Creationism is not the only bias being pushed on schools these days. The biotech industry, losing credibility with scientists and consumers, is turning its tactics on kids.
Touted as an educational aide for Agriculture and Science teachers, a biotech workbook "reads like a fairytale," says AlterNet's Ronnie Cummins.
Two of its basic claims, that genetic engineering will grow more food and make it healthier, don't square with studies by the Union of Concerned Scientists or the UN, and, adds Cummins, telling kids that GE Foods are nutritional is like calling "Hostess Cupcakes and Coca-Cola" health foods.
It's no surprise that the group behind the book, CBI, is funded by biotech giants like Dow and Monsanto or that it's working behind the scenes to defeat California's GE Food labeling act.
This kind of corporate bias has no place in our schools, and kids would be better served if taught organic gardening skills.
Tell the Dept of Ed to put an end to biotech brainwashing in schools.
We, the undersigned, do not approve of the use of corporate propaganda as teaching tools for our public schools.
We agree with Cummins that "Brainwashing children is a new low, even for Monsanto," and that instead of feeding children corporate falsehoods about the benefits of genetically engineered foods, we should be teaching them the results of independent studies on GE farming. These include the following facts, highlighted in Cummins' report, which contradict claims make in CBI's workbook:
According to responsible farmers and scientists, along with experts at the United Nations, "eco-farming can double food output."
GE crops have "engendered a growing army of superweeds and superpests, oblivious to all but the most powerful and toxic pesticides."
According to Navdanya, an Indian research group, "genetic engineering has not increased the yield of a single crop."
According to testimony by farmers all over the world, "Genetic engineering of seeds has wreaked havoc on the environment and brought misery to hundreds of thousands of small farmers," some of which have committed suicide due to economic devastation caused by Monsanto.
One final outrageous falsehood promoted by this biotech brainwashing is its claim about being good for the environment. Nothing could be further than the truth. From its destruction of soil composition to its killing of honey bees, biotech's method of monocultural pesticide-based farming is destroying entire eco-systems and ultimately the health of humans as well.
We ask that the Department of Education read more of Cummin's report. (There are also many others to back up his assertions).
Kids get enough corporate brainwashing from advertisements without having their educational materials infiltrated by corporate messages as well. Certainly kids and the world would be better served by education classes like Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard Project, which offers healthy resources on organic gardening and for integrating food into the academic classroom.
Please be vigilant in keeping this kind of corporate bias out of our public education system. Thank you for your attention to these concerns.