With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and support from selected journalists and industry-supported academics, Cornell University is allegedly propping up GM industry myths for biotech and agribusiness companies.
Cornell is an Ivy League school known throughout the world as one of the most impressive academic institutions, but it seems to have abandoned scientific objectivity for the promise of a paycheck.
Evidence of this accusation is outlined in an article titled “Why is Cornell University hosting a GMO propaganda campaign?” by Stacy Malkan, co-director of the consumer group U.S. Right to Know.
Cornell Alliance for Science Fosters GMO Propaganda
Malkan suggests that the Cornell Alliance for Science (CAS), launched in 2014 with a $5.6 million Gates Foundation grant, is operating as a PR campaign that promotes genetically engineered crops and foods using the same inaccurate messaging and unscrupulous tactics the agrichemical industry uses to push its agenda for chemically intensive, GMO agriculture.
Cornell with Gates’ funding is accused of:
- Routinely making unscientific statements about GMOs under the guise of “standing up for science.”
- Partnering with chemical industry PR operatives to teach “science” to students.
- Offering fellowships for GMO advocates including an ethically questionable journalism fellowship.
Findings from another report suggest that the founders of Cornell University, Andrew D. White and Ezra Cornell, might not be so proud of the university today: Global Justice Now released information making the case that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest charitable foundation, is funding strategies at Cornell that promote multinational corporate interests at the expense of social and economic justice.
Reports Question Motives of Gates Foundation
Then there are these questions about Cornell and the Gates Foundation’s practices outlined in numerous articles:
- Global Justice Now report, January 2016, “Gated Development – is the Gates Foundation always a force for good?”
- Grain report, November 2014, “How does the Gates Foundation spend its money to feed the world?”
It’s difficult to refute these accusations. The CAS was launched in 2014 with a $5.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Its goal is to “depolarize the charged debate” about GMOs and to “restore the importance of scientific evidence in decision making [about GMOs].” But the CAS is promoting GMOs by using dishonest messaging, similar to the fraud and character assassination that were aimed at Gilles-Éric Séralini to discredit his study of rats fed a GMO diet.
Is Cornell Communicating Science or Propaganda about GMOs?
The aims of the CAS are made clear in the group’s promotional video.
Director Sarah Evanega, Ph.D., describes CAS as a:
“communications-based nonprofit organization represented by scientists, farmers, NGOs, journalists and concerned citizens [who will use] interactive online platforms, multimedia resources and communication training programs to build a global movement to advocate for access to biotechnology.”
But what about ALL the evidence showing that GMOs are hurting farmers, killing pollinators, and ruining biodiversity, not to mention harming human health?
The United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization has found an extensive loss of 75% of plant genetic diversity since 1900 when farmers began planting mass-produced, genetically uniform crop varieties.
Bees Are Crucial for Food Survival
When the honeybees started dying en masse, everyone seemed to notice except the biotech industry. Bees are crucial for food production. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that over a fourth of the American diet relies on pollination by honeybees. That means no bees, no food. But the biotech industry plugs away, making more pesticide-resistant crops that require ever larger doses of pesticides that kill bees.
A large number of foods depend on bees for pollination. According to the American Beekeeping Federation, some foods, like blueberries and cherries, are 90-percent dependent on bees for pollination. Without bees, we’re facing food extinction. Estimates are that nearly a third of the honeybee population has been wiped out since 2006.
Is there no one at Cornell with an IQ large enough to face these facts?
Biotech Propaganda Is Widespread
As Portland Independent Media points out:
“Biotech scientific establishment has a hold on the youth from an early age. Some of the intro biology textbooks published by Peter Raven may hold clues why biotech is accepted by so many people. The Raven biology textbook contains info on how to genetically engineer life forms by inserting a viral/bacterial plasmid into the DNA of another living organism.
This presents the genetic engineering method as acceptable and students are encouraged to pursue research in that field. (“Biotech’s where the money is” said my biology teacher at community college) Raven is also head of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, heavily subsidized by Monsanto. Raven called out to the scientific community to document all the living plant species on the planet and record their taxonomy info.
This is a form of biopatenting, claiming intellectual property rights of the genetic sequence of plant DNA/RNA. Medicinal plants are sought after the most, pharmaceutical products come from derived plant chemical compounds. By claiming ownership of the plant’s DNA, it becomes easier for the corporations to manipulate the molecular biochemistry of the plant itself.”
It’s not just Cornell that’s been infiltrated. The biotech industry is trying to shape minds at numerous universities across the United States. Biotech, bioweapons and pharmaceutical corporations influence the school system through various grants and funding of textbook publishers. Students are encouraged to be ‘open-minded’ about genetic engineering and the animal testing that follows.
When a GM human comes along, are we to simply smile and nod at the marvel of DNA alteration, or will we stand gawking at the travesty we’ve created for $2 billion in grants provided by the Gates Foundation?
This article originally appeared at Natural Society.