Say NO to GMOs

Food&WaterWatch.org has started a petition to raise awareness about Wal-Mart’s use of Monsanto’s GE (genetically engineered) sweet corn and is urging Wal-Mart to stop selling and to reject Monsanto’s GE Sweet Corn by April 1, 2012.

For those of you who do not know, Monsanto is the world’s largest seed company focused in biotechnology (genetically engineered foods).  According to gmwatch.org, “Based on industry statistics, ETC Group estimates that Monsanto’s biotech seeds and traits (including those licensed to other companies) accounted for 87% of the total world area devoted to genetically engineered seeds in 2007.”  This is serious business people!  Many of us are not concerned with all the specifics of foods unless we are trying to lose weight or experiencing some pressing health problem.  We still eat a lot of junk, fast foods, and other things that are far from conducive to our quality of health and longevity of life.  And that’s okay because it’s your choice. There is enough information out there about those foods to make an informed decision. On the other hand, I understand that sometimes vesting in deeper thinking can incite fear because it then petitions your conscience for change, but I ask you, is this not the time for true, chokehold breaking change in your life?  What are you creating for yourself, your future?  Many of us have been guilty of taking an Ambien to the more arduous aspects of our journey, in hopes of tapping into the “ignorance is bliss,” paradigm.  We would like to believe, if we just go to sleep it will all be over when we wake up, but it won’t.  Those same challenges will be here, waiting to greet us with open arms.  I do not mean to sound preachy and I apologize if I do, but I am passionate about our right to choose and I am passionate about your health. What we resist, persists, and can even worsen since it has been left to fester; therefore, I encourage you to face what you deem adverse with feet firmly planted, take it head on, and let come what may.

It’s Just Corn, right? How Much Harm Could it Do? With greater technology comes greater responsibility and food just isn’t what it used to be.  Some may say, “I don’t even eat that much corn or I don’t even like corn or okay, I’ll just stay away from corn then,” that is not the point and it’s not that simple.  Did you know that most of us eat an alarming amount of corn every day?  You can pick up almost any product, read the labeling and you will rarely find one without mention of high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup or corn sugar, all of which is the same product?  The primary argument is no longer whether corn syrup or the likes of it disrupts normal metabolic function, but whether those corn products in your cereals, sauces, dressings, canned vegetables, etc., is derived from a corn source that has been genetically modified (GMO/GE). If that’s not enough our food is also threatened by genetically engineered soy, alfalfa, potatoes, etc. Are you aware of the recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH)? Oh, this goes deep! “rBGH is a genetically engineered artificial hormone injected into dairy cows to make them produce more milk.”1 What repercussions do you think will and has come of this? Have we looked at or even considered the long term effects it will have on congenital birth defects, genetic mutation (physiologically visible and non-visible)? And this list, again, goes on and on. Monasanto and its affiliates, including those in the White House administration that we look to for security and justice, are creating known teratogens at the expense of generations, just to line their pockets and maintain power over the world. Remember this, those who control the food control the people!

I know this information is intense and exhausting, but I applaud you for your concern, effort and persistence to continue reading and discovering.

Do you really think Monsanto cares about any of this? Well, if you think so check out the size of the cojones they are sporting these days; according to a 1998 NY Times article, “Playing God in the Garden,” Phil Angell (Monsanto’s director of corporate communications) told Michael Pollan (American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the US Berkley Graduate School of Journalism), “Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food,” he said. ”Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A.’s job.”2 There you have it folks, loud and proud! I can hear the logical minds churning, weighing responsibility and playing devil’s advocate saying, “I see their point.” Well, I might too, if they weren’t playing both sides of the fence. How? I’ll explain later.

Why is this, a big deal?  On a larger scale, our freedom of choice is being robbed of us!  We have to DEMAND labeling of genetically modified foods; therefore, if we do eat GMOs, it will be choice not force.  The Obama Administration (The Dept of Agriculture (USDA)) tiptoed through legislation during the Christmas break and silently approved the drought-resistant corn by Monsanto (Mon 87460).  This is but one of the varieties that you are now subject to in your food content.  What is scary about this?  If I may digress slightly, for just a moment, I will explain.  For one, the approval of this droid food is very reminiscent of the many concerns we shared regarding former decisions made by this administration, which questioned and threatened current and prospective integrity of our government’s views of public safety and health interests and what roads those decisions would lead us down.  What am I talking about?  Let’s go back for a minute, shall we, and reflect on other decisions the Obama Administration has made respective to another food regulatory agency.  Can you say FDA?  On or about July 7, 2009, Michael R. Taylor, Monsanto’s former Vice President for Public Policy became senior adviser to the FDA Commissioner.  To add insult to injury, in just six short months, January 2010, our noble administration thought Mr. Taylor needed a larger role and appointed Taylor to the newly created post of Deputy Commissioner of Foods, overseeing the office of Foods that was created in August 2009, according to the FDA.3 *Buck-eyed with two blinks* In my humble opinion, this decision was likened to leaving our children with a known child molester.  I apologize for my strong analogy, but that is how paradox this appointment was and I say this not simply because Taylor is a former player for team Monsanto, but moreover due to his CONSISTENT history of double-minded two-faced game play in the world of politics, biotechnology and so-called public interest.

