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'GMO Answers' website launched by biotech industry

The GM industry's latest PR drive includes a new website aimed at combating mounting opposition to GM foods.

You need to register to be able to post comments. Go to www.GMOAnswers.com to do so and challenge each of their misleading entries, so members of the public who check out the site get a better picture of reality. (e.g., include links to studies like Jack Heinemann's recent one, etc.) Time to match their PR and outreach! A good resource for doing this: http://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/gmo-myths-and-truths

1.'GMO Answers' Website Launched By Monsanto, DuPont, More
2.GMO Re-Education: Monsanto, Dow and Biotech Firms Unite to Launch Disinformation Site

EXTRACT: Biotech is on the defensive now – they have been backed into a corner by activists who insist that the GMOs in our food supply, at the very least, be labeled, so that we can make an informed decision about what we feed our families. This false transparency is their last ditch effort to head off pro-labeling legislation and to keep their toxins hidden in our food supply.

...they’ve invited us to “Be skeptical. Be open. We want to hear from you.” Let’s give them what they asked for, shall we? (item 2)
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1.'GMO Answers' Website Launched By Monsanto, DuPont, More
Carey Gillam
Reuters, 29 July 2013
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/gmo-answers-website_n_3671483.html

A group of biotech seed companies on Monday launched an online forum to combat mounting opposition to genetically modified foods among consumer groups and activists.

The website, www.GMOAnswers.com, is designed as a "central online resource" for information on genetically modified organisms and their use in agriculture and food production, the Biotechnology Industry Organization said.

The website is backed in part by Monsanto Co, DuPont , Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical Co, and other companies whose products include seeds that have been genetically altered to improve food production.

The website is part of a broad campaign by the biotech industry to beat back growing calls for GMO food labeling and for tighter regulation of the biotech seed industry in the United States. European opposition to GMOs is so strong that Monsanto this month said it would withdraw all pending requests to grow new types of GMO crops.

As part of the multi-year, multimillion-dollar campaign, the biotech seed companies will also open some of their fields and offices to visitors and will host face-to-face forums around the country with consumers, according to Cathleen Enright, spokeswoman for the website.

Paul Schickler, president of DuPont Pioneer, the agricultural unit of DuPont, said anti-GMO forces have been using the Internet very effectively to get their message out, and industry wants to use the same strategy to combat what he said were notions "not always based in fact."

"This ... is an effort to increase the dialogue. That is all we want," said Schickler. "Dialogue is good. Over time I think we'll come to a common understanding."

Critics predicted the industry effort to change consumer skepticism would fail, saying there is ample scientific evidence that GMO foods can contribute to health problems in animals and humans, and hurt the environment.

"This latest effort will likely do little to stop the consumer backlash against genetically engineered foods that has been brewing for years," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, a consumer organization.

The most popular gene-altered crops withstand dousings of weed-killing chemicals and produce their own insect-killing toxins. Biotech corn, canola, soybeans, and other crops are used in human food and animal feed around the world, and biotech companies say they are heavily regulated and thoroughly tested.

Last year, Monsanto and other industry members spent $40 million to defeat a ballot initiative in California to require labeling of GMO food. Similar initiatives are under way in several other U.S. states and at the federal level.

Grocery retailer Whole Foods said this year it would require suppliers to label any product made with genetically modified ingredients. And the Natural Products Association, which represents 1,900 food industry players, has called for a uniform national standard for GMO labeling.

Burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc recently became the first major U.S. restaurant chain to disclose GMO ingredients and is moving to remove such products from its supply chain.
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2.GMO Re-Education: Monsanto, Dow and Biotech Firms Unite to Launch Disinformation Site
Daisy Luther
The Organic Pepper, July 29 2013
http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/gmo-re-education-monsanto-dow-and-biotech-firms-unite-to-launch-disinformation-site-07292013

If you had a question about how to protect yourself from a criminal known to break into houses in your neighborhood, would you ask him how to protect your home and then take his suggestions, or would you be suspicious he might be answering them in a way that would make your home even easier to encroach?

