A post on the Food Science Institute blog details how anti-GMO activist Jeffrey Smith admits that his goal was never to give consumers more information about GMOs through a mandatory labeling program.
Referencing Presidential action on Friday, July 29 – when President Obama signed into law S. 764, which directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national mandatory bioengineered food disclosure standard – Smith says:
“Although this is clearly a defeat in our campaigns for getting mandatory labeling in the United States, we are still winning the bigger, more important effort to ELIMINATE GMOs from the market altogether.”
Smith, a self-proclaimed consumer advocate and author, has no scientific credentials, yet founded the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) to give a platform to his anti-technology agenda. His efforts have been supported by Nature’s Path, Organic Valley, Earth Balance, Natural News, Nutiva, Joe Mercola and the Organic Consumer Association.
Smith’s 2007 book, Genetic Roulette, has been widely debunked by the scientific community. The Academics Review website has a point-by-point response (based on peer-reviewed science) for each of the 65 false claims made by Smith in his book. The 20012 movie by the same name is narrated by Lisa Oz, wife of Dr. Oz, noted critic of biotech foods and GMOs.
Smith’s most recent comments on the 2016 GMO disclosure bill were contained in a recent letter posted on the IRT website in attempt to appease his anti-GMO supporters. In the letter Smith writes:
“Mandatory Labels are not Required for Victory.
“Labeling GMOs was never the end goal for us. It was a tactic. Labels make it easier for shoppers to make healthier non-GMO choices. When enough people avoid GMOs, food companies rush to eliminate them. Labeling can speed up that tipping point – but only if consumers are motivated to use labels to avoid GMOs.
“Therefore, if mandatory labels had been put into place, we would still be required to educate and motivate consumers.”
In other words, Smith isn’t interested in “educating” consumers. This is probably because educated consumers know that – despite misinformation campaigns such as those spread by Jeffrey Smith – GMOs have been proven safe, reliable, affordable and good for the environment.
Educated consumers know that scientific authorities around the world, such as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, have analyzed thousands of scientific studies and concluded that GM food crops do not pose any more risks to people, animals or the environment than any other foods.
Educated consumers know that biotechnology and GMOs hold the key to feeding a global population of 9 billion people, solving developing world problems such as food insecurity and malnutrition, combating plant pests such as those threatening the U.S. citrus industry, and offering solutions to potential human health pandemics such as Zika and Ebola.
These are things that Jeffrey Smith doesn’t want consumers to know. These are facts that threaten his ultimate goal of eliminating GMOs altogether.
Click here to read Smith’s letter in its entirety.