Seriously, what is really going on?  Mr. Taylor has a long ping-pong history of playing both sides of the table.  He stays on the private side pushing agendas and manipulating technologies, and then conveniently jumps to the public side to become part of the team that regulates the very practices and interests he lobbied to promote.  There is something very wrong with this picture my friends and I am not the only one that sees it.  The General Accountability Office led an investigation to address the conflict of interest allegations made against Mr. Taylor, but cleared him of all charges.  The GAO is the investigative arm of congress to which we look, to ensure justice and rightful practice on the political playgrounds.  Does this investigation’s finding prove that there was no wrong doing?  Were those supporting public interests during this investigation armed with the right information, asking the right questions, providing the right evidence?  Or was this smoke and mirrors propaganda to facilitate a widespread agenda for disinformation before awareness of this debauchery became epic?  What say you?

And if that’s not enough for you, do you think this is just one man from Monsanto that has done this? Think again. There’s at least a dozen more in this dance. Look at this table. (Once you click the link, click on “Monsanto’s Government Ties.”)  It’s not a complete listing for each individual’s activities, but it definitely gives you an idea of what we are up against.

Secondly, besides the obvious concerns for man-made pest-resistant, drought-resistant foods, have we not noticed that diseases and ailments are on the rise in astronomical numbers?  Our bees and other ecosystemic organisms, which we need to ensure our own survival and the health of the planet, are dying.  Not to mention there is very little information (real information) available regarding short or long-term health risks including exposure caused by transgenic pollution (cross pollination with GE sources and native ones), which risks immeasurable dangers on so many levels to all forms of life on the planet. There have been numerous reports of a significant decrease in bee populations across the world, but are more prominent in Germany and the United States with the United States’ numbers being observed in stark disparity to Germany’s. Walter Haefeker, Vice President of the European Professional Beekeepers Association, has been quoted several times regarding his speculations about the causes that may factor into this growing problem and GMOs is one of them.  There simply isn’t enough information on this topic or cross examination of the particulars to rule that GMOs have no bearing on bee population survival.  It seems odd to me, from a common sense perspective and of course that is not fact, so take it for what it’s worth, but ever since this GMO technology became commercial (more widespread) bees have mysteriously started dying in larger numbers and with greater frequency than ever before.  To stress my point even further, there was a study done a few years back that made the same observations. According to spiegel.de The study in question is a small research project conducted at the University of Jena from 2001 to 2004. The researchers examined the effects of pollen from a genetically modified maize variant called “Bt corn” on bees. A gene from a soil bacterium had been inserted into the corn that enabled the plant to produce an agent that is toxic to insect pests. The study concluded that there was no evidence of a “toxic effect of Bt corn on healthy honeybee populations.” But when, by sheer chance, the bees used in the experiments were infested with a parasite, something eerie happened. According to the Jena study, a “significantly stronger decline in the number of bees” occurred among the insects that had been fed a highly concentrated Bt poison feed.”  Do you really think this is a coincidence?  Monsanto’s choice to avoid thinking seriously about whether or not these genetic food modifiers have impacted or manipulated the natural environmental process in some way is blatantly arrogant and negligent.

Conclusion: Regardless of which side of the fence you stand on with respect to these issues I’m sure each of us would like the right to choose.  Do we really want to give the government and, or corporate interests the power to decide what is and is not important for us to know, especially when it comes to something as personal as what we put into our bodies?  To even suggest such a thing, jeopardizes our basic human rights, not to mention the constitutional rights for citizens of the United States.  Our inability to make an informed decision as to what we are consuming infringes upon our first amendment rights.  The first amendment states in part, with regard to religion, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Many theologies address diet within its doctrines as a practice and path of the spirit. When our ability to make an informed choice is removed, by a conscious and deliberate act to deceive, it inadvertently affects our freedoms to fully honor our theologies.  I urge each of you to take a closer look and educate yourselves on the dangers of GMO foods and I encourage you to get involved in the fight to keep our food clean, healthy, and our choice.

For those who are interested: Here is the link to the petition to Wal-Mart to reject Monsanto’s sweet corn

Resources used for this article:

1.) Sustainable.org or also see Cancer.org

2.)  FDA.gov

3.) NYTimes.com

4.) Organicconsumers.org (A link to a table of Monsanto’s  history and government connections). Once you click on the link, click on “Monsanto’s Government Ties.”

5.) Food&waterwatch.org

I would like to thank all the sites that continuously work so hard to put out solid and timely information.  Your efforts and advocacy is ineffably appreciated and some of your posts was a reference or reflection for this article.

1.) Grist.org

2.) Gmwatch.org

3.) Organicconsumers.org

4.) Sourcewatch.org

5.) Bestmeal.info

6.) Justlabelit.org

7.) Labelgmos.org

8.) Spiegel.de

9.) Cornell.edu

10) Capwiz.com  (And yes I took action while on this page)

11) Gmwatch.org

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