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COMING TO A PRODUCE AISLE NEAR YOU, and conveniently pre-packaged and ready-to-eat, is ‘Beneforte’ broccoli. As you can see in the photo up top, the package is labeled with a number of health claims. But when you realize what’s missing from the bag, you’ll probably gag. I know I did. For Beneforte is the product of the agricultural Goliath I like the least. It is the product of Monsanto.
To be clear, there is nothing inherently wrong with ‘Beneforte.’ It is not a genetically modified vegetable, but a cross between a commercial broccoli and a wild broccoli.
This cross, according to Monsanto, produced a “super” vegetable — one which contains 2-3 times the phytonutrient glucoraphanin, “as compared to other leading broccoli varieties produced under similar growing conditions.” I can only imagine what those “similar growing conditions” might be. They certainly aren’t organic conditions, or the label would say so.
What gets my goat is Monsanto’s claim that ‘Beneforte’ helps to “maintain your body’s defenses against the damage of environmental pollutants and free radicals.” Now that’s a howler. For Monsanto is one of the biggest polluters of the environment. Have a look at their track record, which includes the company’s introduction of Agent Orange:
Monsanto Hid Decades of Pollution The Washington Post, January 1, 2002
EPA Concerned about Monsanto Pollution Control Dam
Monsanto Pays 93 Million to Victims in Settlement
Monsanto: A Legacy of Deception
The New PCB: Monsanto’s Round-up weed killer turning up in air, rain and rivers
Well. Is it any wonder that Monsanto doesn’t want its name emblazoned on packages of ‘Beneforte’ broccoli?