Exposing the Roots of Genetically Modified Crops: The Monsanto Factor
by Jeffrey Smith
Anti-genetically modified (GM or GMO) crops advocate Jeffrey M. Smith wrote a persuasive book about the perils of genetically modified crops a few years back: Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. Truthout is now offering the DVD adaptation of the book as a Progressive Pick of the Week. Order it now with a minimum contribution of $25 (plus shipping and handling). The takeaway from the DVD is that without more extensive government and academic research, we are left with disturbing signs about how GMOs affect human health. The reason we don’t have more research is that Monsanto and other agrochemical companies are deeply embedded in high positions in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture – and agrochemical companies smear researchers and threaten to withdraw contributions to universities if they post studies on the dangers of GMOs. Get the Genetic Roulette DVD now (with an extra bonus disk). It could change how you eat and improve your health.
The following is an introduction to the book version of Genetic Roulette:
When Kirk Azevedo accepted a Monsanto Company recruiter’s offer in 1996 to sell genetically modified (GM) crops, it wasn’t the pay increase that inspired him. It was the writings of Monsanto CEO Robert Shapiro that were his motivation. Shapiro had painted a picture of feeding the world and cleaning up the environment with his company’s new technology. Kirk was fascinated by the idea of swapping genes between species, creating designer organisms that could reduce manufacturing waste, turning “fields into factories and producing anything from lifesaving drugs to insect-resistant plants.”1 When he visited Monsanto’s St. Louis headquarters for new employee training, Azevedo shared his enthusiasm for Shapiro’s vision during a meeting. When the session ended, a company vice president pulled him aside and set him straight.
“Wait a second,” he told Azevedo. “What Robert Shapiro says is one thing. But what we do is something else. We are here to make money. He is the front man who tells a story. We don’t even understand what he is saying.”
Azevedo was jolted. His image “of helping and healing” the world through GM crops turned out to be a manufactured reality—a lie—crafted to gain public acceptance and to push products. Azevedo realized he was working for “just another profit-oriented company.”