Many people will turn to the Internet this year for holiday shopping, with Amazon being a popular choice. Savvy shoppers will likely participate in Amazon’s Smile Program, which donates 0.5% of qualifying purchases to the charity of the user’s choice.
But many shoppers will be surprised to learn that The Non-GMO Project is considered a charitable organization by Amazon.
#Amazon shoppers, did you know @amazonsmile will donate 0.5% of the price of your purchases to the @NonGMOProject whenever you shop? Select us as your designated charitable organization today and give while you shop for the holidays! https://t.co/KEQpgN35xL
— Non-GMO Project (@NonGMOProject) December 10, 2017
The Non-GMO Project is responsible for the little orange butterflies popping up on food packaging. The organization presents itself as a verification process for non-GMO products, giving consumers the confidence that food bearing its label was produced using non-GMO crops. Unfortunately, its roots go deep into the anti-GMO movement and its current messaging is decidedly against the technology. The Non-GMO Project uses its soap box to spread plenty of false and misleading information about biotechnology and GMOs.
The Non-GMO Project qualifies for Amazon Smile because it is considered a 501(c)(3), or more specifically, a non-profit. According to the IRS, that include any organization “organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.” The exempt purposes? Those include charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, and testing for public safety.
Technically speaking, The Non-GMO Project qualifies as a non-profit organization to whom tax-exempt donations may be made. Nonetheless, the whole thing stinks.
The Non-GMO Project exists to stigmatize — and potentially end — the use of biotechnology. The organization has used its model to garner support for its own labeling scheme, even for products that contain no DNA whatsoever. Just don’t ask the organization what exactly it tests for because, apparently, it doesn’t actually know. The Non-GMO Project is nothing more than a propaganda machine designed to scare consumers away from GMOs.
What The Non-GMO Project doesn’t want to tell you, is that genetically modified crops are just as safe as their non-GMO counterparts. Not only are there over 2,000 studies demonstrating that reality, but the National Academy of Science reached the same conclusion. Research has also shown that the GMOs currently available reduce pesticide use, increase yields, and increase farmer profits. Since GMO crops came on the market over two decades ago, we have seen benefits for consumers, farmers, and the environment.
The fact that The Non-GMO Project attempts to exploit the goodwill of the season to extract donations is nauseating. There is nothing educational, charitable, scientific, literate, or public safety about it.
Instead of supporting an activist organization that uses fear and lies to spread its agenda, how about using your Amazon Smile to support an organization actually doing some good in the world? There are plenty of good causes that need additional funds, including those supporting farmers and agriculture.
The Non-GMO Project can extort money at another time.