Giant biotech company Monsanto has taken a bold move with their latest project. The company has released a children’s activity book that is aimed at teaching the goodness and beneficial effects of biotechnology. Many critics, and there are many, are calling the books nothing more than propaganda.
Monsanto has been responsible for many negatives actions in the past. Some of their fouls have included dumping toxic waste in the United Kingdom and polluting creeks in Alabama with Mercury and PCB materials for 40 years. One of the most hurtful acts was how Monsanto essentially bullied local, family-owned farms with high-priced lawyers and court fees causing many to lose their farms. While all the actions prior have caused an outcry, this new light hearted children’s book has struck an even deeper chord.
In the midst of gaining approval to begin growing the first genetically modified corn seed, Monsanto has collaborated with several other biotech companies to release Biotechnology Basics Activity Book. The aim of the book is to teach children about biotechnology. It is doubtful the book will take an objective view as one excerpt explains how the process is actually a positive step for the environment.
“This is an activity book for young people like you about biotechnology — a really neat topic,” says the first page of the book. “Why is it such a neat topic? Because biotechnology is helping to improve the health of the Earth and the people who call it home.”
Amongst the one-sided information are many colorful activities including word scrambles that reveal words like “soybean,” “microscope,” and “biotechnology.” The entirety of the book is devoted to explaining that biotechnology is a wonderful option. The pages described how the process boosts crops, leads to more nutritious foods, and ultimately is changing the world for the better. These statements are a contradiction to the available independent studies. However, many schools are agreeing to include these activity books in their curriculum.
If the books were truly wanting to inform the children about all the work Monsanto does, the kids may run home crying. Especially if Monsanto had included a colorful page with the results from their Roundup Ready crops. Recently, the crops have been linked to miscarriages in farm animals. I doubt that scene would keep things whimsical and fun.
The Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) produced the guide. CBI is a pro-GMO coalition that has a routine of ignoring independent science that points to GMOs and their growing chemicals as being dangerous.
This latest move by Monsanto is perhaps its most powerful yet. If they can convince the younger generation that GMO foods are superior to even organic farming, the world may never be the same. Their attempt to make their practices look fun and bright through children’s literature is low and quite frankly, scary. Get all the facts people. Then teach them to your children.