By Dina Eliash Robinson
“Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” Comedian Richard Pryor in a skit about being caught by his wife in bed with another woman.
Pryor’s cheeky attempt to ‘gaslight’ (fool) his wife is mild compared to Monsanto’s brazen, decades’-long deception about its toxic products—except the latter is not funny at all.
Be a smart consumer by recognizing a scam when you see it. Don’t fall for Monsanto’s lies, no matter how widespread and how convincing they seem, about GMO products being safe and providing cheaper and more abundant foods that might even eliminate famine around the world. This is pure propaganda based on the idea that “If you tell a big enough lie often enough, people will eventually believe it.”
Most of us bear some responsibility for ignoring the first law of common sense: if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. We trusted the company’s promised good intentions and overlooked its purely mercenary profit motive for turning our nature-grown food supply into chemically altered, patentable, counterfeit crop seeds, plants and marine catches.
Monsanto hooked into our mounting concern about toxic pesticides and assured us that its genetically engineered (GE) and chemically altered crops infused with (GMO) genetically modified organisms (such as bacteria and animal parts) would need spraying ‘only’ with its own Roundup weed-killer. The company, of course, omitted any mention of Roundup’s toxic glyphosate component that was eventually linked to beehive collapse and human cancers.
Although not soon enough, we did get wise—as the saying goes, “you can fool some of the people some of the time…”—and Monsanto is finally getting its comeuppance. For starters, there are about 8,700 lawsuits currently pending against the company and a recent unanimous decision resulting from a landmark jury trial has fined Monsanto nearly $300 million (somewhat reduced on appeal) for the suffering and death of school groundskeeper Dewayne ”Lee” Johnson, who’s fatal non-Hodgkin lymphoma was proven to be connected to his job-related exposure to Roundup.
The heartbreaking question is why is it still so difficult to convince more than a small segment of the population that Monsanto’s Frankenstein foods are health hazards—even though our eyes, ears and reason are bombarded daily with incontrovertible proof of this. The company is still battling against GMO foods being labeled as such—although Whole Foods and some other grocery purveyors sell conventional packaged foods free of Monsanto tampering and slyly label them with the semi-reassuring “Non-GMO” mark.
SOLUTION: Since most baked goods are made with GMO grains and many food items falsely labeled “natural” are actually grown in contaminated soil and heavily sprayed with toxic chemicals, health-conscious consumers would be safer by eating organic foods.
Fair disclosure: Living in San Diego and being surrounded by many organic farms, as well as near a Whole Foods, Jimbo’s and a Costco that has practically quadrupled its organic food products in recent years, we have found it easy to keep an all-organic kitchen for decades. We’ve even managed to convince several friends to stick to organic diets as much as they can. (One friend attributes her dozen breast cancer-free years to doing just that.)
Since we enjoy eating out from time to time, we have been lucky to find about half-dozen local restaurants that serve delicious organic foods and also please our friends and family.