“The World According to Monsanto,” and Why I Say “No!” to Dangerous GMOs

February 19, 2012

Dear! Stop buying the genetically modified produce!

I highly recommend the documentary, The World According to Monsanto, for all who would like to know more about the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply and the bio-tech giant behind them:  Monsanto [if WordPress had an "insert devil face" function, I would use it right here].   You can view this documentary for free online here.  Chances are, if you have not seen this film or kept up with food politics, then you are not even aware of how many of your freedoms are currently being threatened and, in some cases presently full-out violated, by an apparent marriage-like relationship between our government and Monsanto.

On its face, the idea of eating a food that was genetically altered far outside the realm of what our human bodies have evolved to consume never made much sense to me.  I realize that plant genes do change naturally, over time, due to cross pollination, and that particular traits can be bred into and out of plants by man and mother nature alike.  However, even prior to reading in depth about GMOs, I felt in my gut that there was a huge difference between the preceding processes and scientists inserting the DNA of another organism into a plant’s genome or scrambling plant genes in ways that would never occur in nature.  I do not know about your ancestors, but my ancestors only ate food that had food genes in it.  I am hesitant to deviate from that lead.  The human body is an amazing and wonderful creation that can adapt to many things, but, after 10,000 years of digesting and assimilating foods made up of food genes only, I am quite sure that our bodies probably cannot thrive any better on mad-scientist produce, grain, and meat than they have on the highly processed, chemical-filled, boxed foods that line our supermarket aisles.

In The World According to Monsanto, you will see that honest scientists have been asking the same questions that I have been.  Furthermore, studies mentioned in the film, and other studies (see link at end of article) have found that the bodies of lab animals exposed to GMOs enter states known to predispose organisms to cancer, infertility, and other disease states, and that offspring of such animals have higher death rates.  The film also conveys the fact that there has been an alarming trend of scientists and officials being discredited, demoted, and even fired, as soon as they attempt to disseminate the findings of studies that question the safety of GMOs.  No wonder we do not hear much questioning of the safety of GMOs in our popular press.  Furthermore, if scientists are being fired for studying GMOs, then it is likely that only the independently wealthy honest scientists would remain willing to study GMOs further–since such research seems to be strongly negatively correlated with job security.  Nevermind the fact that research costs money, and honest researchers have to seek funding for their work via government grants (as opposed to other researchers who fund their work via unending supplies of corporate research dollars and seem to produce results that reflect this).

Another unfortunate issue associated with GMOs is that they can be invasive.  Those of us who choose to eat organic in an effort to avoid GMOs may be losing our freedom of choice as far as some crops are concerned.  Corn is a prime example.  Fields planted with Monsanto’s GMO seed are contaminating fields of natural corn via pollen carried by winds.  Will our children have the choice to eat corn with only corn DNA, or will they be forced to eat either Monsanto’s BT Corn, which has had soil bacterium genes that act as internal pesticides in it, or Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn that has been genetically altered to not die when the corn and fields are (literally) drenched with Roundup?  Roundup, by the way is a Monsanto creation, along with other gems you may have heard of:  Agent Orange, DDT, dioxins, and the rBGH hormones given to dairy cows.  Here is a good article detailing the dangers of Roundup.

The fight to keep organic food pure is a tough one.  In the face of this “toughness” several leading organic manufacturers and sellers, who used to support anti-GMO movements have knuckled under and declared that they will peacibly co-exist with Monsanto’s plot to contaminate our food supply with GMOs.  However, as you can read in this blog entry, these large organic manufacturers and sellers seem to have some conflicts of interest.

