Hi Kids! Biotech Industry Gets Into the Education With "Biotechnology Basics Activity Book"

Council for Biotechnology Information/Screen capture

Kids seem to be a popular target for big industry influence: the coal industry tried to distribute in schools, using the network and resources of Scholastic, an educational curriculum on the advantages of coal; the ethanol and egg industries have adopted similar tactics; and the oil industry is corrupting science education entirely. Now it's the biotech industry.

Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association has called attention to the Council for Biotechnology Information's Biotechnology Basics Activity Book, called Look Closer at Biotechnology, that is meant to be used by agriculture and science teachers.

Cummins provides some context on the nature of the organization behind the book:

The Council for Biotechnology Information describes itself as "a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization that communicates science-based information about the benefits and safety of agricultural biotechnology and its contributions to sustainable development."

According to the Internal Revenue Service, a 501(c)(6) organization is a "business league" devoted to the improvement of business conditions of one or more lines of business. The mission of a 501(c)(6) organization "must focus on the advancement of the conditions of a particular trade or the interests of the community."

The bottom line is that CBI exists to advance the interests of the corporations that it was formed to promote.

You can expect a book from CBI, which gets its funding mainly from corporations like BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow Agro Sciences, Dupont, Monsanto, and Syngenta, to promote the biotech industry in a misleading way, but check out Cummins' full piece for a breakdown of some of the lies featured in the book.

Tags: Education | Genetic Engineering