Hey kids, can you complete this word: B _ _ T _ C H N _ L _ G Y? What’s that spell? If you said “a really neat topic [that is] helping to improve the health of the Earth and the people who call it home,” you may have been reading Look Closer at Biotechnology, a kids’ activity book funded by Monsanto and other biotech firms.
The book comes from the Council for Biotechnology Information, an industry organization whose members include Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, and other biotechnology companies. And based on the “teacher helpful hints” at the end, I’m guessing their goal is to make this a classroom text — especially given that the “helpful hints” are basically all “what a wonderful book this is for teaching in the classroom!”
The book describes in detail the benefits and pitfalls of biotechnology, laying out its complexities in a way even an elementary schooler can grasp. Ha ha, kidding! Instead, you will be pleased to know that this is how biotechnology works: 200 years ago, a monk named Gregor Mendel discovered genetics, and something something Monsanto is great! Also, biotechnology makes our lives better, as you will understand if you unscramble these words. In conclusion, kids, everything biotech companies do is selfless, unproblematic, and unambiguously beneficial to humanity, and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably an anti-science _ S S H _ L _.