You are what you eat, but what are you eating? GMO?
Since 1967 Americans have benefited from the fact they generally knew what was in the food they purchased. When America ceased to be a predominantly agrarian and rural society, one that grew and raised its own food locally, it became dependent on convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants and a massive commercial supply chain.
The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson provided a level of transparency and piece of mind to Americans who were now removed from producing their own sustenance. Since the late 1980s that piece of mind has been seriously called into question and the idea that the quality of the American food supply is anything, but clear has reached a crescendo.
While there are many things that affect the quality of our food the most insidious and surprisingly still little known products are genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They are produced by a relatively young set of genetic engineering techniques referred to as recombinant DNA technology, pioneered by Herbert Boyer, founder of the famous biotech firm, Genentech. The technologies infuse genetic material from plants, animals, bacteria and even viruses to create transgenic organisms, which are designed to fulfill a variety of functions. In 1978, Genentech artificially produced insulin, the hormone used to regulate safe blood sugar levels, using a particular strain of E. coli.
The applications seemed infinite and the need obvious, but another branch of genetic modification also emerged under the guidance of Advanced Genetic Sciences and the Monsanto Company. This branch, however, has had very little to do with the treatment of disease – quite the contrary.
The now 111 year-old Monsanto’s first product was the artificial sweetener saccharin sold to the Coca-Cola company. The agribusiness has since offered the world a bountiful mélange of dubious goodies. Since the early 1940s the good men and women of Monsanto among other things have helped develop the nuclear weapon, given us the infamous pesticide DDT, Agent Orange (Round Up’s big brother) for use in Vietnam, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBST) to grow our cattle, and ultimately lead their scientists in 1982 to create the world’s first genetically modified plant cell. Nothing less than a sterling history, to be sure.
GMO food has since infested our food supply and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has done little to regulate it or provide us with the necessary information in order to make informed decisions about our diets.
Twenty years ago Dan Quayle’s “regulatory relief initiative,” part of a broader effort to get government out of the way of growth exposed Americans to genetic contamination. His FDA policy created by former Monsanto lawyer, Michael Taylor, was predicated on the idea that genetic engineering was the same as traditional plant breeding and therefore required no new regulations. Over the last 20 years we have seen Mr. Quayle was wrong that GMOs are “substantially equivalent” to natural food. Natural food isn’t linked to:
- Mental illness
- Gastrointestinal problems and obesity
- Birth defects
- Autoimmune diseases
- Food Allergies
- Poisoning water
- Ravaging the environment (declining bee population, butterflies too)
Herbicides are one thing, but designing a consumable organism, each with its own little pesticide factory within, for mankind to eat prime facie sounds like bad news yet testing and proffering results are handled on a volunteer basis. It has taken an army of independent scientists, lawyers, investigative journalists and bloggers to expose what was almost as obvious with the tobacco industry – they are lying to us.
We talk a lot about crony capitalism and conflict of interests in the banking, military industrial complex, and green energy sectors, but agricultural businesses are so often neglected from this critique in the mainstream media.
I was once told by a lobbyist I know about how amazingly incestuous Washington D.C. can be, look for yourself and this is just one sector of the economy. Make no mistake about it. Our government and its cronies have their hands in everything.
Vote With Your Dollars
Thanks to the diligent efforts of activists and concerned citizens we have the ability to negotiate this minefield of genetic garbage – a non-GMO shopping guide. With tools like these we can vote with our dollars and promote healthy alternatives to our genetically subsidized food supply. Another obvious tactic to route these nefarious corporations like Monsanto is to grow your own food and reconnect with what has been a part of our lives for millennia – growing our own food. You don’t have to be outside the city to make it happen either, just see Urban Farming and VermiSok (grows food outdoors in 115 degree weather with food waste called Worm Wine).
SeedsNow.com based out of California, for example, provides an astonishing array of non-GMO, non hybrid, heirloom seeds so you and your family can remain self-sufficient and healthy for the rest of your life. Don’t just vote with your dollars, vote with your seeds. Enter promo code ‘Greene10′ for a 10% discount.
In the meantime organizations like these will give you every opportunity to know where the next battle is to be fought in the effort to raise awareness and start labeling GMO products. The latest success of course being the “Millions Against Monsanto” money bomb, which raised $2 million to promote California’s ballot initiative to label GMO products. If this agricultural giant, one of the leading economies in the world, falls to reason the GMO threat will be well on its way to being extinguished.
Think about it. Many countries around the world have outright banned GMO products and are being dragged through world trade courts because of it. This isn’t the best course of action. Merely labeling GMO products and refusing to participate in the charade will nullify and dismantle their GMO invasion.
- Just Label It
- Organic Consumers Fund
- Food Democracy Now
- Natural News
- Non-GMO Project
It is important to note that aversion to sound policy is bipartisan as usual. It is absolutely necessary, therefore to vote to remove from office those who promise not to allow lobbyists in their administration and also to label GMOs only to do the exact opposite.