Facing direct opposition from the public, biotechnology giants like Monsanto and Dow are now making a disturbing attempt to brainwash developing minds into accepting their genetically modified foods using blatant lies and propaganda. In a last ditch effort to potentially sway public opinion, the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) has launched the “Biotechnology Basics Activity Book” for kids. With the intent to be used by ‘agriculture and science teachers’, the activity book spreads absurd lies about GMO crops — even going as far as to say that they ‘improve our health’ and ‘help the environment’. The book can be seen on the organization’s website, and makes it extremely apparent that it is full of misinformation and propaganda that completely ignores scientific research surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In fact, let’s examine some claims made by this book that serves as an ‘educational’ tool to be used by teachers. The first claim by the activity book is that genetically modified seeds actually grow more food than traditional seeds, and is followed by even more ridiculous statements. The activity book reads: “Hi Kids! Welcome to the Biotechnology Basics Activity Book. This is an activity book for young people like you about biotechnology — a really neat topic…. You will see that biotechnology is being used to figure out how to: 1) grow more food; 2) help the environment; and 3) grow more nutritious food that improves our health. As you work through the puzzles in this book, you will learn more about biotechnology and all of the wonderful ways it can help people live better lives in a healthier world. Have fun!” Disproving Monsanto’s Propaganda According to 900 scientists, GMO crops actually do not grow more food than traditional farming practices. In fact, they are simply not an effective tool to fight starvation in any capacity, thanks to their excessive costs and immense failure to yield crops. Funded by the World Bank and United Nations, an organization was created known as the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Made up of 900 scientists and researchers, the group — whose mission was to examine the issue of world hunger — found that genetically modified crops were not a meaningful solution to the problem. Instead, the group found that the genetically modified seeds were outperformed by traditional “agro-ecological” farming practices. Therefore, to say that biotech seeds and crops produce more food than traditional agriculture is not only scientifically incorrect according to these 900 scientists, but it is an outright lie. Do GMOs ‘Improve Our Health’? But what about the claim that GMOs improve our health? It turns out nothing could be farther from the truth. A prominent review of 19 studies examining the safety of GMO crops found that consumption of GMO corn or soybeans can lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice – particularly in the liver and kidneys. Of course the negative effects do not end there. Monsanto’s modified biopesticide, known as Bt, has been found to be killing human kidney cells in conjunction with Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup. That’s right, it exhibits direct toxicity to human cells. Further adding to the long list of negative health consequences that go against the claim that the biotech inventions ‘improve our health’ , Monsanto’s Roundup ready crops have also been linked to mental illness, obesity, infertility, and DNA damage. Peer-reviewed research shows that Monsanto’s products are far from healthy, and to say that they actually improve our health is truly concerning when you consider the fact that children are reading this information as fact. The biotechnology organization also failed to mention how Monsanto has been caught running slave labor rings, forcing ‘employees’ into illegal working conditions in which they were forced to work 14 hours or more per day on the field. What’s more, the laborers were unable to leave the premises if they expected to ever receive their pay. ‘Helping the Environment’ The next claim that needs addressing is perhaps the most ludicrous of them all. Do Monsanto’s products really help the environment as the book claims? Remember, this is given to teachers as scientific information, not just presented as an opinion. Research has shown that Monsanto’s modified Bt pesticide is actually mutating the very genetic coding of insect life on the planet, creating super resistant ‘mutant’ bugs that are wreaking havoc on farms using Monsanto’s harmful concoctions across the globe. At least 8 populations of insects have developed some form of resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole. Perhaps most concerning is the mounting root worm resistance as a result of Monsanto’s GMO corn usage. A group of 22 academic corn experts recently petitioned the EPA over the extreme danger presented by the crops, urging the EPA to take long awaited action. The experts sent a letter on March 5th to the agency explaining their worries regarding long-term corn production prospects in light of GMO crops failures. If nothing is done, experts worry that the future of agricultural stability is threatened. Experts are also concerned about the mass amount of ‘super weeds’ currently springing up around the globe as a result of Monsanto’s Roundup. These resistant weeds currently cover over 4.5 million hectares in the United States alone, though experts estimate the world-wide land coverage to have reached at least 120 million hectares by 2010. The onset of super weeds is being increasingly documented in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Europe and South Africa. The public is not buying the lies regarding Monsanto’s GMO crops, and as a result biotech giants are scrambling to preserve their dwindling role in our society. There is a serious war on for the minds of developing children right now, and it is being waged by government-approved mega corporations who care not for the health of these children but for profits. The claims made within this book are not only scientifically unfounded, but they are seriously dangerous to the health of children and adults alike. This phony book is far from an ‘educational’ resource. Explore More:
- India Slams Monsanto with Unprecedented ‘Biopiracy’ Charges
- GMO Protesters Shut Down California Monsanto Office
- Monsanto Declared Worst Company of 2011
- Leaked: US to Start ‘Trade Wars’ with Nations Opposed to Monsanto, GMO Crops
- Breaking: Monsanto Forced Out of UK by Activists
- Monsanto Admittedly Influences Colorado GMO Ban, Launches Phony ‘GMO Co-Existence’ Protests
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-biotechnology-book-for-kids-caught-brainwashing-children/#ixzz1pz4HCw1K
Parents should be screaming bloody murder about Obama’s storing and distributing information about their children to a National Data base. The Federal takeover of America’s public school system should be making every parent furious. At the beginning of 2012, your child’s personal information was being made available to both an interstate and intergovernmental access database. This information about your child will be unlimited in the federal government’s nationwide database of supposedly confidential information. For any parent who believes this information will be kept confidential I have some swamp land I’ll sell you. Almost every computer storage system in this country has been invaded by hackers.
