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Monsanto Conspiracy Theorists do the Anti-GMO Movement No Favors

gmo1There have been a lot of hyped up articles circulating recently from little-known websites stating that Monsanto has bought Blackwater, or is partnering with the US military to shut down anti-GMO activists. While this plays into the paranoia and the bias confirmation atmosphere that surrounds the movement, let’s separate the facts from the fiction and hysteria.

Monsanto, like other major corporations, is in business to make money. They use their profits and influence to get their way in government, just like BP, Exxon, Wal-Mart and any other Fortune 500 company.  Even at the state level, smaller businesses push their backers into the legislative bodies and the Governor’s mansions to further their agenda.

Let’s get one thing clear — I’m no fan of Monsanto. As a health conscious, gluten-intolerant person who tries to follow a mostly organic diet, I don’t like the idea of companies trying to hide their suppliers and ingredients, but some of the absolutely insane conspiracy theories pushed by for-profit entities against Monsanto and others only hurts the legitimacy of a worthwhile cause. It’s incredibly frustrating to be called a shill for Big Pharma or Monsanto when all I’m trying to do is lend some common sense to the argument. Over and over again, we hear people talk about “chem-trails” or how food companies are trying to poison us while citing some fear-mongering website like Infowars or Natural News as “proof” that the Illuminati or other secret society is behind it all.

If I were a company who relied on the daily consumption of my products, would I really try to poison my customers? Would I really try to eliminate my profits by intentionally killing the very people I rely on to keep the corporation afloat and the shareholders paid? Why would the government spend billions of dollars to supposedly cover up the spraying of chemicals to dumb us down when we’re doing a fine job of it ourselves? Many of us are paying far more attention to MTV and Keeping Up With The Kardashians instead of keeping up with our elected representatives — and what they’re voting for when we aren’t paying attention. That’s a problem.

If you want to see politicians crafting secret deals and working on the behalf of corporate lobbyists instead of their constituents, you don’t have to find out from some paranoia for profit website. You can simply switch off “reality TV” and turn on the true reality TV, C-Span.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read food labels or that you should blindly accept every product pushed on TV, but what I am saying is that you should do some of your own research. Don’t blindly accept flawed or outright false information from people who make a living off playing to the uninformed state of paranoia they’ve created. Fox News viewers are the perfect example of this. Don’t be the person who puts money in the pockets of quacks and internet bloggers who feed off the good intentions of the anti-GMO movement. Make good choices based off scientific research, grow your own food whenever possible and for the love of all that is good, think for yourself.

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Manny Schewitz is a progressive from the Dirty South with an inclination to say it like it is. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, author of the Kvetching with Manny column, and an unapologetic Bernie Sanders supporter. Manny also maintains an active presence on Facebook, and you can follow him on Twitter as well. Be sure to check out Manny's archives on Forward Progressives for more of his viewpoints.

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  • Carol Ann Hunigan Booher

    if they are not harmful why do they have to wear hazmat clothes and gas masks to work in the fields..

    • Wes Falls

      Have you tried looking that up for yourself? Perhaps see if other companies use similar methods? You know, what intelligent people do before they take the side of an argument?

    • Kevin Hoover

      They wear protective clothing in dairies, in auto repair shops, in birth centers and lots of other places that do benign things. That alone means nothing.

    • John William Holland

      iIs not the GMO’s that are hazardous its the inhalation of chemicals. Actually the inahlation of any significant amount of any particulate is harmful to the lungs. Are current generation herbicides and pesticides when being applied toxic. Yes. are they many times less toxic than the previous generation chemicals? Very Much so. Try looking up Atrizine.

      Are the Herbicides and Pesticides that Organic farming uses toxic. Yes.

      Does Organic Farming produce as much per acre. No Way. 25-30% less yield than commercial/GMO farming.

  • Amy

    so did Monsanto buy Blackwater or not? and if my salary depends on short term gain and short term profit do i give a rip if there are long term health problems associated with the product i sell?

    • John William Holland

      No they did not by Blackwater. They did hire them though.

  • Kevin Hoover

    Thanks for the rational perspective.

  • Kara Garcia

    It’s a known fact the Monsanto does not feed their employees GMO food, but ORGANIC food in their cafeteria. That right there says a lot. I chose to know what is in my food and have the right to KNOW!!!

    • Just sayin

      prove it. post your source or else its just hearsay.

    • John William Holland

      Really how about some evidence for that claim Kara. Or should I just go ahead and post the link that shows how its bullshit.

    • AQ

      And your source for that is….?

  • Brian Battles

    Manny Schewitz can’t be a real name!

  • LC

    Regardless what you believe about Monsanto. By buying gmo<s first they are no good for you second the government provides subsidies to Monsanto while the organic farmer has to go through a rigorous and costly process to be certified organic

  • Margarita Hinksoni

    I can’t argue with this … “but some of the absolutely insane conspiracy theories pushed by for-profit entities against Monsanto and others only hurts the
    legitimacy of a worthwhile cause”

  • Michael Kennedy

    Right, Agent Orange was just a weed killer, and science says Roundup doesn’t cause cancer, did they get to you too?

  • BlahBlahBlahBlah

    You ask “If I were a company who relied on the daily consumption of my products, would I really try to poison my customers?”. My response, Big Tobacco.

  • Pamela Parker Ricer

    My thoughts exactly

  • SophieCT

    Once again Manny, you ruin your own argument. You were doing really well for the first three paragraphs. It would do us all well to research memes before believing and reposting. Monsanto has done enough for profit that no one needs to make up anything to despise them.

    And then you say this:
    “If I were a company who relied on the daily consumption of my products, would I really try to poison my customers? Would I really try to eliminate my profits by intentionally killing the very people I rely on to keep the corporation afloat and the shareholders paid?”
    In a word, Yes. I might not go as far as to say they “try” to poison people but I would definitely say they don’t give a crap if they accidentally poison people. Or poison the earth so that people can no longer sustain themselves without some magic science experiment Monsanto can develop to sell to them. I am saying that they think the profits are compelling enough to disregard “the few” lives given to make them. They only value life they can patent.

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