Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monsanto’s ‘gift’

Monsanto’s ‘gift’ will benefit its own profits
Letter to the Editor
The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois)
February 14, 2011

A “News in Brief” item in the Jan. 26 Pantagraph was headlined, “Ag Mag program benefits from gift.” I think that a more accurate title would be “Monsanto to benefit from its own gift.”

Why do I say that Monsanto will benefit — i.e., profit — from its gift of $50,000 to the IAA Foundation? The answer is in the article: “The money will enhance biotechnology lessons as part of Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom, specifically developing Ag Mags for fourth-grade and junior high students.” Oh yes, “enhance biotechnology lessons” equals indoctrinate early and don’t let up.

I have seen Monsanto’s “talking points” on the benefits of their biotechnology products — e.g., Roundup Ready soybean and corn seeds — and, of course, the herbicide Roundup to go along with them. Their talking points, which are more accurately described as self-serving propaganda, are repeated endlessly by the Farm Bureau and certain other co-opted, so-called farmer organizations — and even by the University of Illinois Extension Service.

It is clear that we can expect the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom biotechnology lessons, specifically the Ag Mags for fourth-grade and junior-high students, to contain Monsanto’s talking points. Basically, they are that their GMOs, which contain genes from different species transferred into a target species, e.g. soybeans or corn, are all wonderful for farmers, consumers and the environment. Their specific claims under these three umbrellas are false or unproven.

Family organic farming is clearly a superior choice for farmers, consumers and the environment.

Herman Brockman, Rural Congerville

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