In 62 United States counties, citizens have to right to know if their food has been genetically altered, and more communities throughout the US (in some 37 states) are continuing to fight against unlabeled GM foods. The American population continues to learn of the harm GM is doing to our farmlands, to our bodies, and to the Earth’s biodiversity. Yet, Monsanto and other Bio Tech companies continue to submit new GM crops for approval with the USDA and the FDA, including the “Botox” GMO apple and GM’ed salmon.
Food regulators have been approving GMO foods for over 20 years, with very little independent research conducted to understand the long-term effects that GMO will have on humans and the environment. Thankfully, more of such research is now being undertaken by universities, independent scientists, and, the regulators. For example, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently revealed that several commercial GMO products include fragments of the viral gene called Gene VI.
“…many viral genes function to disable their host in order to facilitate pathogen invasion. Often, this is achieved by incapacitating specific anti-pathogen defenses. Incorporating such genes could clearly lead to undesirable and unexpected outcomes in agriculture. Furthermore, viruses that infect plants are often not that different from viruses that infect humans. For example, sometimes the genes of human and plant viruses are interchangeable, while on other occasions inserting plant viral fragments as transgenes has caused the genetically altered plant to become susceptible to an animal virus (Dasgupta et al. 2001). Thus, in various ways, inserting viral genes accidentally into crop plants and the food supply confers a significant potential for harm.” (source)
So let’s be frank… more and more research is showing that GM’ed foods are probably doing more harm than good. They are weakening living organisms – plants, animals and people – and opening us up to degenerative diseases, food allergies, increased cancer, and causing catastrophic damage to our environment. Perhaps the sales pitch offers the nice idea that all this is to end world hunger, but really, crop biotechnology appears to be better suited for genocide, and for the monopolization of all food into the hands of a relative few.
Currently, no country or regulators officially monitor the consequences of GMOs, so at this point, we have many indicators that GMOs may be causing us harm, but no dependable scientific data to help us gain a clear and convincing picture. Research findings about viral Gene VI, tumors in rats, and botulism in poultry, are typically dismissed as inconclusive, are said to lack a solid scientific foundation, or are publicized as irrelevant to public health (ie. just because GMO corn causes tumors in rats, doesn’t mean it will cause tumors in humans).
Yet, there are heros in every battle; heros not willing to stand ideally by as Monsanto takes over our right to eat healthy, to sow our own food, and to care for our planet.
75-year old Vernon Hugh Bowman is an example of someone willing to face the multibillion-dollar mammoth. He is taking Monsanto to the US Supreme Court this week to argue that, as a farmer, he has the right to sow the seeds of his own crop (even if this crop was from Monsanto GMO seed) and from seed that was purchased from local grain elevators. Monsanto argues that it has patent rights to all its seeds, and all of the seeds from the crop that were grow from its seeds, and all the seeds sold by third-parties that are descendants of the original GMO seeds.
You heard right: every seed that is a descendent of the original Monsanto Roundup-Ready seed or any other Monsonto GMO seed is owned by Monsanto. Farmers are not allowed to grow it unless they pay Monsanto. Monsanto’s argument: “protecting patent rights fully is vital to preserve a commercial incentive to develop and refine new products.” If Bowman won, the courts would “jeopardize some of the most innovative biotechnology research in the country.” (source)
The days of small local farmers have been over for some time now (at least in the US), but if Bowman is victorious, the last few surviving farming communities may stop being targets for patent infringement lawsuits and regain some of their rights.
Although crop biotechnology in theory has been promoted by rather noble causes like ending world hunger, a few large chemical companies have profited, mostly from their patents on GMO seeds and the sale of the chemicals these seeds are designed to withstand, while public health and food safety continue to be a concern. The overabundance of GM corn, soybean and wheat has resulted in pests developing a resistance to GM crops over a short span, while yields from GMO crops are proving to be no better than non-GMO crops. (source)
Face it. Big Agra and Biotech industry giants are not operating with concern for the public or the environment. This is too dangerous to ignore any longer. It is time we boycott and opt-out of the kind of products and practices that mock our best interests, and start supporting and joining the thousands of activists putting forth the effort to save the basic right to know what is in our food. If we are not allowed to know what’s in our food, we are slaves that have no choice over the most basic issue in life.