“The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto”

There’s a good (if a little hard-to-read) post up at Common Dreams on the backing off of Whole Foods et al. against Monsanto’s pushing of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Related topics also discussed include Whole Foods’ customer deception when it comes to “natural” vs. “organic,” the effects of GMO labeling in Europe, and how Citizens United might affect food legislation.

I think the author’s absolutely got the following right:

Perhaps even more fundamental to Organic Inc.’s abject surrender is the fact that the organic elite has become more and more isolated from the concerns and passions of organic consumers and locavores.

I think we, as a people, are less powerless than the author makes us sound. As long as we take the attitude that we can’t possibly defeat their anonymously-shared, potentially-endless dirty publicity money, we’re not going to be able to accomplish much. At the local level, however, the hijinks simply cannot be kept up for long. Furthermore, I think this is an example of something where consumer choices can actually make a big difference. I’m loath to put my faith in the power of consumer demand. At the same time, I’m heartened by how much consumer demand has already changed the market. I suppose we’ll see what happens.

(I am the first to admit the following also sometimes applies to me: if we’re going to reach the American public, we’re going to have to work a little harder to make a more coherent argument!)