I am literally *dumbfounded* by what big Agra and Biotechnology gets away with. And it’s happening right under our noses….hidden in plain sight. But the clincher is we’re all too busy living our lives while being constantly entertained and distracted by social media and the latest tv show series. We are so self absorbed with all of our first world problems here in America, that we lack any further thought into things that really matter. Hence, big evil giants like Monsanto get away with murder. Several countries in the European Union have banned the cultivation of GMO seed and many have also banned GM products from being saleable. Countries that we used to export our corn and soy products to, no longer want them.
Even worse than that is the debate about whether we should or should not require labeling for GMO foods. Why is this even a debate? I see a common trend of complacency with what we shove in our mouths and what we allow our kids to listen to and the games we allow them to play. America has officially lost it’s backbone. We no longer have the moral foundation we once did, and division is running rampant. Wait– isn’t that one of the enemy’s oldest tricks- Distract and Divide? Hmmm.
A GMO is an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there. Note: A high percentage of food crops, such as corn and soybeans, are genetically modified. * Other terms used include Genetically Engineered. *source= google.com
Here’s what Monsanto has to say about labeling foods with GMO ingredients made by their seeds:
“We oppose current initiatives to mandate labeling of ingredients developed from GM seeds in the absence of any demonstrated risks. Such mandatory labeling could imply that food products containing these ingredients are somehow inferior to their conventional or organic counterparts. “ source= http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/food-labeling.aspx
And they’re not alone in this thinking. Big food companies have been bullying consumers for years on why they don’t want to label foods containing GM ingredients, all while throwing millions of dollars at campaigns designed to trick and manipulate the consumer base with FEAR. This is because they use GM ingredients as cheap fillers in everything from dips and yogurt to juices and snack foods. It’s profits over people in the mind of big food corporations. And our government is in bed with Monsanto and other seed companies.
“If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” -Thomas Jefferson
Notice that the companies and biotech corporations against GMO food labeling in California’s Proposition 37 donated 46 million to lobby and campaign against Proposition 37, while companies that believe in a consumer’s right to know what’s in their food donated 9 million in favor of Proposition 37. Proposition 37 failed to pass in the state of California in late 2012, with 51.41% of voters voting against their right to have properly labeled foods. Facepalm! Currently, three US states require GMO labeling. Connecticut and Maine have both passed such laws, but they contain provisions stating that they can’t be implemented unless several other states approve similar labeling laws. Vermont, meanwhile, has passed a labeling law that is slated to go into effect in 2016.**
One of the claims the Biotech industry makes is that the world needs GMO foods to keep up with required food production and cut down on famine. Their theory is that by genetically modifying foods (like corn, rice and soy) with genes that are naturally resistant to frost or flooding, higher crop production per acre will wipe famine out. DNA from shellfish, nuts, dairy and viruses can and are being used to enhance the plant varieties. The problem with this is two fold; world hunger is just as prevalent as it ever was, and this causes real concern for a certain percent of the population who could have a serious allergic reaction to eating tomatoes, for instance. “Golden rice” is a variety of rice enhanced with vitamin A. Other genetic crops known as “functional foods” will be developed by the biotech corporations with built in vaccines, vitamins, and other supplements as stated in this film.
Conventional Macro farming (farming on a large scale) requires the use of fertilizer, insecticide, herbicide, and fungicide which deplete and deteriorate the soil. Micro farming (farming on a much smaller scale with variety of crops) is sustainable, responsible and healthy for man and the entire Eco system. GM scientists have developed BT corn for instance, which is a variety of corn with BT (Bacillus thuringiensis- a naturally occurring bacterium in the soil) built into the DNA of the plant. The slightest film of externally applied BT kills a monarch butterfly, but is harmless to humans as it breaks down in the sun. The problem with this variety is that studies have shown that when this pesticide is present in the whole plant, insects become resistant, deeming it completely useless to conventional and organic farmers. It’s the same as drug or antibiotic resistance. Other varieties are pesticide-resistant forcing farmers to use many more applications. This is not only harmful for us to eat, but contaminates the entire Eco-system (soil, water, animals, and humans).
