There are currently two pieces of legislation that will affect our health and nutrition: 1) In November California will vote on a state-wide law to label GMO (genetically modified) foods and 2) The current “Farm Bill” in Congress that allows the USDA to go against court rulings to approve pesticides and GMO foods that the court has ruled unsafe.
So why should I care?
Let’s back up. I’ll share with you some information I got from The Institute for Responsible Technology.
Why were genetically modified foods introduced in the first place? To feed the world, right? So that everyone would have enough food, otherwise, many people would starve. Right? Okay, here’s the chain of events.
- Monsanto holds the patent on the pesticide Round Up.
- Monsanto developed genetically modified foods that would be resistant to Round Up so they could continue selling this pesticide.
- They sell these GMO seeds to farmers, who then have to buy Round Up to protect their crops.
- Any farmers not using the GMO seeds and Round Up are bought out or forced out of business.
- When they find out that farmers are saving the seeds from year to year, Monsanto gets upset because they’re not making money from selling more seeds.
- Monsanto creates genetically modified seeds that will not reproduce so that farmers have to buy new seeds every year.
Basically, Monsanto, the largest multinational agricultural company, has pushed genetically modified foods in order to sell more of their pesticide and to sell more seeds. Yes, simply to make more money.
Who the hell is Monsanto?
If you’re not familiar with Monsanto, you probably should be, because much of what you’re eating is affected by their practices. You can go to the website Millions Against Monsanto or read this article in Vanity Fair which reports that former Monsanto executives now hold positions of power in the USDA, FDA, the EPA, and the Supreme Court. This means that Monsanto has a huge influence over our food safety and environmental policies. At this point, 70% of food in supermarkets contains genetically modified ingredients.
But GMO foods are safe, right? They’re approved by the FDA and the USDA!
As I’ve already pointed out, the people in the FDA and the USDA who approved GMO foods are past and/or current employees of Monsanto. And as we’ve also already established, Monsanto’s priority is to make money off of selling Round Up and selling their patented seeds.
Some information about the effects of GMO foods (from the Institute for Responsible Technology):
- GMO seeds sprayed with Round Up are designed to destroy the intestines of insects who eat the plants.
- In studies done in Europe (where GMO foods are illegal in almost every country, by the way), humans who ate these GMO foods developed similar problems with their intestines.
- GMO seeds are designed to not reproduce, and this same genetic difference affects humans’ reproductive systems.
- In doctors’ trials within the U.S., removing GMO foods from patients’ diets relieved most intestinal problems and disorders of the immune system.
- Tests on human cells show that GMO foods cause cell destruction from the inside out.
- Contrary to statements made by the FDA that all destructive properties of GMOs are eliminated in digestion, clinical trials have shown these toxins (that cause human cell destruction) were present in the blood of an overwhelming percentage of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.
So, where are we going with all of this?
There is a lot of anti-capitalist sentiment going around these days in the 99% and the Occupy movement. Can you really blame people for being against capitalism in this environment? People are out of work, sick, paying ridiculous amounts of money for medical care, all because of one thing. And I don’t think it’s capitalism that’s the problem.
Greed is the problem, pure and simple. The greed of banking corporations, the greed of insurance companies, and yes, the greed of Monsanto, who is on the verge of contaminating our food sources without regulation.
So how do we deal with such a large problem – isn’t human greed part of our nature?
When I was living in Germany for the past 7 years, there was a huge difference in the way they handle personal relations, business, and government. Social responsibility is a priority over personal gain. This starts at a personal level, with each person in his or her neighborhood making decisions based on how it will affect their neighbors, environment, and community. For example, no one washes their cars in the street in Germany, because the soap will run off into the water system. People go out every day and clean up the street, even as it extends past their house. This extends to the way people run their businesses and the expectations of their government.
We need to educate U.S. citizens, from the time they are children, to make social responsibility a priority. In everything we do, we need to think about how it will affect others. This is a mindset centered on compassion, community, and forward-thinking. We are thinking about more than ME and WHAT I WANT RIGHT NOW. Self-centered thinking is what makes the individual people at Monsanto feel like their own profits are more important than the health and well-being of millions of people.
What can I do right now? Is there anything to protect the health of myself and my loved ones?
- STOP THE FARM BILL. This is time sensitive. Go here now to put pressure on senators and members of congress. If enough people call a representative with the same issue, they will support you. They want to be re-elected.
- Money talks. If only 5% of consumers stopped buying GMOs, they would cease to be profitable. See the Institute for Responsible Technology’s website for a non-GMO shopping guide and sign up for their newsletter to get involved in a “Click and Send Revolution.” Education is always the first answer.
- In order to stop buying GMOs, we need them to be labeled. Monsanto knows that if we labeled GMOs, 53% of people would not buy them. Support California’s labeling bill to help this legislation spread to more states.
What about that big question of unchecked greed? That’s clearly leading us to a bleak future.
If you’d like to hear my thoughts about this, you can check out my song More, More, More, which is about this issue. I’d like to hear your thoughts on how we could address this. Please comment!
~~~Sing Truth to Power~~~