I am horrified that Obama has signed the Monsanto Bill. I voted for him, I am ashamed to say, not that I had much of an option. He has done many things that made me sad that I had no other choice, but this one makes me mad.
I am pro-science, and also am open to genetic science. I just disagree with unleashing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) into our environment. GMOs are to natural selection or hybridization as an atomic bomb is to a whip, and the long-term results are just as lethal. So here is my rant.
Myths about GMOs:
- They are just like hybridization or natural selection. FALSE: Hybridization and natural selection work within a species. GMOs may use fish genes in tomatoes, or potato genes in squash. The DNA can be further modified to be resistant to a type of pesticide, enabling the company making the pesticide able to sell it along with the GMO seed to ensure the crops survival while the weeds are exterminated (see the myth on this below.) These types of modifications are done in a lab on a DNA level. Allergic reactions are a concern to the “new” GMO plant, and this would be unbeknownst to the eater, who does not know they are eating potato DNA in their squash. Anyone with a sever allergy should be concerned.
- Pesticide use will be lower. FALSE. Reporting in India (cotton) and in the southern USA (corn and soy) are showing that GMO’s are not lowering the amount of pesticides used, but that more are used. Good for pesticide sales? Who sells Pesticides? Righto! And interestingly, the weed crops are managing to grow more resistant to the GMO poisons just like they did to the pesticide of yor. And what is not known by many who may read this blog, is that organic growers fight pesticides by crop rotation. Bugs don’t live where they can’t find the foods they like — so rotate crops and you cut their infestation.
- Tests show that GMO’s are safe. FALSE. First of all, there haven’t been many done in the USA. The FDA has not felt it necessary. They are reassured that Monsanto has our best interests at heart. And while Monsanto poo-poos private industrial tests of rats fed GMO corn and soy growing huge tumors (France), the sheep in India are also growing tumors, and they are being fed the remainders of the GMO cotton harvests. Interesting how our news organizations just don’t pick up on that huge story. And most civilized nations are banning GMO or asking that they be labeled. But I guess the USA is smarter than they are . . . or just bought. I am not going to write about it here, but lastly there are the poisons they are putting into the GMO frankenfoods, which are not good for you, are also not good for the birds and the bees . . . more on that in another post.
- It is a choice, a freedom, which they should have to grow their crazy frankenplants. Well, okay, this might be true except for one thing: Nature doesn’t confine itself to a field. GMO corn planted next to organic corn will in fact infect organic corn through pollination, that old birds and bees do it thang. Pollen carries the genetically modified genes into the organic corn genes. Now I don’t have a choice because they screwed up the organic corn field that I buy from. Same for beets, soy, wheat, etc. AND THAT’S NOT ALL . . . .
- Monsanto has already sued small organic farmers and non-organic farmers who did not opt to buy their frankencorn, because they say they crossed over into the GMO fields and stole patented seeds. Monsanto tests the next guys corn (I guess by trespassing) and then sues them for stealing! (They understand genetics but do not apparently understand pollination.) So now we have some organic farmers who have lost their crops, livelihood, etc. No choices there. PLUS. . .
- We have the choice to eat GMO or not. FALSE. While buying certified organic helps, it is not the answer. In items with multiple ingredients it is hard as not all the ingredients may be organically grown. Labeling is the answer. We are not given the choice in labeling. Why oh why would a company that believes in its products fight so hard against labeling? Let’s be logical. If I make something I want to sell it to the world. I want everyone to know all about it. I am proud of it. But Monsanto doesn’t want us to know that our kids Cheerios have GMO wheat, corn and soy in it. (Not picking on Cheerios.) They say that it costs more to label. Sorry, again, be logical. If I have to type “GMO” into the lists of ingredients how much more does that cost me? Seriously, the American people have to wake up and be logical. It doesn’t cost more than the millions they are spending to stop the labeling of frankenfoods. THE REASON THEY DON’T WANT IT LABELED IS THAT PEOPLE WON’T BUY IT. Simple truth. Only a small handful of incredibly stupid people will eat poison.
- If the FDA says they are okay, they must be okay. FALSE: The FDA is no longer the governing body which is out to protect us from ingesting things that aren’t good for us. The FDA is bought and paid for by big corps, and this includes all the wars against vitamins, herbs, antibiotic-free and hormone-free meats and milks.
Food is important because of our health , it is true, but how we raise our food is also important. It impacts our world in so many ways, especially in our rivers and oceans and air, which have no boundaries and intermingle globally.
So yes, on May 25th I will be in the March Against Monsanto in Portland or in Salem — I think that Monsanto and Obama and our congress needs to hear that we want the choice to eat healthy. We want to take back our FDA / USDA / etc.
Until then, buy organic whenever you can afford it.
BTW (I guess I wasn’t done yet) an interesting graph was circulating on FB regarding the prices of what we consider cheap foods — junk foods and fast foods — versus organics. Turns out that by the pound, many organics are actually cheaper. My college roommate and I did this experiment in college. She bought her fast food separately for the week, and I bought my cook-it-from scratch food. Turned out she spent waaaaay more to have 5 days of meals in the apartment and I had $$ left over — and still bought my b-b-q potato chips! We are not rich but we manage to buy organics because it is a priority. Seasonal organics and creative cooking make it affordable.
I have stolen the you tube video below (a first for me) of Jamie Oliver speaking about Food Revolution Day. He is one of my heroes, doing what he knows best as a chef to help people eat better. His cookbooks are great too!