If you had a question about the honesty and integrity of a person in an authority position, would you ask that person to investigate himself and then accept his findings? (I mean, if you were a normal person, not if your name is Barack or Eric.)

If a company came out with a new medication that promised to cure your ills overnight, would you ask the company that produced it whether it was safe and trust them to be honest, or would you feel that their answer might be colored by their urge to make a buck?
So why on earth would anyone possibly believe that the likes of Monsanto, Dow, and Dupont would be spreading anything but sales-driven propaganda on their new website GMOAnswers?

Are they serious or is this some kind of big public relations joke being played out on a national platform?  Are we being punked?

What kind of person would look up their answers on a website SPONSORED by the very people who are putting out the toxic garbage they’d like us to believe is food?
Welcome to the compendium of disinformation!

In the most outrageous, blatant case of the foxes being put in charge of the henhouse that I have ever seen, the big biotech companies got together and launched their propaganda site GMOAnswers today. It is run by the Council for Biotechnology Information, whose members include Monsanto, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer CropScience and BASF. The site contains a heavily moderated question and answer forum and a complete compendium of disinformation in the section called “Explore GMOs”.

They purport that the website is an acknowledgement that they need to change:

*Genetically modified organisms — GMOs — are a major topic of discussion today. Across our society, media and the Internet, a growing number of people have shared a wide range of questions and emotions on the topic – ranging from excitement and optimism to skepticism and even fear.

*GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we acknowledge that we haven’t done the best job communicating about them – what they are, how they are made, what the safety data says.

*This website is the beginning of a new conversation among everyone who cares about how our food is grown.

*Join us. Ask tough questions. Be skeptical. Be open. We look forward to sharing answers. (source)

And they tout these 5 principals:

*Respecting people around the world and their right to choose healthy food products that are best for themselves and their families;
*Welcoming and answering questions on all GMO topics;
*Making GMO information, research and data easy to access and evaluate and supporting safety testing of GM products;  including allowing independent safety testing of our products through validated science-based methods;
*Supporting farmers as they work to grow crops using precious resources more efficiently, with less impact on the environment and producing safe, nutritious food and feed products;
*Respecting farmers’ rights to choose the seeds that are best for their farms, businesses and communities and providing seed choices that include non-GM seeds based on market demands.

The most notable things that I saw about the “discussions” there is that the “experts” are all pro-GMO.  There is a very subtle bias against those with concerns, despite the fact that many of them are quoting real statistics and genuine peer-reviewed studies. How many “experts” that are anti-GMO are being moderated right out of the discussion using the “House Rules“?

This website, sadly, is nothing more than an indoctrination vehicle for furthering the myths that Monsanto wants you to believe.

Biotech is on the defensive now – they have been backed into a corner by activists who insist that the GMOs in our food supply, at the very least, be labeled, so that we can make an informed decision about what we feed our families. This false transparency is their last ditch effort to head off pro-labeling legislation and to keep their toxins hidden in our food supply.

What can we do?

I’ve created my own profile over there so that I can “join the discussion.” If you decide to join me, please follow the House Rules to the best of your ability and additionally, remember that you want to garner respect, not scorn, so:

*Be courteous – we are in the right and we should take the high road in conversations
*Don’t be threatening
*Don’t use foul language
*Don’t be abusive towards others, even when you disagree or when they are abusive towards you
*Use facts and cite sources
*If you are censored unfairly, take screen shots and let those tell your story

If other people who don’t know a lot about GMOs come to the forum and see anti-GMO activists scrapping it out in an uncivil fashion, it will close their eyes to the message we are trying to share. Don’t be afraid to be passionate, but please remember that you are representing all of us who say no to GMO.

Do you remember when Cheerios launched the Facebook App that allowed consumers to share what they really thought about the toxin-laden cereal? That was a PR move that backfired dramatically when users bombarded the company’s page with anti-GMO messages.

Biotech must have missed that, because they’ve invited us to “Be skeptical. Be open. We want to hear from you.”

Let’s give them what they asked for, shall we?

About the author:

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.