"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison
"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food," said Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications. "Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job."
- New York Times, October 25, 1998
"What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it's doing are as different as night and day." - Dr. Herbert Ley, Former FDA Commissioner
"The FDA serves as the pharmaceutical industry's watchdog, which can be called upon to attack and destroy a potential competitor under the guise of protecting the public." - Dr. James P. Carter
The Fairfield Weekly Reader [Iowa, USA]
April 7, 2004
Jeffrey Smith's SEEDS OF DECEPTION Tour Helps Shape Public Policy
Since his book launch in September, Fairfielder Jeffrey Smith has visited nearly 100 cities in 12 countries on five continents, meeting with senior politicians, testifying before state and national committees, and reaching tens of millions of people through TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Jeffrey's book, SEEDS OF DECEPTION, is considered the most complete and compelling presentation of the health dangers of genetically modified (GM) foods and the corporate manipulation responsible for their approval.
Former UK environment minister Michael Meacher says, "What is so exciting about this book is that it is not dry text of scientific exegesis--it positively fizzes with the human drama of the cabals and conspiracies behind the scenes which have littered the history of Big Biotech in its frantic efforts to get itself accepted. It is meticulously documented and powerfully written, somewhere between a documentary and a thriller."
Meacher, who wrote the foreword to Jeffrey's UK edition, was on hand to help him launch the Australian edition in Sidney. Eight days and 35 media interviews later, Jeffrey traveled to the conference of the United Nations Cartagena Protocol for Biosafety in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He presented books to senior representatives from more than 50 countries and held a "side event" to explain the latest findings on the health dangers of GM foods to conference delegates. This included three just-announced discoveries: The potentially dangerous "promoter" inserted into most GM foods was found intact in rat tissue three days after a single GM meal; 39 Philippinos living next to a GM cornfield developed disease symptoms during the time of pollination (positive antibody tests support, but don't prove a connection); and transgenic vaccines gave rise to unpredicted and potentially dangerous hybrid viruses. (See www.SeedsOfDeception.com)
In Vermont, members of the State Senate and House are using Jeffrey's book and his earlier Senate Ag Committee testimony in their efforts to pass legislation. The Senate last month passed a bill assigning liability to the biotech industry for contamination and last year passed a bill requiring labeling of GM seeds. The House has yet to vote on these and both are considering a bill for a two-year moratorium on planting GM crops. One local anti-GM group gives books to elected officials for every $10 donation, and it appears to have an impact. At one committee meeting, a representative read aloud from Jeffrey's book. Another House Rep told a crowd of 150 anti-GMO protestors outside the State House that everybody should read SEEDS OF DECEPTION. Representatives also used material from the book to ask tough questions of a testifying Monsanto scientist (who couldn't answer most of them).
Jeffrey returned to Vermont last week and, on one noteworthy day of his tour, he addressed nearly 100 people in the State House for nearly two hours (including the secretary of agriculture and several senators and representatives), appeared on TV news both statewide and throughout New England, was featured on the front page of a regional paper and in Op-Ed articles in local papers, was on statewide radio for 90 minutes and nationally syndicated radio for 30 minutes, was interviewed by the Vermont Press Bureau, taped by public access, and met privately with several members of the Vermont legislature.
SEEDS OF DECEPTION is used extensively by anti-GMO campaigners around the world: In Mendicino, California, where a ballot initiative to ban the planting of GM crops in the county passed on March 2; in Hawaii, where several GM bills are before the legislature and county councils; in Africa, where Monsanto and the US government are using promises of research money or threats of withdrawn food aid to promote GM crops, and India where the government recently verified Greenpeace's charges that false crop reports were used to approve GM cotton (that failed miserably).
Jeffrey, who returned to Fairfield this week after four months, will travel next week to southern Brazil, where he is invited by the Brazilian government to speak at an Environmental Law conference. In Rome the following week, the leading farm group in Italy has set up a conference to launch Jeffrey's Italian edition. The Italian agriculture minister will also speak. Then it's on to Wales, where local groups rushed copies of Jeffrey's book to assembly members before their critical vote last week, in which they vetoed Prime Minister Tony Blair's plan to approve the planting of a new GM corn variety. Jeffrey will address members of the Welsh Assembly before traveling to Scotland and England for his UK edition launch.
Policy makers often tell Jeffrey how reading his book has changed their minds on the issue. One senior official commented, "When people read your book, they never see the world the same again." He invited Jeffrey to tour developing nations, which are pressured to plant GM crops, but don't realize the risks. Jeffrey is raising funds so he can accept this invitation. He returns to Fairfield in May to begin his second book, which will focus on environmental and agricultural issues of biotechnology, as well as more of the industry manipulation he is seeing firsthand
around the world.