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The biotech industry makes propaganda 'workbook' to influence children.

The Council for Biotechnology Information, which is an industry shill group for the companies that tinker with nature and food for profits, publishes a propaganda book to make young children feel warm and fuzzy about Frankenfoods.

Their Biotechnology Basics Activity Book actually tells children that biotechnology "is helping to improve the health of the Earth," is being used to "help the environment" and "grow more nutritious food that improves our health."

There is a heated debate about GMO foods, with advocates arguing that we need biotech to feed an overpopulated world, and opponents saying that it's a dangerous meddling with nature that has already proved to have unpredictable and very undesirable outcomes.

This "activity book" is designed to imprint on children the "pro" side of the argument. It's the Ronald McDonald approach to massive future profits.
Anthony LoGreco's profile photoCasey Comendant's profile photoAndrew Carpenter's profile photoUut Gunawan's profile photo
Hmm, no question about what side of the debate you are on I guess.
+Mike Manz I've made it very clear. I have the right to choose, and want labeling. I'm against the industry's condescending pressure on government to prevent labeling because we consumers are too dumb to understand that GMO is perfectly safe for both human health and the environment (which it isn't).
And yet they worry about the tobacco companies targeting kids. This will most likely do them more harm than tobacco.
this can be good thing on one had but . you do not what to let out of the box.
This is out outrageous of how they the biotech-whores have to go back and re-align the public perception...and re-program the most vulnerable generation. It points one thing that is very obvious they are losing here In america as well. People are waking and I'm very grateful we fought together the good fight of the faith for all to enjoy a better future...great or small we took that chance and witnessed the resolve.

why suit up? that 's the if they where in lab experiment.
Genetic modification isn't synonymous with toxic. That doesn't mean that it is not toxic, but I don't think that labels such as "GMO" or "Organic" or "Natural Flavoring" actually have anything definitively to do with healthiness. They should just have a ranking by a certified 3rd party about the health risk of eating this food based on things like how many tests have been done on its effects on the body, the actual risks of the chemicals involved, etc.
I don't remember by grandfather, on my mother's side, ever wearing that garb while in the field checking his corn.
Because "biotechnology" = evil humans, and "organic" = god's pure and benevolent bounty? sigh

Biotech covers everything from adding nutrients and improving the benefits and growth cycle of food, to improving human health and eradicating disease, through to making plants sterile so customers have to come back for more each and every time.

Do not paint an entire industry with the colours worn by Monsanto.

The potential for biotech is huge.
The FDA is a third party...USDA is a third party...the EPA is a third party Garvin Ossak is a third party; what do we have to work with? all paid and bought with bribes and cash money.
+Gavin Ovsák - if you keep acting so reasonable, how will others react emotionally? Stop making so much sense, Gavin. You're going to prevent a panic.
I am largely in favor of genetically modified food (probably because I help develop it), but I definitely agree that it should be strictly labeled. People have a right to know what they are putting into their bodies. To argue otherwise is pure insanity.
I don't see how it has improve the life's of people...give the people the chance and they would prefer the organic approach and work a little harder than being sickened by products that are unstable for human animal consumption.
Nature provides a lot of things that make our natural produce toxic including insects, fungus, and natural plant defenses to keep away predators. On the whole, I would estimate that most plants in nature are not good for consumption and doing so would make a human sick.
I don't think people realize how far from natural produce our current traditional foods are. Do you even know what a real banana looks like? A lot of people eat seedless fruit. Do you think that's natural? Now tell me if you think that it's inherently dangerous.
you have it all twisted in your speak of nature as if it was your enemy...when the fella's in the yellow suit are modifying your behavior with engineered crops that lack all what nature intended. i'm not going to lecture science it's to far out...for consideration and purpose.
Please tell me about nature's intentions
+Jack Smith I agree, patenting of genes is wrong, and creates a lot of ways for people to screw each other over with immoral lawsuits.
if its natural I eat..if its been tinker with I leave it alone...your alive because your forefather made good decisions...will you do the same for your generation?
I don't know that terminator seeds need to be outlawed.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not in favour of them.
But as long as people know they're buying sterile product, I'd like clients to choose not to buy them because they have better alternatives.
I mean, in and of itself there's nothing actually wrong with having sterile product.
It's like selling a printer which comes with a built-in, non-replaceable ink cartridge, forcing you to buy a new printer when the ink runs out. It shouldn't be illegal to sell that.
I think terminator seeds mean that they don't allow farmers to continue to breed them and require them to be purchased often from a main production center. Even sterile plants can be produced naturally by farmers (and are) through a cultivated process. Terminator seeds would theoretically become completely useless after a time period. It's completely profit motivated
+Irina Tcherednichenko Hi, I'm no biologist but I remember reading about the rich history of bananas. Here's a quick set of links I found from more reliable sources than me.

