4/03/2009

Moratorium on GE foods

By mediagonebad

[Stop Monsanto's draconian bill now in Congress. HR875 is disguised as a food safety bill but it would give AG companies the power to virtually control agriculture. http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum959.php ]

Genetically Engineered foods, also known as GEOs (genetically engineered organisms) and GMOs (genetically modified organisms), which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says are essentially equivalent to conventional foods and therefore do not require mandatory labeling or pre-market testing, can now be found in 60 to 75 percent of all non-organic supermarket foods.

Concern over the use of GE products, however, goes beyond the need for safety testing and product labeling. The concern to all of us should be directed toward the corporate scientists creating these products for AG employers such as Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Aventis Crop Science, BASF, BIO, Zeneca Ag Products and Novartis. While most of us generally view technology as beneficial to humankind, we must always keep in mind that there is no scientific ethic in place that tempers the application of science only to those areas that may benefit humankind.

Companies that produce and use GE products spend millions of dollars on advertising campaigns trying to convince consumers that their products will benefit humankind. They say that GE products are needed so we can end world hunger, improve public health, create sustainable agriculture and improve crop yields and crop hardiness, but the possible devastating consequences of using GE products are not mentioned in their ads.

We all want to end world hunger, but in so doing, we also want our products to be safe for human consumption. Therefore, we must allow scientists to test these new creations before the AG companies rush them out into the marketplace. This is just common sense, something the AG companies do not have these days. They see dollar signs and that is their motivation.

The companies engaging in GE alter the genes of living plants, animals, humans and microorganisms, patent the new life forms, then sell the resulting food, seed or product for profit. When gene-altered crops are introduced into the natural world, however, they may wreak havoc upon traditional crops by creating genetic contamination of non-GE crops.

It is impossible to predict how these new life forms will reproduce, migrate and mutate, so it is also impossible to predict what the end results will be for the food supply. According to FDA logic, if it looks like a tomato, smells like a tomato and tastes like a tomato, then it must be a tomato. But how will a tomato altered with a fish gene effect non-GE tomatoes in 10 years? In a hundred years? In a thousand years? In a million years? Will GE tomatoes begin to develop eyes and brains? No one knows. As wind, bees, birds and insect pollinators begin carrying GE tomato pollen to other species, what results will occur? No one knows. What effect will GE tomato pollen have on beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, ladybugs and soil microorganisms? No one knows. What new toxins, allergens, viruses, pathogens and antibiotic-resistant infections will be created accidentally? No one knows. If this sounds like science fiction, then perhaps it is, because no one knows what effects GE will have upon the natural world. No one knows what long-term consequences GE may have upon the food supply and the environment because these products are being created recklessly and rushed into the marketplace without benefit of proper safeguards, testing and controls.

Readers should keep in mind that GE technology is not the same thing as traditional cross-breeding or hybridization, which mixes only the genes of the same or closely-related species. Genetic engineering mixes the genes of unrelated species -- such as fish and tomatoes, bacteria and soybeans, and humans and pigs -- that would likely never be intermingled in the natural world. Genetic engineering produces new life forms and these new life forms are now in our food supply.

And what's worse, these life forms have gotten into our food supply without scientific evidence that they are indeed "safe." Valid scientific procedure is a rigorous process of examination and re-examination using experimental control groups, but this process is conveniently omitted by the AG companies The only evidence that these new life forms in our food supply are "safe" is the claim by GE producers that no one has ever gotten sick or died from using them, but there is no way to verify this claim because there is no labeling required for these products and therefore no follow-up.

GE products can now be found in infant formula, soda, pizza, chips, cookies, cereal, candy, vitamins, ice cream, pasta, sauces, breads, oils, juice, sweeteners, animal products, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, butter, detergents, salad dressings, frozen dinners, milk, and many other products made from genetically engineered soybeans, corn, canola, papaya, potatoes, tomatoes, flax, sugar beets, yellow crookneck squash, radicchio, cotton, zucchini, rBGH dairy products, processing aids and enzymes. Without product labeling, consumers have no way of knowing which products contain GMOs and, as a result, consumers are denied the opportunity to make informed choices about the food they eat. The GE producers are against any labeling because they argue that GE is "safe."

Unless AG companies are stopped in their tracks by an international moratorium on GE products, they may soon become the new landlords of life on Earth by monopolizing the global market for seeds, food and medical products. GE companies are lying to consumers about the safety of these products and they are lying to farmers about their necessity.

Maybe it's time we did something about it. For starters, we can write or call our congressional representatives and ask that our tax dollars not be used to fund GE research at universities. We can also start buying products that are made from certified organic ingredients. Just because we humans have the technical ability to create new life forms and to clone existing ones does not mean we should be using these technologies except with great caution and with proper scientific controls. Our human greed for capital gain in the present should be stifled by a greater desire to make our impact on this planet as minimal as possible. Besides, we haven't even learned how to get along peacefully with our own species, so why should we be creating more?

1 comment:

  1. Genetically engineered food sickens me!!!!
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