Lobbyists Spend Millions Every Year to Hide the GMOs in Your Fridge

Anyone concerned about their food should be wary of Monsanto’s attempt to hide what genetically modified foods are doing to our health and our bodies. Monsanto is a giant corporation based in the United States which has spread its imperial tentacles all over the world, influencing the sale of genetically modified foods and perpetuating the decline of an indigenous way of life. Monsanto claims their food is no different from organic, chemical-free food, but how much has been spent to ensure that nobody finds out the truth?

In the United States, over 80% of soybeans, corn, canola and cotton are genetically modified. In processed foods, 60% of the ingredients contain soy. The reasons Monsanto’s seeds were able to flourish in the United States was because farmers were able to yield much more from their seeds while minimizing the use of pesticides. Our sacred vegetables and fruits are saturated with a chemically induced modification that has reduced the nutritional value significantly.

Studies show GMO seeds do, in fact, need pesticide. Growers are encouraged to use Monsanto’s own “Roundup Herbicide” in conjunction with the GMO seeds. Weeds become resistant to the herbicide which results in growers having to use more to kill tougher weeds.

In California, Prop. 37 was put on the ballot during the 2012 elections to ensure that genetically modified foods would be labeled. It wasn’t a measure to stop genetically modified foods from being created, but to generate awareness on what people are eating. Had it passed, Prop. 37 would have created transparency, forcing Monsanto and companies who work with them to cease marketing genetically modified food as “natural.” During the campaign, Monsanto spent $8.1 millionin anti-Prop. 37 efforts. For a corporation that insists their food is natural and good for us, they certainly do not want us to know the details about their food.

Most recently, President Obama signed a bill containing a measure protecting Monsanto publicly called the Monsanto Protection Act. Essentially, the conversation on transparency regarding GMO seeds and the harm they cause has been shut down. The government must now allow the planting of GMO seeds even though studies show the serious health risks involved.

Nutritious, healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables are under attack because corporations like Monsanto want to capitalize off of the sacred earth. Monsanto changes naturally-made food, makes it cheap and then manipulates it so it becomes valuable to the market (think high fructose corn syrup).  This makes it easy for working class families to buy into genetically modified foods due to lack of knowledge and accessibility.

Monsanto has created a cozy relationship with the government and dropped millions of dollars every year in lobbying efforts so laws are passed in their favor. Unfortunately, we have to continue to do our research before heading to the grocery store, because Monsanto and other companies who benefit from GMO seeds are actively working towards keeping us in the dark about the ugly truth.

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Maribel Hermosillo

Maribel Hermosillo is a contributor for PolicyMic's Identities column covering racial justice and feminism. Maribel has written for Rh Reality Check, Strong Families, The San Antonio Current, Yes Ma’am, Brown Queen and The Arts United of San Antonio. Maribel graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a focus on American Studies and Mexican-American Studies. Maribel's experience as a first generation queer woman of color deeply informs her writing and poetry. Maribel likes to take long reflective walks on mountains, hills and wooded areas. She resides in San Antonio, Texas.

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