THE BLOG
07/21/2014 10:35 am ET Updated Sep 17, 2014

Congress Hosts GMO Psychodrama

OK, quick, grab your gene gun and shoot tiny DNA-coated metal pellets of "Scandal" into the pitch-dark cell walls of the "House of Cards" and you have the genetically-engineered psychodrama which reverberated in the marble halls of Congress in recent industry-led hearings and briefings, under the pretext of a legitimate debate over GMOs.

A Hollywood producer would have a field day with a script where GMO executives play on Congressmen's lack of understanding of plant biology, conflating plant breeding with genetic engineering, with straight-faced presentations by "experts" whose peers are from the mad science of hyping GMO stocks. Have you ever heard the sound of a gene gun as it smashes its way with new insecticides into farm products?... "Ka-ching!"

One industry flack maintained, "GMO is a misleading term" with a briefing handout that stated, "Humans have been manipulating the genes of crops for millennia." But not with the same effectiveness with which GMO industry lobbyists have manipulated Congress which is actually considering an industry bill which prevents the FDA from mandating labeling, and pre-empts states from passing labeling legislation!

To arrive at this bill the industry took the gene of a campaign donation and shot it into the DNA of horse manure and created a new product called "The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act". If Congress prohibits the FDA from mandating the labeling of GMOs and pre-empts or forbids the states from passing GMO labeling laws, then guess what? Congress' GMO industry "labeling" bill results in - - no labeling!

Four states, Maine, Connecticut, Vermont and Alaska have passed varying forms of good GMO labeling legislation upholding a consumer's right to know. There are two state ballot initiatives pending and 36 labeling bills have been introduced into 20 state legislatures in 2014 alone. Over 90% of Americans are said to support the labeling of GMOs.

In a pilot TV series called "Farmed and Dangerous" a biotech-big Ag industry PR firm, led by actor Ray Wise, discovers that (fictional) petro-pellets fed to cows to improve their milk output actually caused the poor bovines to explode. Imagine where some enterprising script writer can take this current farce of corporate doublespeak, influence peddling and junk science in the theatrical show they call Congress?

The hearing was a "big show" for big biotech to manipulate members of Congress. Thankfully, not everyone was fooled. To get the facts from a senior scientist, read Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman's submitted testimony here.