Monsanto has hit the headlines recently, after donating $4.7 million to a campaign against GMO (genetically modified organism) labelling in Colorado.

The donation is the largest of the most recent reporting period from Sept. 11 to 24.

It is one of the primary producers of genetically modified seeds and chemical products in the world.

The corporation is opposing Proposition 105 which would require any food exports that contain GMO ingredients to be labelled accordingly.

A vested interest campaign group known as the ‘No on 105 committee’ has raised almost $10 million, while Pepsico and Kraft Foods are also giving more than $1 million each to the campaign. They launched a series of TV adverts, with propaganda against the requirement for GMO foods to be labelled.

On the other hand, the supporters of the labeling initiative, Right to Know GMO, have raised about $323,000, including almost $120,000 over the last few weeks.

However, Monsanto appears to hold more sway over government initiatives in the US than most other companies.

This is partly because in 2010, Michael Taylor, former Vice President of Public Policy at Monsanto, was appointed as the deputy commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA is supposed to be a consumer watchdog which evaluates new drugs before they can be sold.

They also assess the safety of food and plan for new legislation surrounding food safety. In addition, they ensure that food labels contain clear and accurate information on nutrition.

Clearly, an organisation with such a powerful control over food safety standards in America, are expected to be impartial and act in the interests of the ordinary man and woman in the street, and not big, multinational corporations.

Therefore, appointing a man who has direct connections with one of the world’s biggest GMO producers casts doubt over the integrity and objectivity of an organisation that many believe are there to safeguard their food and health.

Previous scientific studies have linked GMO foods to toxicity in young infants, and cancer, while several other reports, including an EU research paper, linked GMO products to birth defects.

 However, the FDA insists that GMO foods are not much different from regular food, so they will be treated in the same way.

But how much can their evaluation be relied upon, when the very people who will have a hand in approving these findings, are those with links to GMO producing corporations?

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