"There are close to 1,000 species of banana today. Most of them are inedible - they carry hard pea-sized seeds, and have only a small amount of bad-tasting flesh"

"Bananas, fantastic. Bananas are in a family of plants called the Musaceae, or more generally the plantanes. If you go to a supermarket, and buy a plantane, however, you will most likely get a giant, possibly blackened, banana, which looks quite unpalatable. This is a cooking banana, and is very popular in Caribbean cooking. It does have seeds, which are quite large, and can be quite hard."
I agree it's completely profit driven +Gavin Ovsák, but so are a lot of other models that force the consumer to keep going back to the company.
Surely as long as the client knows that they are buying sterile product then there's no reason why that cannot be sold.
Excellent comments +Gavin Ovsák. I think you have nailed the issues on the head. +Jack Smith I agree totally with points 2 & 3. As for the issue of labeling GM food, I understand why some people want this, but I'm not sure a GMO label would be terribly meaningful. Also deciding if something was genetically modified or not wouldn't always be particularly easy.
+Ralph Cloud I agree people need to be smart about what they eat. I don't think the organic/gmo distinction is the right approach more than deciding what to eat based on what color it is or how big it is. Quite frankly, if you gave me a piece of food and told me whether it was organic or genetically modified, I would have no clue whether it is safe to eat or not. Organic foods, modified foods, yellow foods, and red foods could all be toxic. Good luck with your natural diet, and I would recommend trying some poison ivy, puffer fish, or a random wild mushroom some time.
That's not part of my u tried any of these lately.
The flora & fauna of this blue pearl we live on have a way of correcting, shall we say imbalances through mutation. Who can say what the result maybe on humanity. We may one day end up with a real bad apple as a leader
do some more minded, i'm certain you love your family and want good health for them. Even animals in the wild teach there young ones what to eat and not.
+Gavin Ovsák I certain you couldn't find your own way into the Peruvian Forrest with out help of knowledge of what is poison..or editable. Animal's for heavens sake will walk away from dandelion because they don't like it...yet it is great for the liver: a great tonic.
I disagree Kerry. Messing with nature rarely ends well. Fundamentally changing the genetics of an organism always has unintended consequences. There may be health or nutrition problems as yet unknown. And once original strains are contaminated with GM genetics there is no going back.
Also there if there were anything truly resembling a food shortage then our government ought to stop paying farmers NOT to grow food.
unintended consequences...I have to stop you there and to explain these George Orwell double talk?
+Michael Carlson I'm with you on this one. Genetically Modified Foods are by nature the least understood foods we have at our disposal. They should always be tested rigorously for many years before being sold for consumption, or the risk of not carrying out these studies should be apparent to the consumer.

