific evidence” that, to the untrained observer, would seem to support their case?
The latest attempt at muddying the waters surrounding GMOs is one by Big Food to utilize “experts” who not only don’t have your best interests at heart, but who have ties to one of the country’s other leading industries of death: Big Tobacco. Together, these experts and Big Food are teaming up to defeat Prop 37, the California measure that, if passed, would require the labeling of all genetically altered food.
Why, if GM foods are just as safe as non-GM foods, would anyone oppose this? Better yet, why is it taking political action on the part of California residents to require such labeling in the first place – you know, if there’s nothing to hide regarding GM foods.
Third-party ‘experts’ equal corporation shills?
One such expert who is trying to help Big Food squash the growing movement to have GM foods labeled is a man named Henry Miller. Who is he? He’s a physician and molecular biologist who recently wrote an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, in which he falsely claimed that “Americans have consumed more than three trillion servings of food with genetically engineered ingredients – with not a single documented ill effect.”
“This statement is about as relevant as saying that genetically engineered food does not cause herpes. No one has been looking for either effect,” retorted Michele Simon, a public health lawyer who has been researching and writing about the food industry and food politics since 1996, according to her website.
Miller, Simon writes, helped write the founding principles for a group called The Advancement for Sound Science Coalition, which is now defunct but which served as a front group created by tobacco giant Phillip Morris and which attempted to discredit any research that linked cigarette smoking and tobacco use to cancer and heart disease – especially among children living with parents who smoked and office workers who were around smoking colleagues.
Then there is Ronald Kleinman, featured in a video on the “No on 37” website proclaiming the safety of GM foods.
On the surface, Kleinman looks the part of the expert. His credentials include Physician in Chief of the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children; Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Chief of the Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit; and Charles Wilder Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
Impressive sounding, indeed, but a little further digging by Simon revealed that the good doctor has also been hired to give webinars on child nutrition by none other than the Coca Cola company.
Writes Simon: “Among the ‘most common misperceptions among parents’ Dr. Kleinman promises to clear up on behalf of the soda giant are ‘the safety … of sugar, artificial colors and nonnutritive sweeteners in children’s diets.’ Translation: Coke is good for kids.”
“If you were looking for a pediatrician, would you take your child to an MD that is working for Coke, Burger King, and the sugar lobby? Then why would you believe what that same doctor has to say about the safety and labeling of genetically engineered food?” she continued.
Big Food likes to give the appearance of authoritativeness regarding GM foods, but when the industry resorts to hired guns held up as “experts” who clearly have obvious and powerful ties to Big Food, what else can you do but question their integrity – and the integrity of a campaign to hide the ingredients of what it is the industry wants you to put into your body?
This article was posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 2:38 am