A new spending bill allows the FDA to launch a massive multi-million dollar “public information campaign,” one that many are calling propaganda, to promote genetically engineered (aka modified) foods from Monsanto, Bayer, and other similar companies.
Considering that these biotech companies already spend millions of their own money on promoting GMOs in order to prevent growing consumer rejection of foods containing the crops, the news comes as more than a mild surprise to say the least.
Environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth have roundly opposed the measure, which will cost over $3 million dollars of taxpayer money to sell the general public on Monsanto’s GMOs.
Biotech proponents claim the few million is merely a “speck” of the FDA’s annual $2.8 billion budget, but massive consumer rejection of GMO crops would suggest the decision makes little sense.
“This is a really clear example of big ag influencing policy,” said Dana Perls, the senior food and technology campaigner for the environmental group Friends of the Earth. “The Trump administration is putting big ag before consumer desire and public health … Consumers do not want this.”
Rep. Nita M. Lowey also spoke out about the measure last month in an attempt to have it stricken from the bill.
“It is not the responsibility of the FDA to mount a government-controlled propaganda campaign to convince the American public that genetically modified foods are safe,” she said.
“The FDA has to regulate the safety of our food supply and medical devices. They are not, nor should they be, in the pro-industry advertising business,” she said during a recent congressional hearing.
It is completely inappropriate for U.S. tax dollars to be spent pushing the biotech industry’s toxic agenda and it’s time to let your voice be heard. The FDA is accepting public comments on the congressional decision to spend taxpayer money to promote GMOs. You may submit comments beginning on October 13, 2017. Comments will be accepted until November 17, 2017.
To submit comments to the docket electronically, click here and type FDA-2017-N-5991 in the search box.
To submit comments to the docket by mail, use the following address. Be sure to include docket number FDA-2017-N-5991 on each page of your written comments.
Divisions of Dockets Management
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852
The FDA has also announced public meetings to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, and San Francisco, California, regarding its Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative.
According to the FDA’s website, the purpose of the public meetings is to “provide the public with an opportunity to share information, experiences, and suggestions to help inform the development of this education and outreach initiative.”
It is imperative for the non-GMO movement to have a presence at these meetings. If you live in or around Charlotte or San Francisco, please make arrangements to be there.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Tuesday, November 7, 2017, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm EST
Omni Charlotte Hotel
132 E Trade Street
San Francisco, California
Tuesday, November 14, 2017, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm PST
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
780 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA
For questions about registering for the meetings or to register via email, mail or fax, contact Simone Katz, Strategic Results, 101 Lakeforest Blvd., Suite 390, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, 240-449-8427, Fax: 240-641-9042, e-mail: [email protected]