World hunger is an issue, but unfortunately not one that our economy is built to tackle considering that it mainly affects the poor.
+Michael Carlson, I think it is possible to argue that "messing with nature" is basis for the global technological civilization. Others will no doubt disagree, but I for one think it's a pretty impressive achievement.
I can tell you this that The GMO doctors...ok that work in underground research facilities with guards strapped to there post until relieved in maximum security...are fully aware that GMO products are genocidal population control poison for human consideration. Eugenicist like George H E wells and a host of others are slowly killing creation and leaving behind a trail of pain and sorrows. GMO is evil its founders and creators are all sick to the core and have no good intentions at all.
They are an interests group so its understandable they're doing their job. Targeting children to sell products, change or bring about certain behavior and just exploit children is a basic concept in marketing. Good parenting will allow parents to chose whether their children accept information from interests groups as fact, fiction or other.
Most "natural" food we eat have been genetically modified the hard way, ie through selective breeding, for centuries, if not millennia. The only difference now is that we can almost directly influence the genetics directly, instead of waiting for the normal breeding cycles to take their course. And with all of this experience with genetically modifying plants and animals (hey, you know that dog breeds aren't "natural" right?) we have a better understanding than we did even a hundred years ago.

Basically, everything we eat has been directly influenced by the human touch in one way or another. So all of this talk about GMO amounts to scare talk.

Which isn't to say we shouldn't be careful, because if anything, my example of dog breeds shows how human stupidity can lead to problems.
just as bad as intelligent design - only real...
Lucky for me I am a parent who takes his job very seriously, so this kind of stuff never reaches my boys. If they want to know about GMO it will be me teaching them the good, the bad and the ugly sides of it. Not a propaganda machine.

At this points, at least until we discover this stuff is killing us, my primary gripe is not GMO, but rather the companies that control and abuse the crap out of the patents. Putting farmers out of business, intentionally contaminating Organic crops and sewing people who try and reuse their own seed, is insanity. This stuff needs to stop.
+Chris Enright Look, GM foods would do the world a world of good, if it hadn't been for it being almost entirely in the hands of the cartoonishly evil monopoly empire Monsanto. They have no concerns for safety or human lives whatsoever. I could go on literally for hours about how they're killing people and destroying lives every day using horror-movie methods to increase profits (cancer-causing hormones, 100s of cancer-causing additives, dozens of cancer-causing bug sprays). They tell farmers to pump their cows full of steroids to make more milk, the cows get sick from it and get infections (you should see the puss getting pumped out into the tanks before it's discovered), then they're fed antibiotics in order to keep up the hormonal (mis)treatment. Which means whoever drinks the milk get a 24/7/365 antibiotics treatment, in addition to the steroids. You think Monsanto gives a fuck about it? They never will, not until they're forced. They're like an opportunistic infection in society. And they're supposed to be trusted with GM tech innovation? What if they one day can save another 10 dollars on a safety measure? You think they'll go "We need to be responsible about this for the sake of nature"? When they can't even keep themselves from putting poor farmers out of business if they ever talk to journalists, like in North fucking Korea? Google "monsanto documentary" and watch the madness for yourself. Someone should revive the medieval hell-depicter Gustav Dore in order for him to walk through and draw what he sees in Monsanto HQ.

I'm all for GM foods if someone finds a way to keep it out of the hands of Monsanto, possibly even anyone living in or being related to anyone living in USA. GM foods don't kill people, anarcho-capitalism does.
alien cook corn meal, ah nonsense
I think Hans J. Furfjord has very good grasp of the issues carried good explanation of points. He wrote more than most people in the forum. Though he touch both sides I lean on one...the later part of my interest. I certain can carry him as not fully being supportive of the crop from hell
You have silenced me with your insight and well thought observation, i would go a bit farther but me time is almost up. its a great article of interest and has been a burning one at the back burner.we here in the USA need to be more bold because are already under Marshall law, but the European lead us in the fight on many issues. Yeah the government this and the government that but we need more of this kind of forum to continue until doomsday come.
Tim Box
You are a bit late complaining, the USA pumps more steroids into beef, uses more GM crops than the rest of the world.
However considering that size of a food plate in the USA you would starve if it were not for the GM industry.
It is inevitable though that the world needs GM unless all the nay sayers wants to say to the starving you have to die because I do not like the sound of GM and am not prepared to understand the facts.
these useless crops from hell are the opposite of what you just dis-scribe, and they the scientist working in under ground research labs know fully well the implication of releasing these seeds from hell into the environment.We can and have effected the companies responsible for these ill intents by staying away from these products and informing people not just here at this forum, but at the markets. I thank you for your kind message very well placed.
your not to late...because your here...those who not need help, your information is good.
can not stop commenting ................ it is absurd that they should boycott all of these foods and create a garden at home ..... I think it would be a simple solution
+Chris Enright GM will become as common as farming itself, being unconditionally against it is like being against pitch forks. Is Elgan really all against GM or is he merely 1) angry with Monsanto trying to remove GM labeling and 2) pointing out that until we understand entire genomes completely, we can't know 100% for sure the food hasn't got any unexpected substances in it that evade the standard screening? To find trace amounts of anything, you have to know what chemical to look for. Genes are crazy things, they have a way of affecting many things at once. A single gene works somewhat like a DLL-file. Edit it with a Hex editor, and you edit an unknown number of programs, unknown until you have mapped and understood every single bit and byte on the hard disk and how all of them relate to each other.

