The genetically modified crop, pesticide and chemical giant Monsanto has drawn the unbridled rage of protesters worldwide for their relentless bid to control the seed and food supply, and for their crops’ adverse health effects and cross contamination of their organic counterparts.
The company and its competitors such as Dow Chemical and DuPont are also heavily embedded within the academic scene and among decision makers in government, with the goal of changing the narrative on GMO crops and hiding the truth from consumers.
A recent study downplaying the positive benefits of organic food made waves recently as it was picked up by several major media outlets. But since its release earlier this week, it has also come under scrutiny because of possible conflicts of interest, as well as the rush to judgment in the big media headlines placed on their stories.
Here is an example of the Stanford organic study with a headline amplifying the alleged similarities between organic and “conventional” (pesticide-laced) produce from the Washington Post. And here is another example of a headline that actually highlights the benefits shown by organic food in the same study, completely flipping the script.
These two examples show just how important it is to have control of the flow of information, and right now, the big pesticide and big food companies have much more control, although they’re losing their grip.
It also shows how important it is to look beyond the headlines, and for media outlets to do more research instead of simply passing along press releases with vested interests in one side or the other as news, and as the be-all, end-all.
Stanford University is one of the best in the country but there are also conflicts of interest that the mainstream media has not reported closely on. For example, consider that George H. Poste is a Monsanto board member and also a Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution (wide-ranging think tank) at the same university, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His ties to Monsanto and influence at the university should be investigated, but it seems as if outlets such as the Post and New York Times, which ran a column essentially calling organic food consumers “cult members,” have already made up their minds about what the study supposedly represents.
There are also questionable ties to former big tobacco “scientists” as well as Cargill, which has given several millions to Stanford and has a big financial interest in stopping the organic and GMO-free movements.
With the timing of the study coinciding with one of the biggest food freedom votes in many years, the California Prop 37 for GMO food labeling, these and other conflicts of interest must be examined in full detail.
And with Monsanto, Cargill and other interests working behind the scenes at Stanford, it’s safe to say the recent organic food study should be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially considering that it runs contrary to the many other studies that affirm better nutrition from organic food grown in more rich soil that hasn’t been assaulted for years with chemical pesticides.
Nicholas Tomasi is an AP-Award winning sports journalist and author turned health researcher. He currently runs AltHealthWORKS, a website dedicated to alternative medicine, organic food and the GMO-free movement.