A new review of the American Council on Science and Health's funding reveals that among the foundations that bolster the group's industry funding are two foundations bankrolled by the Koch brothers as well as other prominent right-wing funding groups endowed by chemical manufacturers, investment bankers, railroad barons, and more.
Given its fragile and unusually rich ecology, the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i seems ill-suited as a site for agricultural experiments that use heavy amounts of toxic chemicals. But four transnational corporations -- Syngenta, BASF Plant Science, DuPont Pioneer, and Dow AgroSciences -- have been doing just those kinds of experiments here for about two decades, extensively spraying pesticides on their GMO test fields. As a result, the landscape on the southwest corner of the island has become one of the most toxic chemical environments in all of American agriculture.
Hawai'i has become "ground zero" in the controversy over genetically modified (GMO) crops and pesticides. The out-of-state pesticide and GMO firms Syngenta, Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Dow Chemical, BASF, and Bayer CropScience have brought substantial sums of corporate cash into the state's relatively small political arena.
A coalition of genetically modified organism (GMO), pesticide, and Big Food corporate trade groups are fighting mandatory labeling efforts at the state and local level by pushing preemption measures in Congress and at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Three years ago, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) reported on Karden, an adorable puppet used in part to convince kids that gardening with sewage sludge was a fun activity for all ages. (Karden, of course, failed to explain that sewage sludge contains toxic and hazardous materials.) Well, move over Karden the sludge puppet, there's a new kid in town: Frank N. Foode, "your friendly neighborhood genetically modified organism," who "help[s] make the science of biotechnology fun and approachable."
When the Grocery Manufacturers Association was sued for not disclosing the donors behind its heavyweight contribution to stop the Washington State ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods in 2013, the public learned a few interesting things about its funding and plans.
Despite a full-court press defending the supposed benefits of genetically engineered "golden rice," it has never entered production. According to Jonathan Latham of Independent Science News, the science media has utterly failed to report accurately on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- on their failures and criticisms rather than just their potential successes. A transgenic high-protein cassava, a type of starchy edible root, was lauded in the scientific press but fizzled not long after. So did a supposedly virus-resistant sweet potato that was widely hailed in the media. According to Jonathan Latham of Independent Science News, these and others are just a few examples of what he says is the utter failure of the science media to report accurately and critically on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- on their failures rather than just their touted successes.
After a barrage of ads, Washington voters slid from a 66 percent show of support for labeling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food six weeks ago to defeating the state's Initiative 522 for GMO labeling at the polls, with preliminary results showing 55 percent against.