The Council for Biotechnology (CBI) has widely circulated what it calls a “Biotechnology Basics Activity Book” for kids, to be used by “agriculture and science Teachers.” The book — called Look Closer at Biotechnology – appears to be a colorful and kid friendly science workbook that attempts to deliver a positive spin on the likely effects of genetic engineering on health, the environment, world hunger and the future of farming.
CBI describes itself as a non-profit 501(c)(6), yet it is sponsored and funded by biotech firms, which include Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta, to name a few. This book claims that biotechnology is useful for: 1) growing more food; 2) helping the environment; and 3) producing more nutritious food that improves our health.
Yet these claims don’t have the weight of evidence behind them. There is little or no research proving that GMO foods are in fact safe. A number of studies indicate that genetically engineered (GE) soybeans, for example, actually produce lower yields than non-genetically engineered varieties. A prominent review of 19 studies examining the safety of these crops found that consumption of GMO corn or soybeans can lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice – particularly in the liver and kidneys. In addition, the credibility of GM seeds is questionable — as France, Germany and Greece have banned GM seeds from industry leader, Monsanto.
Title: “Outrageous Lies Monsanto and Friends Are Trying to Pass off to Kids as Science”
Author: Ronnie Cummins
Date of Publication: March 20, 2012
Title: “Monsanto’s Blatant Corruption and Disregard for Health”
Author: Anthony Gucciardi
Publication: Natural Society
Date of Publication: March 8, 2012
See also: Council for Biotechnology information website link to activity book: http://www.whybiotech.com/resources/activity-book.asp
Student researcher: Jani Sevilla, San Francisco State University
Faculty evaluator: Kenn Burrows, San Francisco State University