FLORIDA is not off the hook for this either – they willingly played the game! Thank you President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan! NOT! This is what the state of Florida got for your children by playing the Race To The Top (RTTT) and Common Core Standards (CCS) game at the expense of your children. In fact, to me, the Florida DOE sold your children’s history and souls for a few pieces of silver. First, their history going into a national data base where parents were not told this was going to happen up front and second, their souls by continuing to play into the hands of the Federal DOE and their scheme of ruining the education system and turning your children into worker bees with Marc Tucker’s learn to work plan. Go online and look for “Marc Tucker’s Letter to Hillary Clinton!”
Are you aware the Common Core Standards include: national standards (one size or one state fits all), national assessments; national curriculum; teachers salaries tied to the student’s performance, i.e., test scores; teachers continuing the practice of having to “teach to the test” (FCAT) each and every day; national indoctrination of our children and then you add in the intrusive national database compiling information on all public school children and teachers.
Parents are you aware there were bills in Tallahassee this past session (HB543/S1276) called the Parental Involvement and Accountability in the Public Schools which would have had teachers scoring you, the parents each quarter on things such as; how many times the child was late to school, did the parents respond to phone conferences or attend one on one conferences? With all the additional requirements being put on teachers, it is no wonder they do not have the time to teach - but Tallahassee continues to go along with Arne Duncan in passing more laws that puts more and more of the responsibility of success or failure in the classroom on them when in fact the “powers to be” are giving them lousy, incorrect textbooks and poor curriculum to learn from. Oh, by the way, included in this “Parent Involvement” bill, the results of the teacher’s reports on the parents were to go into this huge data base also.
Sounds a little like a socialist agenda to keep track of you? It is only the beginning! Parents, you need to be attending your school board meetings, read your children’s textbooks and watch what kind of bills Tallahassee is even thinking about passing in regard to you and your children. Better yet, HOME SCHOOL!
By the way, with all the junk Tally passed this last session, they did NOT pass any legislation in regard to the “Caylee” bills. They died in committee just like Caylee!
