The work of an anti-GMO group called MoveOn, which wants to impose mandatory labeling of GMO crops on Americans, brings an old adage to mind, at least part of it anyway – you can fool some of the people some of the time.
On a recent Friday, MoveOn “took to the streets,” in their words, “demanding that their state legislatures and governors act swiftly to enact GMO labeling laws.”
In conjunction with this, the group snared street corners in major cities to conduct its “Monsanto Challenge” taste test, in which a mix of real people and second-rate actors pretending to be real people were asked to taste two ears of sweet corn, then decide which contained Bt and which was from a local, organic farm.
It was pretty corny, if you will, but of course, I was curious about what the people on the street would say about the taste of Bt corn. But I never got the chance.
First of all, by the time the person administering the test was through demonizing “the Bt toxin” to each taster, not a single person opted to try any of the corn for fear they would drop dead on the spot.
After that, a number of the “random” people selected for the taste test launched into well-rehearsed spiels about Americans needing to know if there are GMOs in their food.
In the end, two teenage taste testers were told that there really wasn’t any Bt corn to be tasted this day, and that all the corn had come from an organic farm. “Dude, I wouldn’t give you GMO corn,” the tester said.
In a news release on the anti-GMO campaign, MoveOn quoted Pat Fiero, a retired grandma by trade and leader of a MoveOn.org campaign that has gathered over 13,000 signatures in Massachusetts in support of GMO labeling.
“We now have the opportunity to help protect the transparency, integrity, and democracy of our food supply for all Americans,” she said.
I would hope that in the spirit of the transparency Fiero advocates, someone would inform the Monsanto Challenge taste testers of the likelihood that a foliar Bt had been applied to their organic corn at some point in its production.
Not that it would have made any difference in taste, safety or nutrition, just as it would have made no difference in any of those factors with transgenic Bt corn. But when you’re out to fool some of the people some of the time, you don’t need too much convincing.
I would hope that most Americans aren’t really being duped by these weekly attacks on biotechnology. If they are, GMO labeling is the least of our worries.
Here is a look at a video of the “taste test” the group scripted, bit.ly/13QT9fp.Be forewarned, these are three minutes of your life you can never get back.