We may have mapped every gene in the organisms we're editing, but we don't yet understand (by far) how every gene works. Until we do (which probably is less than 10-20 years from now), we can only assume it's extremely unlikely GM foods will be hazardous, like a plane falling down, but that assumption rests on Monsanto and their lawyers' estimates of the cost of admission of guilt versus denying everything, which is an estimate of how much you can tweak science to fit your arguments in a field that's exceptionally easily tweaked because we know so little. Since Monsanto is not just being "a group" but the defacto "only group", and that that's not likely to change soon, I can sympathize with a certain amount of skepticism about GM right now.

But if we all take a step back and consider all the other toxic crap there is in food (hormones, insecticides (buy a bottle of wine anywhere, and there are 15-20 different insecticides in each bottle) additives, conservatives, medicines, BPA from plastics, PFOA from pans, all yummy carcinogens leaving behind a trail of silent human suffering at a scale comparable to a world war), talking about GM is missing the big picture. It's appalling that most Americans think they're eating food when they're actually eating "food", and when GM arrived, they got riled up because "eating genes is disgusting". GM is the absolutely least disgusting thing about US agriculture.
If you look at a modern stretch of farmland in the midwest you don't see the picturesque, fairytale farm that most of us envision. No, you just see miles and miles of land chopped up and owned by select, few families that are tasked with feeding the world. It's amazing as it is disturbing. It certainly doesn't appear to be a long-term, sustainable system; how can it be when it is solely based on a persistent climate that, in this planet's history, has proven to be anything but?
We always need the propagandists to tell us what is good for us ... how else will we know
+Juan Schwartz I agree profoundly with the necessity of improving on nature, but I find your lack of faith in skepticism disturbing. Don’t be too proud of the technological simplicity you've constructed. The ability to edit genes is insignificant next to the mysteries of protein folding.
targeting children is a known way of cults. Monsanto will stoop to anything. Next they will be buying blurbs in elementary school science textbooks about hoe ingenious and safe it all is and world hunger saving
It never ceases to amaze me how the "free marketers" are so anti-free market. For a market to be free, both parties to an exchange need the information about the goods they are exchanging. It's obvious Monsanto won't make the information available out of the goodness of its heart.
how am i not surprised that we still face propaganda today in america or in other countries
MONSANTO is an insidious= in·sid·i·ous Adjective /inˈsidēəs/

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Treacherous; crafty
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intended to entrap
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(insidiously) in a harmfully insidious manner; "these drugs act insidiously"

(insidiousness) subtle and cumulative harmfulness (especially of a disease)
(insidiousness) the quality of being designed to entrap

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Producing harm in a stealthy, often gradual, manner; Intending to entrap; alluring but harmful; Treacherous

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Stealthy; denotes a disease that progresses with few or no symptoms to indicate its presence or its gravity.

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aman niеtli, hıylaçı

Its really not that surprising, the big companies also used to say that tobacco was good for at one time. Just wonder how long after they have ruined all the crops before they realize they messed up again.

