(page 413)

Eco-Terrorists Strike At Biotech Food

Terrorists from the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) are taking responsibility for $400,000 worth of damage to a Michigan State University (MSU) agriculture building housing Monsanto-funded research projects on genetically engineered food. The research goal of the partially destroyed projects is to develop long-term solutions for food security in the developing world where undernourishment is an epidemic. "I can't think of a worse target for them than this project," said the head researcher.
Posted January 20, 2000 at 12:00 am

PETA’s Pig Tale

PETA protesters in Iowa are trying to catch the attention of the enormous media presence covering the presidential caucuses with their "Cut the Pork -- Tax Meat" campaign. Without evidence, PETA blames meat consumption for $123 billion per year in health care costs. It wants a meat tax to "pay for dietary education programs that would help reduce health care costs and save consumers' and animals' lives."
Posted January 20, 2000 at 12:00 am

Fresh Fields Marketing Ploy

The Washington City Paper criticizes "Fresh Fields" grocery stores for using the groundless paranoia generated by activists on issues like food coloring, pesticides, and genetically engineered foods as the basis of their marketing plan.
Posted January 19, 2000 at 12:00 am

Lobster Lunacy

The radical vegetarian group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is petitioning Maine Governor Angus S. King against allowing the state to restore a lobster motif to its license plates. "We hope you'll agree that the state's license plate is no place to put the image of an animal who has been boiled alive," said a PETA letter to the governor. ("PETA fights lobster plate resurrection," Bangor Daily News, 1/20/00, No link available.)
Posted January 18, 2000 at 12:00 am

Science, Schmienze

Columnist Terence Corcoran rages against anti-genetically engineered food activists, rightly noting that these special interest groups have no qualms about using junk science to prove their point. "Greenpeace, for example, is making the rounds of newspaper editorial boards and using its usual technique: If the science isn't there, then make it up," said Corcoran.
Posted January 18, 2000 at 12:00 am

With A Little Help From Their Friends

Prompted by environmental groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is forcing farmers who plan on growing GE corn next spring to plant up to 50 percent of their crop with conventional seed. The EPA bases its unprecedented action on a controversial Cornell University laboratory study that found pollen from GE corn could kill Monarch butterfly caterpillars, despite the fact the author of the study maintains that the conditions created in the laboratory are extremely unlikely to be duplicated in nature.
Posted January 12, 2000 at 12:00 am

No Happy Meal For Him

The director of the University of Pennsylvania's Weight and Eating Disorder Clinic blames the fast-food industry's marketing practices for causing obesity: "You don't see them giving away toys with health meals… When you look at all the fast-food marketing to children, it's analogous to tobacco marketing. Super-sizing. Big Gulp. It's absolute junk food… People should have ethical standards when they promote products to children." ("He'll let you eat fast food, but fie on the French fries," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/15/99, No link available.)
Posted January 12, 2000 at 12:00 am

Black As Hell, Strong As Death, And Sweet As Love

U.S. News & World Report treats millions of coffee-lovers to six java-jivin' websites, including a "Wine Spectator" style review site and dozens of inexpensive gourmet blends.
Posted January 12, 2000 at 12:00 am

Et Tuu, Fido?

One of the latest rages among vegetarians is to force their dogs to go vegetarian too. Vegetarians claim an all-plant diet will transform Fido from fat to fit. However, Dr. Andy Turkell of the American Animal Hospital Association says, "The obesity issue has nothing to do with too much meat… A dog's closest relative in the wild is the wolf. Wolves kill plant eaters like rabbits and eat their intestinal contents, which contain carbohydrates. You have to respect your dog's ancestry and anatomy."
Posted January 11, 2000 at 12:00 am

The Matrix Chickens

The power of the internet to perpetuate urban legends is being felt by KFC. A recent e-mail claims that Kentucky Fried Chicken had started calling itself KFC because it no longer uses real chickens. Instead, the e-mail claims KFC uses genetically altered organisms that are kept alive by tubes that "have no beaks, no feathers, and no feet." The University of New Hampshire, mentioned as having done a study on the KFC "chickens" in the e-mail, set up a web page to handle the hoax which is getting about 15 to 18 hits per minute per day.
Posted January 10, 2000 at 12:00 am