Pride in false and misleading advertising

October 2012

In 1996, the Attorney General of New York ordered Monsanto to pull advertisements that misrepresented Roundup herbicide as “safer than table salt” and “practically nontoxic” to wildlife. A decade on, the Company was convicted in France of false advertising of Roundup for presenting it as biodegradable, and claiming it left the soil clean after use. Perhaps believing Brazilians to be more gullible than Americans and French, the Company seems to have tried the same trick again just a few years later: the outcome was another fine.

A more sinister revelation regarding this repeat propaganda exercise in South America is that the offending advertisements were aired before the herbicide-tolerant GM crops had been legalised in Brazil. The judge noted that, at that time, the only GM seed entering Brazil was by smuggling. This means that the advertisement was an incentive to criminal activity. This particular criminal activity was flooding Brazil with Monsanto's GM seed. It's presence made it so difficult for the government to control the contamination of its crops that it was bound to be forced to legalise them. Could Monsanto's advertisements really have been innocent in either content or timing, or were they carefully planned to snare Brazil in its GM net? Paying a fine in return for the huge profits to be extracted from Brazil was, no doubt, a bargain.

If you've just read about the long-term experiment which found evidence that GM MAIZE IS NOT SAFE TO EAT (October 2012), Monsanto's propaganda in Brazil takes on an even more sinister aspect. The advertisement was a dialogue between farmer and son with the following text: 
  • Dad what is pride? 
  • Pride: Pride is what I feel when I look at this crop.  When I see the importance of this transgenic soybean for agriculture and the economy of Brazil.  The pride is knowing that we are protecting the environment by using less tillage with herbicide.  Pride is able to help the country produce more food and quality.  See what pride is, son? 
  • I see. And that's what I feel about you, Dad.
The farmer might also have added that pride is knowing you are causing cancer, organ failure and malformed babies in your fellow countrymen and the rest of the world too.

OUR COMMENT
If your pride lies in what you feel when you look at fresh, local produce, and see its importance for agriculture, for the economy of your country, for the health of the environment, and for the quality and sustainability of your food supply, then TAKE ACTION to prevent the evidence of harm from Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops and Roundup herbicide being swept under the carpet.

ACTION - Write to your MP and MEP:
  • stress that in light of the latest long-term feeding safety study you are concerned for your health
  • ask him/her to press for a moratorium on all Roundup Ready crops and the use of Roundup on food and feed crops
  • add any other points you think are important
If you want more information, or help with the contents of your letter or how to contact your MP and MEP, check out GM Freeze Action Alert: Demand better safety testing for GMOs at www.gmfreeze.org/actions/28

SOURCES:
  • GM soy: court convicts Monsanto for false and abusive advertising, Ultima Instancia (Brazil), 22.08.12
  • Glyphosate, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate#Legal_cases

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