Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently reposted a tweet from a follower blaming his trailing numbers in a new Iowa poll on genetically modified corn that “creates issues in the brain.” The GMO issue looms large for the candidates currently in the running.
“@mygreenhippo #BenCarson is now leading in the #polls in #Iowa. Too much #Monsanto in the #corn creates issues in the brain? #Trump #GOP“
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2015
Trump made his thoughts on GM foods clear with this tweet, but what do the other candidates think? Hillary Clinton is in favor of genetically modified foods, though Hilary recently spoke out about the biotech industry causing inflated drug prices. Clinton has been called a ‘shill’ for biotech, even:
“How is Hillary personally involved in supporting big agriculture? The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which gathers leaders to solve the world’s problems, promotes Monsanto, the maker of RoundUp® and RoundUp Ready® seeds. Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s Chairman and CEO spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in September, 2014. Ms. Clinton’s top campaign advisor, Jerry Crawford, was a lobbyist for Monsanto for years and is now the political pro for her Super PAC, “Ready for Hillary.” Clinton spoke in favor of the government’s Feed the Future (FtF) program, a USAID funded, corporate-partnered program that brings RoundUp Ready® technology to the most vulnerable populations of the world. Monsanto and Dow Chemical support Hillary and Bill’s ‘Clinton Foundation’ with generous donations.”
Clinton has also been known to try to ‘pretty up’ public perception of GM foods, saying that the term ‘Frankenfood’ is a misnomer, and that they should be called drought-resistant crops, instead.
You can see the words come straight from Hillary’s mouth, here.
Then there’s Bernie Sanders who may be running against the grain on a lot of issues, including GMOs but there’s one issue on which Sanders sees eye-to-eye with Hillary Clinton, and Republican contenders: vaccinations. Erstwhile he comes down hard on the TPP, and says that Americans have a right to know what is in their food. Sanders has remarked:
“An overwhelming majority of Americans favor GMO labeling but virtually all of the major biotech and food corporations in the country oppose it . . .(Vermont’s labeling law is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2016.) The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”
Conversely, Jeb Bush has made it clear that he’s a huge fan of GMO’s. At a recent conference, Bush said he supported country-of-origin labeling for produce like the avocados and cilantro that go into his homemade guacamole, but said he said that he did not support the right to know if our food is genetically modified.
“I think that’s a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist,” Bush said, while calling GMOs one of the “greatest high technology innovative sectors of our economy.”“We should not be trying to make it harder for that kind of innovation to exist, we should celebrate it…” he continued.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee also seems to play it safe politically by saying that science is consistently showing that GMOs are safe. He thinks that a “Country of Origin” label makes more sense than a GMO label.
While these aren’t all the 2016 presidential candidates, the front runners have definitely weighed in on the issue. Who do you trust to govern food safety in 2016? After Obama’s empty promise to label GMO foods, maybe the answer is none of them.