Thursday, June 15, 2017 by Isabelle Z.
Life is full of frustrations, from rush hour traffic to overly complex tax codes. However, if you’re Forbes contributor Kavin Senapathy, even the mere act of going to the grocery store is torture. It’s not the bad music they play or a shortage of cashiers that makes this mundane task so annoying for her – it’s Non-GMO Project Verified Labels.
Yes, you read that correctly: This woman claims these Non-GMO labels are “ruining” her shopping experience. They are just a few words slapped onto food packaging with an image of an unassuming-looking butterfly, yet somehow they are turning her trips to the supermarket into an unbearable undertaking.
What’s even more outrageous, this easily frustrated individual says that people do not have a “right to know” if food is GMO because she feels that GMOs are essentially “impossible to define.” She also says these labels don’t tell us anything meaningful. That’s funny; GMOs are a huge topic of debate throughout the world and everyone on both sides seems to know exactly what people are referring to when they use the term.
She might not want to know if her food contains GMOs, but plenty of other people certainly do. Why else would 3,000 brands go to the trouble of having 43,000 products verified by them? Granted, the label is not quite the same as an organic certification, but it does give peace of mind that a company has avoided GMOs in all aspects of food production. It doesn’t consider whether or not a product was exposed to chemical fertilizers or other synthetic substances like the USDA organic label does, but it’s still a good mark to look out for when deciding between two products that otherwise appear to be similar.
Consumers do indeed have a right to know what the products they are buying contain. If you don’t care whether you consume GMOs or not, that’s your right. In that case, don’t look for the label, buy whatever you want, go home and eat it and roll the dice with your health. There is no reason to get worked up over a label on packaging – unless, of course, you are being paid to make a point about it.
She’s taking this really hard for someone who ostensibly has no vested interest in the matter. A quick scroll through some of the author’s past articles for Forbes, however, brings up an interesting and wholly unsurprising trend: She’s quite fond of defending Monsanto.
One of her articles, “Monsanto Found Guilty in Fake Trial that Distracted from Real Problems”, calls the firm a “symbolic scapegoat.” Another piece, “The Anti-Vaccine and Anti-GMO Movements Are Inextricably Linked and Cause Preventable Suffering” tries to cast people who are against dangerous practices like eating food doused in carcinogenic herbicides in a negative light. She also wrote an article telling America to “break up with Dr. Oz,” a vocal GMO critic with a huge television audience.
What do all of these pieces have in common? Senapathy’s articles all read like pro-GMO propaganda. In fact, it’s not out of the question that Monsanto itself penned the pieces, as we found out is common practice at the world’s most-hated firm. Internal emails released in a court case showed that staffers hire ghost writers to craft stories inaccurately portraying its products as safe and then pay scientists to sign off on them.
They also have a team of trolls who are paid to find any negative mentions of their products online and post some fake science in their defense. Therefore, it would not be surprising at all if they were enlisting writers like Senapathy to promote their business by discouraging people from seeking such labels.
Of course, none of this should come as any surprise from Forbes, a publication that published attack pieces by unethical individuals like PR operative Jon Entine against researchers who have the audacity to try to warn the public about GMO dangers. We see you, Forbes, and we know what you’re trying to do.