There is an important debate raging around the world, with a huge effort in effect aimed at silencing it. If we give in and let Monsanto instead of nature dictate how we nourish ourselves, our future might soon begin to resemble a living hell. Let me explain.
I began tracking this issue a decade ago while in college. A heavily researched piece I wrote in my student newspaper on how genetically modified foods link to modern diseases, which are alarmingly on the rise in case you haven’t noticed, earned me an award by San Francisco Chronicle. Unfortunately, this was before we had an online version of the paper, so I’m unable to provide a link.
The purpose of this post is to summarize the most pertinent points of the debate and hopefully shed more light on the gravity of this issue. My intent is to distill this important matter into bitable bits to empower you to protect yourself, make informed decisions, and continue to challenge what’s quickly becoming status quo.
“The perception that everything is totally straightforward and safe is
utterly naive. I don’t think we fully understand the dimensions of what
we’re getting into.”
Professor Philip James (author of the “James” report on the structure and
functions of the proposed UK Food Standards Agency to oversee national food
safety standards), Director of the Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen, on
genetically engineered food.
We don’t really know what we’re doing.
We are the product of evolution that spans millions, if not billions of years. Over time, we have adopted to a variety of environments and consuming foods provided by our host planet. I believe that it is safe to state that for the majority of our time here, the food we’ve consumed has been unprocessed, save the sun, smoke and fire.
Technological advances in the last few decades have allowed us to peek into the inner workings of nature. We’ve found the code that builds biological bodies. With the discovery and mapping of our genome come possibilities but also great responsibility. What our food scientist are busy doing these days is taking a slice of a DNA of one organism and fusing it into the DNA of another organism. For instance, by extracting genes of fireflies that make them glow, and injecting them into pigs they’ve created pigs that glow in the dark. But it goes deeper and farther.
In the last couple of decades, all the focus has been on making crops pest resistant in order to increase yields. What this translates to is creating plants that have the pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides already within them. I think it doesn’t take much to figure out what that does inside your body, especially if you’ve ever seen a picture of a human spraying a filed with pesticides. You sure you want to eat that?
According to Iowa State, in the making of a transgenic tomato to improve its taste, a new chemical was produced that is not found anywhere in nature. It is called APH(3’)II and it’s properties are those of a bacterial antibiotic. The scientists are raising concerns about potential allergic reaction in those consuming such altered specimens. This is one example in thousands.
When we eat foods that have been manipulated in laboratories rather than perfected by nature over millennia, we are prone to make mistakes. The byproduct of which is a creation of toxic compounds that then enter our environment. We are yet to discover what their true impacts are. By the time we do, the effects might be irreversible.
Fun fact: Know what the artificial sweetener in your Coke Zero aspartame is made of? The excrement of genetically modified bacteria. Yum!
The misinformation goes deep.
The ‘experts’ out there, most of whom have ties to biotech conglomerates whose success depends on your consumption of their product, promote the use of GMOs saying that it’s been in our food chain for several decades (what a depressing thought). They say that we have not seen any notable negative impacts of GMOs in our environment. If I were you, I would heavily question that statement.
“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our
interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is
the F.D.A’s [Food and Drug Administration] job.”
Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications, in an
interview with the New York Times Sunday Magazine
Have these people who call themselves scientists and reporters, but are in fact handsomely rewarded by the companies for their work, been living under a rock the last few decades? Over half of our population is suffering from obesity, heart disease is running rampant amongst our middle aged populace and cancer rates are through the roof. I remember when I was growing up, cancer was so scary but also rare to come upon. It usually happened to very old people. Now one in four people develops it. What do you think is happening?
They love to disguise the ill impacts of GMOs by asking for scientific proof of their dangers. With them banking the millions, it is much easier to conduct a pseudo study, pay off the scientist, send a pack of lobbyists to the Capitol and call it a day. All the while independent research is regularly suppressed. Constantly referring to not enough proof has an effect of a cat and mouse game. While we scratch our heads, they go to work, pushing the agenda forward.
It’s a tool of enslavement.
It takes little digging to discover the true agenda behind making GMOs the predominant source of our diet. With patents placed on the seeds, once the heirloom varieties have gone extinct, farmers (and you) will become completely dependent on their proprietary product that was initially given to us all for free. The propaganda behind GMOs usually leverages ‘world hunger’ and food shortages as a reason behind the need for their proliferation. That message goes straight for the heart.
“There are still hungry people in Ethiopia, but they are hungry because
they have no money, no longer because there is no food to buy ….we
strongly resent the abuse of our poverty to sway the interests of the
Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher of the Institute of Sustainable Development
in Addis Ababa
But a deeper investigation into the issue reveals a different reality. GMOs increase our dependence of pesticides because they are weak and have not evolved to protect themselves. It’s a lot like taking a cocktail of medication. If you don’t pay attention, before you know it, you will be taking drugs to resolve the side effects of others. So you introduce a GM corn and then hose it with round up. Nice. Incidentally, both products are made by Monsanto. Double your profits, double your gain. You get the picture… GMOs do not increase yields. They deplete and poison the soil. The only thing that grows are revenues and our dependence on patented crops.
This post obviously merely scratches the surface. But I hope that I at least managed to get you to question the alleged safety of GMOs. Do your research. Read your labels. Get empowered. And if you want more, check out two articles arguing opposite sides: pro-GMO and anti-GMO.
For myself, I choose to err on the side of caution and eat only GMO free foods. The one time I slipped, I had a hefty price to pay…
At a friend’s pool party, I was enticed by a bowl of corn chips, which I love. I started to dip them in salsa and hummus, only to realize that without the dipping they had no flavor. I checked the packaging. There was no ‘GMO fee’ statement anywhere. But by then it was too late — I had managed to ingest a whole bowl of them. By that evening, I was feeling a little headachy, a rare occurrence, as I’m usually very deliberate about what I put into my body. It was the next day when the effects became apparent. My intestines felt like they were filled with sharp nails. I was trying to work out, but had half the usual energy. It took me a couple of says to recover. As a test, I bought and ate a whole bag of GMO free corn chips on another day. No aches, no problems.
My hope is that we get more conscientious about our labeling and put a stop to this reckless expansion. See the video of a 14-year-old girl taking on O’Leary and fighting for our right to know what’s in our food. I know that the government just signed a document that give GMO foods more access to our market. It is my hope that more people wake up and demand more visibility to what’s really going on.
And as a dessert, check out this short video of a Monsanto lobbyist being offered a glass of roundup, which he claims is absolutely safe to drink.