There has been intense bipartisan wrangling over the parent trigger measure (H1191/S1718 Parent Empowerment in Education) which peaked when Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach and Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich tried to remove the proposal (SB 1718) from a list of more than 50 measures being sent to the floor on special order. Committee chairman John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, backed up by Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner and Senate President-designate Don Gaetz, refused to grant the pair the option of voting solely against the “Parent Empowerment” measure, which they both oppose. After the meeting adjourned, Rich said it was the first time all session a bill was not allowed to be removed from the list. Near the end of the meeting, Lynn repeatedly tried to ask Thrasher to allow her to vote no on the bill. An increasingly angry Thrasher finally cut Lynn off and, speaking over her, ordered the vote on the entire package, which passed by an unusual 4-3 vote, setting the “special order” calendar for Thursday. Lynn, Rich and Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, rejected the entire list rather than sign off on the parent trigger bill. Lynn called the block vote a “political maneuver” that was “inappropriate and incorrect.” But Gardiner, R-Orlando, chimed in, reminding Lynn that it was a procedural maneuver on the part of a bipartisan coalition led by Rich and Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, that kept the measure from being withdrawn from a committee and sent to the Senate floor and instead required a special – and very rare – Saturday morning budget meeting to move the bill along. (Thrasher and Gardiner are an odd coalition, considering they are locked in a fight over the 2014-2016 Senate presidency.) Gaetz, R-Niceville, agreed, accusing the bipartisan group of an “effort to stymie the process so the bill could not get to the floor.” Gaetz is a co-sponsor of the bill. What is really going on here? Has anyone questioned the involvement of Jeb Bush and his Foundations in regard to the passage of this bill? Or any Education bill in Florida? Do not forget Sen. Simmons R- Orlando, made a point of announcing his recent conversations with Bush. When Sen. David Simmons needed his colleagues' support on the education budget last week, he dropped a powerful name on the Senate floor. "I had a conversation last week with former Gov. Jeb Bush in which we discussed this and his support of it," Simmons said of the provision to spend $119 million on reading programs at low-income schools. (Just exactly what determines a “low-income school?) Why is Senator Simmons communicating with Jeb Bush about Florida's education - he is not chair of that committee? As far as I am concerned, the Bush name comes up more than it should! Do the Florida legislators not remember JEB BUSH IS NO LONGER THE GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA AND HE AND THE NCLB ARE THE REASON FLORIDA HAS BEEN FLAT-LINED IN EDUCATION FOR THE LAST 12 YEARS! Why is the former governor still playing a significant role in shaping state education policy and additionally, why are the rest of our legislators ALLOWING it? This session, Bush and his nonprofit organization, the Foundation for Florida's Future, have helped to fast-track a stream of legislation that could reset the education equation in Florida. The bills, moving steadily through both the House and Senate, could gradually shift the financial and competitive advantage away from traditional public schools to private schools and charter schools, which are often managed by for-profit companies. Other proposals push virtual-learning initiatives. The foundation says it supports high standards and accountability for all schools: public, charter, private and virtual included. If this is really true, then why did Bush and his Foundations support Race To The Top (RTTT) and the new Common Core Standards (CCS) being implemented into the Florida schools? FOR THE MONEY FROM ARNE DUNCAN AND OBAMA AND THEN THE CONTROL OF THE CHARTER SCHOOL ISSUES BY HIS FOUNDATIONS???? The supporters of this legislation say the efforts will lead to dramatic improvements in student achievement! Really? Where is your proof? This is propaganda and supposition on their part! "This will make the Sunshine State a national leader in education reform." How is this possible when Florida continues to put "garbage in - garbage out?" This is not the fault of the teachers - this is the fault of the curriculum and textbooks they are given to work with! Legislators -
"It is about equalization," said Sen. Stephen Wise, the Senate Education Committee chairman and a supporter of the foundation's agenda. "We need to challenge the status quo so that parents and children have choices." (I think Senator Wise has chosen wisely to retire this year!) Critics, on the other hand, see targeted strikes meant to chip away at Florida's traditional public schools by diverting more tax dollars to private corporations through voucher programs and charter schools. This bill and the House companion H1191, is a cash cow for for-profit charter schools and private management companies. The “parent trigger” measure will also make hay for Gov. Jeb Bush’s non-profit Foundation for Florida’s Future and probably will include his Foundation for Excellence in Education. Bush is backing the bill, pushed by the LosAngeles based Parent Revolution and education reformer Michelle Rhee and fiercely opposed by teachers’ unions and a Florida coalition of parent-led groups, including the PTA. This time I whole-heartedly agree with the Teacher's Unions. Do your research parents! (Parent Revolution Executive Board and Funders are among others: Walton Family Foundation; Gates Foundation; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors) Danger! Danger! Patricia Levesque, executive director of Bush’s Foundation, sent out a blast e-mail asking supporters to contact their senators to urge them to vote for the bill. But that wasn’t all. “Additionally, won’t you help us in our efforts to fight those opposed to parents’ rights? Please consider making a one-time contribution of $500 or $1,000 or a monthly contribution of $50 or $100 to the Foundation for Florida’s Future. With your support, we can ensure that parents have representation and more options as it relates to their child’s education,” Levesque wrote. AND YOU THOUGHT THERE WAS NO PROFIT FOR JEB BUSH'S FOUNDATIONS!!! Levesque sent out the missive in response to a blast message from the left-leaning Progress Florida condemning the bill. According to the exchange, the forces lining up on either side of the issue range from Koch brothers to the League of Women Voters. (Do you rEally think this is not the WORLD SERIES OF EDUCATION – LOOK AT THE PLAYERS? “Anti-public school extremists in the Florida Senate are trying to pull a fast one, and we need your help right now,” the Progress Florida e-mail began. “So, if not parent groups, who are really behind this latest attack on public schools? According to Parents Across America “model legislation based on the Parent Trigger has been written and promoted by ALEC, the shadowy organization backed by the Koch brothers that has a radical right-wing agenda.” And who profits? Not parents and students. No, the ones who profit are unaccountable corporate charter school operators who aren’t held to the same standards as public schools and don’t necessarily have the best interests of students, parents or teachers at heart. I continue to try and tell you that the fastest growing business in America is starting a Charter school and then grow into a Consortium! No proper over sight and the statement above is ABSOLUTELY correct. LET ME STATE PLAINLY, I AM NOT AN EDUCATOR, DO NOT FAVOR EITHER PARTIES, NOR NORMALLY SUPPORT THE UNIONS. For far too long we have been operating under a system which has been putting the interests of adults before those of the children with years of disastrous results. This push to manipulate the Education of our Children, the most precious possession we have is not only wrong but just plain immoral! Credit in part given to: Mary Ellen Klas in the Miami Herald
- Continue to change the rules of the game
- Blame teachers for not playing the game right and they haven't given them all the rules
- Placing all this control in the hands of those who will make financial gain through our children
- Who have financial interest in Charter schools voting on related legislation
- Refusing to listen to those who know what FL needs in relation to education
- Continually using the words "low-income" schools - what are they using to determine which schools fall into that category?