Plus, the really does make enough food to everyone, that has already been shown, the big problem is that if lots of money can't be made then its left to rot so the price of what is out on the market stays high. But the only one who sees the profit in this is big business (not the farmers who grew it), and the speculators who like making things cost a lot more.
After reading through the Biotechnology Basics Activity Book i don't see whats so bad about biotech foods. Mommy when i grow up i want to go college so i can play Dr. Frankenstein with corn and potatoes..... Someone needs to make a "kids" book about this topic but from the "other" side of the argument. After reading that book most kids would be scared of ever eating again....
Ngoc Le
co j dau ma nhin
Didn't read the article but I bet it was written by Monsanto.
I agree with +Mike Elgan. Consumers have the RIGHT to know what's in their food so that they can make informed and better choices about what they put in their bodies and feed to their families.

Don't kid yourselves. Anyone who is opposed to full disclosure on food labels or, for that matter, ANY product that comes in contact with humans or goes into the environment is either an idiot or someone who has a vested interest in hiding the truth from the public.

For those people who are so fond of opposing government regulation of industry in favor of the golden calf of the "Free Market", the free market cannot work if the public is denied information about the products that they buy. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

And don't for one second think that corporations producing GM products are motivated by anything other than profit.

If you choose to remain ignorant of the dangers lurking in the products you buy or willfully ignore those dangers, that's your right. You have NO right to deny others their right to full disclosure about the products on the market and their right to choose not to buy them.
Jerry Ham
"shill group"? "propaganda book"? Mike, I think it is possible to report on this without resorting to such bias. Using semantically charged words like shill and propaganda makes fair minded folks immediately tune out. It isn't journalism when you have taken a side. And I'm someone who is in the middle on this topic. Don't lose credibility by having such a strong bias (either pro or con). Just report the facts; we can draw our own conclusions.
+Jerry Ham Sooooo ... we shouldn't post on a controversial topic if we have an opinion (you call it "bias")? As for your comment, "It isn't journalism when you've taken a side.", tell that to the "news" channels (esp. Fox - LOL) but Google+ is (arguably) a social network. You're free, as are the rest of us, to post anything you like regardless of journalistic standards.
+Mitchell Bourne Exactly the opposite. It's creating super weeds that can't be controlled. It's causing pests to evolve super resistance. It's putting still more toxins into our bodies, and it's ravaging nature.
+Jerry Ham According to Merriam-Webster, the word "propaganda" means "the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person."

Are you going to argue that an organization whose sole purpose is the spreading of ideas and information for the purpose of helping the biotech industry came out with a children's workbook for some other reason?

This I want to hear. Go ahead. (Getting non-GMO popcorn.)
Our kids have never touched GMO ingredients ( we have learned how to spot the tougher to spot GMO ingredients found on labels, takes a lot of work and research but worth every hour put into it! )
Great post!

I am certain there is a logical explanation for donning the protective clothing while handling GMO crops, however, this photo does nothing to encourage me to eat GMO produce (as I am sure that was the intent of using this).

I also think it would be especially helpful if someone were to create a children's "rebuttal" book using this kind of material (such as this photo). I have a feeling, this would have more of an impact on children than the Monsanto coloring book depicting the "pro" side of GMO.
+Mike Elgan You link to a report on a study done in China (of all places) that hasn't yet been through peer review as proof of something? And yes I know that China is doing most of the cutting edge genetic research, but I also know that Chinese scientists more often than not falsify results.

My point, way back at the beginning of this conversation, was not against the labeling of food. I don't think anyone here has said that food shouldn't be labelled, although I tend to agree that labeling something as GMO doesn't tell people what they think it tells them. Your post wasn't really about the labeling or not labeling of food, though.

Your original post was indeed very clear in expressing that you believe the genetic modification of food to be evil, and wrong, and bad, and whatever other negative adjective you care to throw at it. This view is absolutely biased, very one dimensional, and plainly illogical.

