GMWatch: Portal

From Powerbase
(Redirected from GM Watch: Portal)
Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to the GMWatch Portal (incorporating LobbyWatch) on Powerbase—providing an A-Z list of articles on some of the key people and groups behind the push for GM crops and food.

The editors of the GMWatch portal are Claire Robinson and Jonathan Matthews, who also edit Myth Makers—formerly known as LobbyWatch.

Please read General Disclaimer

Comments on GMWatch/LobbyWatch

"If you want to know how the world works, this is the place to start. I cannot think of a more necessary set of facts than these. LobbyWatch permits us to peer into the crucible of politics, to see how public perceptions and government policies are smelted and forged by corporations and their front organisations."

– Journalist, broadcaster and author George Monbiot

More comments

What is wrong with GM?

When GM crops and foods were first introduced in the late 1990s, scientists raised concerns that genetic modification was imprecise and unpredictable and could result in harm to health and the environment. They warned that:

  • GM could create foods that are toxic, allergenic and less nutritious than their non-GM counterparts
  • GM crops could damage vulnerable wild plant and animal populations
  • GM plants cannot be recalled, but as living organisms will propagate, transmitting any damaging properties from generation to generation
  • GM crops could cause irreversible alterations to the food supply, with serious consequences for the environment and human and animal health.

Subsequent events and a growing body of scientific evidence have shown each of these concerns to be correct (see GMO Myths and Facts). But the biotech industry and its supporters have engaged in a global PR campaign to promote this technology, undermine concerns, and attack those raising them.

The issues

The GMWatch portal exists to expose the often undisclosed vested interests of the people and groups that push GM technology.

GMOs are promoted around the world on the back of:

  • false claims and hype
  • suppression of inconvenient scientific findings
  • denial of on-the-ground experiences of farmers around the globe, and
  • persecution of whistleblowers.

Consumer pressure and scientific concerns have largely kept the GM foods and crops that are meant for humans out of Europe, although millions of tons of GMOs enter Europe each year in the form of GM animal feed. Unlike GM foods meant for humans, these "stealth GMOs" do not have to be labelled and remain hidden from consumers (see GMO Myths and Facts).

Once it became clear that Europe was largely closed to the growing of GM crops, the industry and its supporters targeted developing country markets, which had been given an unexpected commercial importance. This meant developing country lobbyists became key symbolic players in debates about GM crops, and in assisting the branding of the technology – see Third World Lobbyists (GM).


An A-Z list of articles on the people and groups behind the push for GM crops and food is here.

Or search by category:

References and Resources


GMWatch provides the latest news and comment on GMO foods and crops and their associated pesticides, with particular emphasis on exposing the lies and deception behind the global push for this technology. GMWatch can also be found on Twitter ('X') and you can subscribe for free to its regular email bulletins.

GMWatch Myth Makers provides an A-Z of the people and groups involved in the push for GMOs. As well as thumbnail sketches of the different individuals and organisations, it includes links to profiles and articles for more detailed information. Together these serve as a guide to the networks of power, lobbying and deceptive PR around the GM issue.

GM Freeze is a campaigning organisation based in the UK that has details on all the latest actions that people can take to oppose the spread of GM foods and crops.

GeneWatch UK monitors developments in genetic technologies from a public interest, human rights, environmental protection and animal welfare perspective.

Biosafety Information Centre, run by the Third World Network, has information and downloadable briefing papers on biosafety problems with GM crops and foods worldwide.

U.S. Right to Know investigates the influence of the corporations who own most of the world's seeds and pesticides over public policy, universities and the media.

Corporate Europe Observatory works to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy making, including how agribusiness corporations impact decisions on our food system.

DeSmog's Agribusiness Database provides an A-Z guide to the pesticide companies and related organisations lobbying on climate change and resisting green farming reforms.

Bioscience Resource Project is a user-friendly website with science stories on biotechnology and critiques of corporate 'junk' science, exposures of conflicts of interest, and news on the persecution of whistleblowers. See also Independent Science News.

