Donald Trump’s tenure as president has been nothing short of a disaster for holistic health and clean food advocates since he took over as Commander in Chief back in January 2017, and lately, the disappointments and letdowns have shown no signs of slowing.
In January 2018, Trump uttered the words “biotechnology” for the first time as part of a speech in Nashville, Tennessee, during which he set the stage for GMO “food” companies like Bayer, Monsanto and DuPont to thrive with surprising comments.
“We are streamlining regulations that have blocked cutting-edge biotechnology, setting free our farmers to innovate, thrive, and to grow,” Trump said in a public meeting with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“Oh, are you happy you voted for me. You are so lucky that I gave you that privilege,” he later said during his speech.
Now, President Trump is doubling down on his support for GMOs, in a move that has outraged organic food advocates across the country and could allow for new GMO crops, and animals, to flood the market without prior scientific review and safety testing.
Trump Signs Executive Order to Further GMO Agenda
This past Tuesday, President Trump officially signed an executive order allowing federal agencies to scale back regulation of genetically engineered organisms, animals and foods, which are most widely known by the “GMO” moniker.
Trump’s newly signed executive order directs agencies to exempt many GMOs from proper regulation, and will help speed up the review process.
As a result, an “increasing number” of GMO crops and animals (possibly including the new GMO salmon, whose eggs have just entered the United States for the first time) will not be be subject to scientific review by federal agencies, a report from the Center for Food Safety said.
The order comes just a week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a proposed rule to limit and weaken regulation of GMOs that fall under its jurisdiction.
According to the report, the White House claims it will direct government agencies to “streamline” regulations for biotechnology (which sounds strikingly similar to former President George H.W. Bush’s infamous meeting with Monsanto in 1987, when seven words ushered in the GMO era).
Trump’s goal is to weaken the already toothless regulatory system that has “repeatedly failed to protect farmers, rural communities, and the environment from the havoc wrought by genetically engineered products, or GMOs,” the CFS said.
In addition to gutting already weak regulations, which generally only allow for 90-day safety reviews for most lab-spliced GMO crops and basically give a free pass to new CRISPR gene edited crops from scientists playing God with our food, the executive order will also include an “international outreach” component to promote GMOs internationally using government-sanctioned propaganda campaigns.
Since the announcement of the news social media, and organizations like the CFS, have been abuzz about Trump’s latest betrayal to the organic and natural food movement.
“President Trump’s executive order shows that this administration is beholden to pesticide corporations, not serving the interests of farmers as it claims,” said Bill Freese, science and policy analyst at Center for Food Safety (CFS).
“If the administration cared about farmers, it would take steps to protect them from the GMO-driven herbicide drift that is devastating their crops, or actually investigate the latest genetically engineered wheat contamination episode.”
The CFS does not appear ready to take the news sitting down by any stretch of the imagination.
The organization is already busy in the courts working to stop the latest generation of “hazardous” GMO crops and their associated toxic pesticides, previously suing to stop the approval of genetically engineered salmon and petitioning the government to protect the iconic monarch butterfly from GMO agriculture and glyphosate.
The combination of GMO crops and the cancer-causing pesticide glyphosate has been devastating wildlife, the health of humans who come in contact with it, and rural landscapes for years.
Despite long odds, the CFS has vowed to continue the fight.
“CFS will fight this Trump initiative with all the means at our disposal,” said George Kimbrell, legal director at CFS.
“We will counter Trump’s propaganda efforts with public education on the pesticide-promoting effects of GMOs, the environmental hazards of genetically engineered salmon, and the administration’s junk science approach to regulation.
“CFS will continue to educate the public about the huge losses suffered by farmers whose crops, through no fault of their own, become contaminated with experimental GMOs that USDA refuses to properly confine,” he continued.
For more information, check out the full release from the CFS here, and be sure to support them with your dollars if you’d like to help put a stop to reckless promotion of GMOs by the Trump administration.