If you have problems with Monsanto, fine; talk about that. Make sure, though, that when you start pointing fingers you point them in the right direction. You wouldn't say that we need to burn all banks to the ground and eliminate the financial industry as a whole because Goldman Sach's ruined the global economy. Don't blame an entire industry for the bad actions of one player.

When you think about the issue logically and dispassionately (using intellect rather than emotion) you quickly realize that the problems in the commercial GMO field are not with the technology, but rather with the American love affair with patenting anything and everything. The idea that you can patent a gene is ridiculous on the face of it, yet there goes Monsanto with their patent portfolio.

You throw around words like "frankenfood" as if they mean something in order to play on the ignorance of the general public. If you want to talk about frankenfood, compare a modern Thanksgiving turkey to the wild variety that roamed about 200-300 years ago (Google it, we'll wait). They are completely different animal, and that was done strictly through cross breeding and good old-fashioned growth hormones. Someone commented above that most people (parents, I think they said) will admit they don't know much about GMO food. I'd point out that most don't know much about the supply chain that brings them most of their non-GMO food, or the additives and chemicals found therein.

There are absolutely serious issues and concerns to be found in the area of GMO food, but posts like yours that pander to ignorance and fear to generate an emotional response rather than an intelligent one do nothing to move us closer to addressing them, let alone solving them. I gather, though, that your goal is not to actually address any issues, but to generate traffic. In that case troll on, Mike, troll on.
"As reported in MIT's Technology Review on November 5, 2007, researchers in China used RNA knockdown to make:"

"Researchers at Monsanto and Devgen, a Belgian company, made corn plants that silence a gene essential for energy production in corn rootworms; ingestion wipes out the worms within 12 days."

"Humans and insects have a lot in common, genetically. If miRNA can in fact survive the gut then it's entirely possible that miRNA intended to influence insect gene regulation could also affect humans."

+Mike Elgan I feel like you've got to "spoon feed" the pertinent information to some of the readers because, let's face it: they're simply NOT going to read the articles. They're either too lazy or too sure of what they "know" (eg. BELIEVE) and no amount of facts will convince them that what they've been told by certain people is a bald-faced lie.
+Mike Manz No, my post wasn't about labeling. It was about brain-washing children so Monsanto and their ilk can start winning the public relations battles of the future. It's very similar to their purchasing of Congress to prevent labeling -- it's all about putting a happy gloss on their profiting from tinkering with nature and the food supply, engineering the financial dependence of farmers on their vile products, destroying agriculture and wrecking the environment.

I like the word "frankenfood." Didn't anyone read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein? The book was about the hubris of scientists who tinker with nature, and the unexpected results that are likely. A more perfect allegory for the GMO food industry could not possible be more perfect.

Mike, if you want fish genes in your strawberries, corn that manufactures its own poison, and superweeds that cannot be controlled, then by all means keep serving as an unpaid apologist for the GMO foods industry. But I'm going to oppose both the industry's efforts to keep consumers ignorant about what they're eating AND their propaganda efforts that target children, and I'll do so with whatever language I like.
But +Mike Elgan, are you in fact saying that genetic modification is wrong and should be illegal?
+Mike Elgan Sure thing, chief. Their one-sided version of the issue is "propaganda", your one-sided version of the issue is "education, and anyone who takes a more moderate view (or really anyone who doesn't agree with every utterance out of your holy lips) is obviously an "unpaid apologist" for the other side.

The point still stands that the issues you raise are issues with a small handful of companies, not with the science itself. Genetic modification of food is no more inherently dangerous than any other technology currently in use; nuclear fission, for example.

But as +Ralph Gauthier said, "you've got to "spoon feed" the pertinent information to some of the readers because, let's face it: they're ... either too lazy or too sure of what they "know" (eg. BELIEVE) and no amount of facts will convince them that what they've been told by certain people is a bald-faced lie."
Disney does this, as well, on a ride at Epcot.
Yeah, because I always make sure to don my fashionable chemical suite when shopping the produce isle.
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