Feels good, tastes great - biotech seed key to greener future (4/11/2005)

You have to read item 2 to believe it:
1.C'mon into my Greenwash Kitchen...
2.Feels good, tastes great - biotech seed key to greener future
3.No 'wormy' corn in the The Green Kitchen

1.C'mon into my Greenwash Kitchen...

Jeff Wilson, the farmer fronting The Green Kitchen (item 2), is described as 'a farmer from Birkbank Farms'. Birkbank, however, is no ordinary farm and Wilson no ordinary farmer. Both are part of the 'Food Safety Network' headed by Doug Powell.

The Food Safety Network's ever lengthening list of backers includes Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Pioneer Hi-Bred, ConAgra, McDonald's, Nestle, Ag-West Biotech, Bioniche Life Sciences Inc., Southern Crop Protection Association and the (biotech industry funded) Council for Biotechnology Information who, along with Dow, is among the backers of The Green Kitchen.

The third item below describes how Doug Powell and Jeff Wilson use Birkbank Farms to generate pro-GM research findings.

2.Feels good, tastes great - biotech seed key to greener future
BioScience Communicators, November 3, 2005

TORONTO, ON - Corn has never tasted or felt so good. Consumers can experience the difference at 'The Green Kitchen: Taste and Touch the Future' exhibit at this year's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Nov 4-13.

'Our food all starts with seeds and we want to show some of the interesting directions that seeds can now take with the benefit of biotechnology,' says Jeff Wilson, a farmer from Birkbank Farms, Orton, Ontario. 'Corn, for instance, is becoming more than just corn flakes. It's the secret ingredient for making fibres and fuels that are earth-friendly. '

Imagine standing on corn fibre carpet dressed in a soft cornstarch fibre T-shirt, eating corn cereal with a corn plastic spoon. Now c'mon over to The Green Kitchen and see it all for yourself. It's full of many plant-based replacements for petroleum-based products. And by the way, our Green Kitchen is built inside an honest-to-goodness grain bin.

The Green Kitchen taste and touch experience is part of the all new, interactive 'To your Good Health' pavilion in Exhibit Hall A at the National Trade Centre. Sponsored by the Council for Biotechnology Information and Bioproducts Canada, the Green Kitchen demonstrates how biotech crops are providing safe, healthy foods and environmentally friendly consumer products from annually renewable agricultural resources.

And don't miss dietitian Milly Ryan-Harshman presenting 'Good Ideas are Growing' on the To Your Good Health stage on Monday, November 7 at 1:30 pm and on Wednesday, November 9 at 12:30 pm.

The Green Kitchen exhibit has been constructed with the help of Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc. and Twister Bins in partnership with the Council for Biotechnology Information and BioProducts Canada.

3.No 'wormy' corn in the The Green Kitchen

Jeff Wilson of The Green Kitchen and Doug Powell, who heads the Food Safety Network at the University of Guelph, have used the Wilson-run Birkbank Farms to generate research on consumer responses to GM (Bt) sweet corn and non-GM (conventional) sweet corn.

They report that in the experiments the sweet corn is separated into two separate bins at the Wilson farm market and labelled as either genetically engineered Bt sweet corn or regular sweet corn. Both are sold for the same price and 'sales to date show the genetically engineered Bt sweet corn outselling the regular sweet corn.'

However, despite repeated claims that the research shows 'consumers voting with their wallets' for the GM produce, concern has been expressed about strong experimenter bias in the assessment of consumer preference.

A photo taken at the Wilson farm market shows a sign above the non-GM sweet corn bin headed 'Would You Eat Wormy Sweet Corn?' followed by a long list of chemicals applied. In contrast, the Bt-sweet corn bin was labelled: 'Here's What Went into Producing Quality Sweet Corn,' followed by a list of fertilizers, with the fact that it was Bt-corn only shown on a separate sign.

The wording introduces such clear experimenter bias that it seems positively remarkable that in these circumstances consumers were still willing to buy as many as 5000 cobs of 'wormy' (as against 'quality') sweet corn. This could be said to suggest a pretty high level of consumer distrust of Bt corn.

For more on Wilson and Powell: http://www.lobbywatch.org/profile1.asp?PrId=257


Back to the Archive