I have long suspected something like this. The more I look into the anti-genetically modified organism movement, the more it reminds of other pseudoscience movements (creationism, anti-vaccine, anti-global warming, homeopathy, etc). In this case, it’s because, it appears that there will be some profit for non-GMO using farmers, distributors, etc. if a GMO labeling bill passes.
I’m sure that everyone has heard about the autism/MMR vaccine link. It turns out that every single report, web-site, editorial, etc that tried to link autism and the MMR vaccine basically came from one source, a study done by one Andrew Wakefield in the late 90s. In 2004, Brian Deer published an expose of Wakefield’s work. In that expose, he showed that Wakefield made up data about his 7 patients. He was also provided money by a law firm. Finally Wakefield was developing his own measles vaccine and the regular MMR vaccine was a competing product.
The entire autism/MMR Vaccine scare was caused by one man looking to make a profit. Unfortunately, like most things in this internet age, the meme takes on a life of its own and children have died because of not getting vaccines.
Now, we seem to have some evidence that the labeling GMOs movement is similar. Joseph Mercola is a California businessman who has contributed 1.1 million dollars to support the California effort to label GMOs. He has stated that the labels will make 85% of people not buy them… thereby increasing the purchase of organic and non-GMO produce. Oh yeah, Mercola is also a doctor and has one of the largest internet doctoring sites… which has been censured by the FDA for making false claims.
He is joined by Nature’s Path Foods, The Organic Consumers Fund, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, who have each contributed no less than $300,000. Now, why would a natural foods supplier and an organic foods group be spending money to label GMOs? Oh wait, I think I just answered my own question.
I’ve taken a fair number of graduate business classes. I work for a major corporation. I know business people. And they never spend money that they don’t have to. However, if there’s a chance for profit, then money will be spent.
If Mercola is correct and 85% of people stop buying foods with the GMO label, then who picks up the slack? Oh yeah, the natural and organic food suppliers.
It’s not a smoking gun, but it sure is a thing that makes me go, hmmmm…