- It is time to let educators take care of the education of our children rather than legislators who know nothing about education but $$.$$
Ex-Gov. Jeb Bush Bush and the Foundation for Florida’s Future play a role in influencing state education policy. February 27, 2012
TALLAHASSEE -- When Sen. David Simmons needed his colleagues’ support on the education budget last week, he dropped a powerful name on the Senate floor. “I had a conversation last week with former Gov. Jeb Bush in which we discussed this and his support of it,” Simmons said of the provision to spend $119 million on reading programs at low-income schools.
The name comes up more than you might think. The former governor, who served from 1999 to 2007, still plays a significant role in shaping state education policy.
This session, Bush and his nonprofit organization, the Foundation for Florida’s Future, have helped to fast-track a stream of legislation that could reset the education equation in Florida. The bills, moving steadily through both the House and Senate, could gradually shift the financial and competitive advantage away from traditional public schools to private schools and charter schools, which are often managed by for-profit companies. Other proposals push virtual-learning initiatives.
The foundation says it supports high standards and accountability for all schools: public, charter, private and virtual included. Its supporters say the efforts will lead to dramatic improvements in student achievement – and make the Sunshine State a national leader in education reform.
“It is about equalization,” said Sen. Stephen Wise, the Senate Education Committee chairman and a supporter of the foundation’s agenda. “We need to challenge the status quo so that parents and children have choices.” Critics, on the other hand, see targeted strikes meant to chip away at Florida’s traditional public schools by diverting more tax dollars to private corporations through voucher programs and charter schools.
“There is an attack on public education as we know it,” said Rep. Dwight Bullard, of Miami, the ranking House Democrat on education issues. “Corporations are looking at it as an opportunity to siphon off dollars.” There is little debate over the influence Bush and the foundation have had in driving the agenda.
“They have huge sway in the Legislature, in part because of Jeb Bush and in part because they are almost the only game in town,” said former state Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach. Foundation spokeswoman Jaryn Emhof said it is no secret that Bush stays involved in public policy. The foundation releases a legislative agenda annually – and follows it through the state Legislature and Board of Education.
“He believes success is never final, so reform is never finished,” she said. Bush declined requests to be interviewed for this report.
Since its creation in 1994, the foundation has amassed money and influence, developing close ties to conservative think tanks, including the James Madison Institute, the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. At the end of 2010, the organization had nearly $1 million in assets, the most recent records show. Emhof said the money is used “to support the work of the foundation, which is to keep education in a Florida a model for the nation.”
Among its legislative priorities this year:
• A bill that would expand the statewide tax credit cap, enabling more children from low-income families to earn vouchers to attend private schools.
• A controversial bill known as the “parent trigger” that would allow parents to demand sweeping changes at low-performing schools. In some cases, parents could petition to have the school converted into a charter.
The foundation has also been pushing for more rigorous student standards – and a tougher school grading formula. The state Board of Education is scheduled to vote on a new formula Tuesday. The state’s simulations show that the number of F schools under that formula would rise dramatically.
The overall agenda has been controversial. The parent trigger measure, for example, has met fierce resistance from parent groups, who say the bill would benefit for-profit school management companies by giving them access to failing district-run schools.
But when the foundation gets behind an issue, lawmakers usually listen.
