By Elizabeth Kucinich
From Huffington Post (04/10/14)
In The Art of War the famous strategist Sun Tzu writes, "The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent."
Sun Tzu could write a whole new chapter about Monsanto and the other pushers of genetically modified foods, or GMO.
On Wednesday, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) carried Monsanto's torch when he introduced legislation to block GMO labeling.
Over the last two days, Center for Food Safety, along with Environmental Working Group and Just Label It, organized and participated in over 100 meetings on Capitol Hill, with dozens of "good" food corporations and organizations supporting the public's right to know what they are eating, urged House and Senate members to co-sponsor a bill requiring GMO labeling on food products. The bill, known as the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, was first introduced in April 2013 by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
The public wants GMO labeling. In fact, a staggering 93 percent of Americans polled say they want foods containing GMO ingredients to be labeled. So why is Monsanto getting its way so far? Because Monsanto and other big chemical and food corporations have spent many tens of millions of dollars to undermine consumers' right to know. Already this year, 32 new GE food labeling bills were introduced in 18 states, with a ballot initiative in Oregon also on target for November 2014.
The "Big 6" chemical companies -- including Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow Chemical -- and the "big food" lobby -- fronted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) -- know they are fighting a losing battle, but they have deep pockets and seem to be willing to do, say and spend almost anything to keep American consumers in the dark. Money is no object: the "Big 6" recently dropped nearly half a million dollars to oppose a county-level ballot initiative in Oregon that would protect local farmers from GMO crops.
Nationally, however, in an attempt to completely subsume and redirect the food movement, the GMA found a member of Congress to sponsor their bill to muddy congressional waters and keep consumers in the dark by preventing GMO labeling: Koch-backed Rep. Mike Pompeo. The overall strategy is one that Sun Tzu could be proud of: obfuscation.
"Welcome to Backwards Land," said one Congressional staffer referring to the Pompeo bill.