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.
Monsanto, the multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation and the leading producer of engineered seed, just received government permission to test a large scale genetically modified (GMO) crop experiment. The engineered corn seed from Monsanto will be introduced throughout the country from South Dakota to Texas.
The project includes Monsanto testing their man-made corn variant. These crops are expected to thrive in dry and unfavorable conditions. The company feels their product could revitalize a large portion of the agriculture as many are experiencing abnormal climate conditions.
The first round of tests of the biotech crop are being done on farms owned by Monsanto. If the seed proves to be commercially viable it will be made for purchase in 2013.
This government approval marks a first. This is the first time the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services has allowed the testing of a genetically engineered product that has been tailored to weather conditions such as drought.
Last week, Treehugger posted an article suggesting that ranchers in Brazil were covertly using Agent Orange to illegally clear patches of the rainforest. The article received several comments on most sites where it was syndicated, mostly outraged that this could be occurring; however, there were some that were skeptical.
Agent Orange is a combination of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D; however, the 2,4,5-T was found to be contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin, also known as TCDD, which is a very toxic dioxin compound. Today, 2,4,5-T is banned in many areas of the world due to the toxicity dangers. It isn’t just Agent Orange that is banned, but one of its principle ingredients. Translations via Google of the sites cited by Treehugger never actually claimed that Agent Orange was used or that the entire “Agent Orange” compound was used.
Monsanto, the company behind the development of the growth hormone rBGH (more commonly known as Bovine Growth Hormone) is in the news again. The company has been referred to as the most hated corporation for unfair business practices and is currently the focus of a U.S. District Court Judge. A recent ruling directed that the USDA has to begin regulating the company’s genetically engineered sugar beets.
Monsanto originally developed rBGH and marketed it for years before selling it in 2008. They have insisted that the use of the hormone is perfectly safe. This, despite the reality that Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and all 27 nations of the European Union have outlawed its use due to studies that have shown that the use of rBGH has caused elevated markers of IGF-1 in milk. The burning questions is, are elevated levels of IGF-1 in milk unsafe? (more…)