“The foundation’s policies get carefully considered,” said Rep. Bill Proctor, R-St. Augustine, who chairs the House Education Committee.
Last year, the foundation was successful at pushing performance pay for teachers, a measure that the unions had fought back the year before. The foundation also successfully lobbied to make virtual education a requirement for high-school graduation.
“They are batting pretty close to 1000 on the issues they put before the Legislature,” said Wayne Blanton, executive director for the Florida School Boards Association.
Part of the success stems from political pull.
The foundation’s board of directors reads like a who’s-who of former lawmakers, top education officials and other power brokers. Among them: former Senate President Toni Jennings, former Speaker of the House Allan Bense, former state Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair, and former Board of Governors member Zachariah Zachariah.
Executive Director Patricia Levesque is equally influential. Her connections run deep, particularly in the state House of Representatives, where she once served as staff director of education policy. Her husband, George Levesque, is a staff attorney in the House, and has the ear of Speaker Dean Cannon.
Levesque, a veteran lobbyist, maintains a strong presence in the Capitol and has testified repeatedly on the foundation’s priority items this year. She couldn’t be reached for this report.
“Patricia is the most powerful policy person in Florida,” said Jeff Wright, who oversees legislative affairs for the Florida Education Association. “Few education policies get passed without her approval.”
The foundation has also made targeted campaign contributions to lawmakers.
In the 2010 election cycle, the foundation gave $500 contributions, the maximum allowed, to incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford and Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran, among other lawmakers. House Education Committee Chairman Proctor and Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, also received $500 contributions, records show.
Bush’s endorsement alone carries weight in Republican circles.
Said Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs: “When there are big issues like [the education budget], I contact him and try to get his advice and support. He’s very much involved in education policy in the Legislature. His advice is greatly respected.”
Democrats are skeptical. “I’m afraid [Bush] is going to co-opt the entire education agenda,” Bullard said.
Bush has his sights set on the bigger picture.
The former governor also has a national nonprofit known as the Foundation for Excellence in Education, run by Levesque. This month, Bush travelled to New Jersey and Kansas to push the Florida model of education reform. Last spring, he stood beside President Obama in Miami to tout national school improvement efforts.
“He’s the godfather to a whole generation of Republican governors when it comes to education reform,” said Frederick Hess of the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute. “He’s a force nationwide.”
The Florida ActforAmerica, Florida Family Assoc, and the Florida Association Committee for Education and other groups that joined our vigil, feels at this time we have won a small battle but we will continue to watch and monitor the actions of the Hillsborough County Teachers, Superintendent MaryEllen Elia and the District School Board especially Chairwoman Candy Olson as to any new developments in the future. Remember this county also has not only Global Schools, but are teaching Global classes, has a Gulen Charter School along with giving college degrees in Sustainable Development (Global) subjects at Florida Southern University (FSU). In addition, the teacher involved in this whole incident, Kelly Millizano is the Florida State Chairman for Global Learning through the United nations at FSU. Very United Nations and Global happy in Hillsborough County.
The Hillsborough County School District Communications Officer Stephen Hegarty informed Florida Family Association in his email dated February 17, 2012 “I'm not aware of any plans for any CAIR officials to address our students.” Mr. Hegarty’s statement was in response to Florida Family Association’s question “Is it possible for you to give us a few days notice before CAIR officials address students in the future?” See Note 1 below.
- Hassan Shibly, Director of Tampa CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) wrote a letter on February 17, 2012 thanking the school board members for taking a stand for his presentations to students. However, Shibly never mentions that he looks forward to speaking to students in the future and makes no acknowledgement of gratitude to the teacher Kelly Miliziano who invited him.
- Each Hillsborough County School Board Member and the Superintendent of Schools received over 10,000 emails voicing opposition to CAIR officials addressing students.
- School Board Chairman Candy Olson proclaimed a fanatical and emotionally charged defense of the teacher, Kelly Miliziano, who invited CAIR officials to address her classes. This indicates that the national attention directed at the school board and teacher over this issue was unwelcome, unwanted and therefore most likely undesirable in the future.
- The School District will never vote for a policy statement to prohibit CAIR officials from indoctrinating students. The school district fears that such action would invite a costly law suit. Florida Family Assoc. sued the School district in 2005 because they blocked supporters’ emails sent through the organization’s server. The school district refused throughout the suit to adopt an acceptable policy stating that they would not block emails from Florida Family Association’s supporters in the future. However, even though they refused to adopt such an obviously reasonable policy the school district has not blocked emails from Florida Family Association’s supporters in numerous campaigns since the lawsuit was dismissed.