Back in 1999, a story by the UK press Independent reported:
...that Monsanto employees don't eat their very own GM (genetically modified) foods, in their High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire UK facility.
Of the 1999 article, Greenpeace locked on to the news story, reportedly exposed by Friends of the Earth, was subsequently spread by the local and international media.
(no reference found on the FoE site)
The notice was posted by the Sutcliffe Catering Group......not their employers, Monsanto."The firm running the canteen at Monsanto's pharmaceuticals factory at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, serves only GM-free meals, Friends of the Earth said. In a notice in the canteen, Sutcliffe Catering, owned by the Granada Group, said it had taken the decision "to remove, as far as practicable, GM soya and maize from all food products served in our restaurant. We have taken the above steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve."
That UK facility is now closed
That was 1999...more on that later. ***
But let's look at the facts as described by the initial story.....
1) One Monsanto facility, in the UK, in 1999
2) The decision was posted by a contracted caterer, employed by Monsanto.
3) This story was never confirmed. (denied later)
Lately, the current anti-GMO activists have renewed (recycled) this story.
Now it is quite popular that the kindergarten school-game of "The Telephone Game", or Chinese_whispers is inadvertently played here on the net.
So now in 2012 we see the story reported as :
-- all Monsanto's facilities practice this non-GM diet
-- is a great juxtaposition of company values, exposing the real threat of GMO's
-- even the Monsanto employees won't eat GMO's
(notice the plural, "canteens")There's a story doing the rounds again, about how Monsanto, one of the world’s largest profiteers of genetically engineered (GE) food, banned GE food from its own corporate canteens!
Here is a rebuttal of that initial story...
...yes, that was from a Monsanto blog. I feel like employees have a right to defend themselves, and to attempt to expose the truth.Flash forward 13 years. Greenpeace, always interested in recycling, recycles this 1999 news story. People get excited, and tweet it as a current story.
The fact is, it wasn’t true in 1999, and it’s not true today.
All foods can be found in Monsanto cafeterias – conventional and organic. None of it is singled out as conventional or organic. It’s just food served in our cafeterias, the same food that everyone else eats.
In fact, the only time any food was removed from Monsanto cafeterias was a few years back, when a produce company announced a voluntary recall of spinach because of possible E. coli contamination. We remember it because spinach leaves suddenly disappeared from our salad bars.
*** OK, back to 1999 in the UK, when the original news article was written, and the claims issued....
Yes, the GMO issue in the UK and the EU was hot then.
In fact, in 1999, the UK parliament banned GM foods from their work-supplied meals and resturants...
...and the 1999 public in the UK was also very unsure of GM foods....so why wouldn't an independent catering company (who happened to also worked for Monsanto) have and share the current public outcry for "testing before serving" ?? After all, as an independent catering company (not only serving to Monsanto), their reputation is based on their actions. Those actions would surely reflect upon their other catering jobs, outside of Monsanto.
It's not too hard to imagine that they may have took a small amount of pride, in beating down the giant (GMO = Monsanto) by offering only non-GM food, to a GM giant. This is of course my own guess, and I have found no data to back-up that guess. But as a cook, and who has friends as caterers, I know their "healthy goal". Healthy is part of their business attraction, otherwise people would not hire them, they'd hire deep-fry chefs.