Center for Genetics and Society provides a critical voice on how new human biotechnologies are opening the door to genetically-engineered futures without adequate mechanisms in place to inform the public, facilitate debate, and regulate these biotechnologies.

Stop Designer Babies seeks an international ban on human germline genetic engineering and cloning.

Alliance for Humane Biotechnology/ works for a biotechnology that places the health and welfare of people and the natural environment above financial interests. Areas of focus include synthetic biology, genetic/reproductive and "designer baby" technologies, cloning research, human-animal hybrid research, biotech patenting, biotech safety, and genetic privacy.


Claire Robinson, John Fagan, Michael Antoniou, GMO Myths & Truths: A Citizen's Guide to the Evidence on the Safety and Efficacy of Genetically Modified Crops and Foods, 4th Edition, Earth Open Source, 2018. This book, co-authored by two genetic engineers and an editor at GMWatch, uses scientific and other documented evidence to expose the many false claims made for GM crops.

Steven Druker, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public, Clear River Press, 2014. A US lawyer's investigation into the history of fraud and deceit that ushered in the era of GM crops and foods.

Guy Cook, Genetically Modified Language: The Discourse of Arguments for GM Crops and Food, Routledge, 2004. A linguist's clearly explained analysis of how proponents of GM food and crops manipulate language to frame the GM debate to their advantage.

Bartow J. Elmore, Seed Money: Monsanto's Past and Our food Future, W. W. Norton & Co., 2021. A lively and lucid account of the massive toxic impact Monsanto has had on our world, as well as the company's unsuccessful attempt to escape its toxic legacy by shapeshifting into the world's largest seed company and a pioneer in genetic engineering in agriculture.

Carey Gillam, Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science, Island Press, 2017. A deep dive into the manipulation of science by Monsanto, Monsanto-linked scientists, and Monsanto-influenced regulators, in order to keep glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup, used with GMO Roundup Ready crops, on the market.

Carey Gillam, The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man's Search for Justice, Island Press, 2021. The inside story of a landmark lawsuit against Monsanto.

Andrew Rowell, Don't Worry, It's Safe to Eat, Earthscan, 2003. This investigation of science, politics and our food production system exposes the bogus science, political interference and flawed policies that threaten our food supply. Includes a thorough examination of various GM scandals. See Immoral Maize: Extract from Don't Worry, It's Safe to Eat by Andrew Rowell

Sheldon Krimsky (editor), Jeremy Gruber (editor), The GMO Deception: What You Need to Know about the Food, Corporations, and Government Agencies Putting Our Families and Our Environment at Risk, Skyhorse, 2014. Thought-provoking essays by leading scientists, science writers, and public health advocates who are sceptical about GM foods.

Sheldon Krimsky, GMOs Decoded (Food, Health, and the Environment): A Skeptic's View of Genetically Modified Foods, MIT Press, 2019. An accessible review of the risks and benefits of GMO crops, and a guide to the controversies over them. More books by Sheldon Krimsky on genetics and biotechnology.

Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of the World's Food Supply, New Press, 2010. This book and the film of the same name were the result of a three-year investigation that tracked the company's activities across four continents.

Helena Paul, Ricarda Steinbrecher, Hungry Corporations: Transnational Biotech Companies Colonise the Food Chain, Zed Books, 2003. How huge agrochemical corporations have come to control the food chain and gain influence over governments, regulatory bodies and university research.

Jeffrey Smith, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Modified Foods, Yes! Books, 2006. A masterpiece of science communication which should be required reading for all those who pretend that there is no evidence of harm from GM foods. It's laid out so that you can get the point of each chapter whether you skim, read in slightly more detail, or want all the small print. You don't have to be a scientist to understand it.

Jeffrey Smith, Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Food You're Eating, Green Books, 2004; originally published by Yes! Books, USA, 2003.

Tina Stevens, Stuart Newman, Biotech Juggernaut: Hope, Hype, and Hidden Agendas of Entrepreneurial BioScience, critically examines the intensifying effort of bioentrepreneurs to apply genetic engineering technologies to the human species and to extend the commercial reach of synthetic biology or "extreme genetic engineering".