Fortunately, whether big organic decides to cave to the almighty dollar or not, there are organizations, like the Environmental Working Group ,who are still spear-heading campaigns to ask the FDA to require labeling of GMO products in our supermarkets, so we can truly have freedom of choice (please click on the preceding link and sign the petition!).   Food Democracy Now  is another such organization who is still fighting the good fight.  As this article details, they are suing Monsanto in Federal Court to help affirm Americans’ freedom to eat food containing only food genes that could occur in nature.  Food Democracy Now’s lawsuit also addresses another aspect of Monsanto’s tyranny.  Not only is Monsanto’s GMO corn contaminating the fields of farmers who are trying to grow non-GMO corn, and farmers who are trying to grow certified organic corn (which, by organic regulations has to be non-GMO), but Monsanto is also suing the farmers whose fields end up contaminated with their GMO-crops for “stealing” their patented genes!  (Please click on the preceding link and sign the petition!).  The World According to Monsanto also does a good job of exposing the fact that Monsanto is putting small farmers out of business with lawsuits.  Small farmers cannot afford the legal fees involved in defending themselves when Monsanto sues them for patent violations that were actually perpetrated by Mother Nature.  Such farmers end up having to either destroy their tainted crops or pay rights and royalties to Monsanto for the GMO-genes that ended up in their crops due to pollen carried by wind.  Even if you are willing to eat GMO corn in spite of documented health risks, are you willing to buy the products of a company who bullies honest farmers?

What is government doing about all of this?  As you will see in the film, Michael Taylor, former attorney for Monsanto, has been appointed to the FDA.  The very same FDA that has fast-tracked GMOs onto our grocery store shelves.  Since the film came out, the Obama administration has appointed Michael Taylor to second-in-command at the FDA (please click the preceding link and sign this petition too!).  This appointment has happened during a time that an all out war on small farmers has begun, with organic farms being raided, often at gunpoint, by various governmental agencies.  Farmers are having their crops and harvests destroyed, not to mention having computers, which their children use to do homework, seized and never returned.  Farmers who produce and legally sell raw milk have been especially hard hit.  Private food-buying clubs and organic co-ops have also been raided at gunpoint.  Whether or not you want to drink raw milk or eat at a farm-to-fork dinner, such action by governmental agencies is a slippery slope for sure.  What aspect of Americans’ right to choose the quality of the food we place on our dinner plate will the FDA come after next?

Despite the fact that the Obama administration is the one who put Michael Taylor in his current position of power, this is not really a partisan issue.  As the The World According to Monsanto will show you, it was the “deregulating” policies of the Regan and Bush administrations that opened the door for all of this to happen.  So whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, you should be outraged by government, in general, allowing Big Bio-Tech and Big Agriculture to serve up GMO food (which is currently estimated to make up at least 70% of packaged foods at your grocery store) without regards to safety concerns, or even the common courtesy of a “contains GMOs” label.

What can we do?  We can speak with our purchases and buy non-GMO/organic food.  We can also support the efforts of the Environmental Working Group, Food Democracy Now, and the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund in protecting our rights to choose such foods.  Buying from local farmers who pledge to not use chemicals, grow GMOs, or use GMOs in their animal feed (whether or not they can afford to be “certified organic”) is also a great way to protect your family.  Eat Wild is a great resource for finding a responsible farmer near you.

 

Link to View Documentary, The World According to Monsanto, For FREE Online:

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-world-according-to-monsanto/

Links Regarding Just a Few of the Studies that Suggest Consumption of GMOs Poses Health Risks:

-To read specifically about health concerns associated with consumption of GMOs you can begin reading at page 14 of this report written by a PhD scientist:  http://foodlabellingreview.gov.au/internet/foodlabelling/submissions.nsf/lookupSubmissionAttachments/1SWIN-85YAJB20100531171541AVMC/

-A study done in part at Monsanto facilities suggesting health dangers of GM corn:  http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm

-A study showing damage to liver and kidneys due to GM feed, which also has a good critique of the research methods that Monsanto uses to proclaim their products safe:  http://www.rapaluruguay.org/transgenicos/Maiz/Genetically_Maize.pdf

-http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/ge-threat-to-fertility-11112008/

-http://www.seedsofdeception.com/utility/showArticle/?objectID=297

-http://www.responsibletechnology.org/

 

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