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By Analiese Paik
On June 4, 2012 I received a phone call from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) asking if I would be interested in participating in a Food Day webinar. Last year I organized Food Day events addressing ways to better advocate for better school food with two national experts who live in CT. Before I accepted CSPI’s webinar invitation, I said I was anxious to know their position on GE foods. They had been very quiet on the issue. I was told that information would be made available to me and I was subsequently emailed CSPI’s draft report entitled “Straight Talk on Genetically Engineered Foods” the same day. I skimmed the report, wrote the letter below, and emailed it to CSPI. CSPI’s biotech report is not available online yet, so please click here to download the pdf from this website.
Thanks for the information about Food Day and the GMO draft report. I will not be participating in Food Day this year as a result of the report. I am extremely disappointed that CSPI, an organization that I had revered for years, would ignore scientific reports about the proliferation of super weeds and increased use of herbicides that have resulted from the planting of GE monocultures. That is clear evidence that GE technology is not sustainable and therefore not good for people, animals or planet. Frankly, I’m dumbfounded.
A friend of mine warned me last year that CSPI was taking money from Monsanto. I called CSPI and was told that they weren’t. Honestly, I don’t know any other way of explaining their position in the report. Additionally, there are reports out of India, the UK and Canada, FDA scientist reports, reports from Professor Don Huber, and many more that document the health and environmental risks of GE crops and their companion herbicides. I really would like to know why CSPI ignored these in their report.
Frankly, the report is mislabeled. This is not straight talk; it’s talk about items that have been cherry picked to avoid taking a stand. And the ugly and complicated issues were left on the cutting room floor. CSPI is being Switzerland. That’s not what US citizens need now. We need honesty, tough questions, and leadership willing and ready to take a stand and at a minimum, to advocate to give consumers the right that 50 other countries, including China, enjoy. That’s the right to know if we are eating GE foods. As the co-founder of Right to Know CT, a grassroots organization supporting GE food labeling legislation in CT and beyond, I hereby respectfully request that CSPI management and the board revisit their position on GE foods and revise the report before releasing it to the public.
I would also like to know if any biotech or other large food or agricultural companies, or conduit companies, organizations or individuals support CSPI through donations or other means. As a non-profit I believe this information is available to the public upon request. Thank you.
I worked very hard last year to put together Food Day events, but will find other means to continue to educate, inform and inspire change in the community. As a matter of fact, I do it every day and I don’t take money from anyone.
Founder, Fairfield Green Food Guide
Co-founder Right to Know CT
Can you think of a more appropriate title for CSPI’s biotech report than “Straight Talk?” Looking forward to reading your comments.