October 29, 2013, The Nation
The 2013 World Food Prize was awarded to three chemical company executives, including Monsanto executive vice president and chief technology officer, Robert Fraley, responsible for development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The choice of Fraley was widely protested, with eighty-one members of the prestigious World Future Council calling it “an affront to the growing international consensus on safe, ecological farming practices that have been scientifically proven to promote nutrition and sustainability.” The choice of Monsanto’s man triggered accusations of prize buying. From 1999 to 2011, Monsanto donated $380,000 to the World Food Prize Foundation, in addition to a $5 million contribution in 2008. For some, the award to Monsanto is actually a sign of desperation on the part of the GMO establishment. The arguments of the critics are making headway. Owing to concern about the dangers and risks posed by genetically engineered organisms, many governments have instituted total or partial bans on their cultivation, importation, and field-testing. A few years ago, there were sixteen countries that had total or partial bans on GMOs. Now there are at least twenty-six, including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia. Significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries. Already, American rice farmers face strict limitations on their exports to the European Union, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, and are banned altogether from Russia and Bulgaria because unapproved genetically engineered rice “escaped” during open-field trials on GMO rice.
Note: For more on the risks from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.