There is a huge divide in the scientific community about the safety of human consumption of GMO foods such as corn, rice, soy and canola. Humans aren’t the only ones consuming it, so are animals like dairy and beef cattle, chickens and hogs. Why is it that there are no human studies to test for safety? Given the results of rats who consumed GM foods for 4 months, the thought is extremely troubling to say the least. The biotech industry claims they are regulated by 3 agencies in the United States: the USDA, The FDA, and the EPA. But I have yet to find any evidence of regulation, especially given common sense labeling is not required (as a basic human right to know what we’re consuming) and lack of studies PROVING these foods are safe for human consumption. If you were to patent an herbal supplement, you would have to seek FDA approval for safety, but apparently that is not the case if you want to patent life itself and develop your own varieties!
“Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs:’ which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.” source= http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/
Here’s a great example of propaganda that was paid for by those big agra and biotech companies against Prop. 37:
If there was nothing harmful or potentially harmful with GMO ingredients, why are they so against disclosing that on labels? I believe that they do know it can cause harmful health effects on humans, given that studies done on rats revealed devastating health effects when fed GMO ingredients. The sad part is the largest weapon they used against consumers was fear of cost. It was said over and over that forcing companies to label GMO ingredients would raise an average household’s grocery bill by $300-400 annually. This was a very clever trick, but simply not true! The reasoning behind their claim was that they would have to re-design labels and it would be costly. I don’t know if you pay attention when you grocery shop, but companies change labels and container sizes ALL THE TIME. Whether it’s a holiday or theme oriented label, sporting a new feature or “low sodium” content, or selling you an 8 oz bottle instead of a 10 ounce bottle (for the same price!), food manufacturing companies are constantly evolving their image and are masters of deceptive marketing.
Here’s a great example of deceptive labeling: Campbell’s started labeling their soups as “no msg added”. To many people that might mean there is no MSG but this is in fact not only deceptive but a lie. There are at least 4 different ways MSG shows up in this can of soup. To see the 40 names MSG comes under and what it does to our brains, read that here.
I believe that Monsanto knows the impact Genetically Modified foods will have on humans and this is the reason they have fought so hard to keep us uninformed. Here’s a free documentary that talks about the effects GMO’s on mammals:
Monsanto is a BULLY and is trying to monopolize the corn and soy markets in every country, making natural heirloom varieties obsolete. But GMO corn and soy aren’t the only genetically modified organisms. Almost all of the chicken we eat is also genetically modified also. I learned about that when I watched Food, Inc., another fantastic documentary. If you haven’t watched that, I highly recommend it. Here are the top 8 foods likely to be GMO:
- Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
- Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
- Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
- Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
- Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
- source= http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/about-our-products/product-faq/gmos
With no evidence of any benefit from GMO foods, here’s why we SHOULDN’T support the growth of GM crops:
- We don’t have any evidence this stuff is safe to consume, but studies have shown it causes tumors in rats
- No labeling laws means we don’t have a right to choose what foods we put in our bodies
- Biological pollution with GM varieties cannot be managed or contained
- Monsanto’s agenda is to monopolize the seed industry, which means domination of GM varieties in the marketplace, reducing our options for naturally growing varieties
- Monsanto plans to monopolize by suing and putting small farmers out of business which is bad for the local and global economy
- Surplus of GM food production (and reduction of countries that will buy our corn/soy) has lead to GM ingredients making their way into 70% of all supermarket items
- Pesticide resistant varieties mean multiple applications of chemicals which means elevated damage to humans, water tables, local animals and the soil
- BT Corn is causing pesticide-resistant insects, making the external application of BT (a bacteria living in soil) pesticide by organic and conventional farmers useless
- With Monsanto holding patents on life itself, what is to stop them from creating varieties with built in vaccines, whether you want that or not?
- Varieties that are using DNA from animals can potentially cause allergic reactions in certain people (ie: Cod DNA in tomatoes)
- It has NOT wiped out world hunger. This was just the reasoning they used to get their foot in the door!
In short, I think we all have the right to know what’s in our food! What can we do? I realize it’s darn near impossible to boycott every single one of these companies that voted against GMO labeling. You can make sure you cut down on processed foods, buy some of your produce Organic, and grow a few things yourself. We can become aware and share that awareness with those around us. Because there is power in numbers! We can oppose Monsanto every chance we get. And we can hurt the companies on the list above in the pocketbook. Write them letters, write your state congressmen and women, blog about it, post about it on Facebook, teach your children, grow a garden, and make more of your own meals from scratch. You can also join a Facebook community of like-minded individuals and sign petitions or participate in group projects like this one. Whatever you do- decide that you, your parents, your children, your neighbors deserve better than food that has been corrupted in a laboratory for the sake of big food companies making larger profits at the expense of our health. It’s people OVER profits Monsanto, not the other way around.
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