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GMO ( Part 3)
This is the last one ( for now...)
Hello dear reader. This will be the third and final blog in this series, although as passionate as I am about this subject , I can promise it won’t be the last you hear from me. It is hard to gauge who my audience is, but if you are reading this I am willing to bet that you care too. I have no idea the level of knowledge my readers have about this subject. In these three blogs , I have attempted to cover ( albeit briefly ) as many of the most pressing issues around gmo that I can.
For anyone who has followed the history of this scandalous industry, by now it must be crystal clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that the main drive is money. Gmo is a delivery system for petrochemicals. No other crops in the history of the world have ever needed as many chemicals as gmo crops. If that weren’t bad enough: “Genetically Modified corn has been engineered in a laboratory to produce pesticides in its own tissue. GMO corn is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as a pesticide, but is sold unlabeled. Walmart is now selling Monsanto’s sweet corn that has been genetically engineered to contain an insecticide, but consumers don’t know because it’s not labeled.”
I will write another blog at some point to address labeling, but just know that if you are eating corn that is not labeled “organic or non gmo “, then it is most definitely gmo. 90% of all farmland in the U.S is now gmo thanks to false and fraudulent paid for science, lobbyists and cronyism in the political sector. People in the gmo industry can peddle their lies until the cows come home, but the fact of the matter is that over 35 countries have strong enough scientific evidence to prove that it is detrimental to ecology, animals and humans, and have therefore banned it altogether.
Vandana Shiva is so well known that if you misspell her name, autocorrect will let you know. Vandana Shiva has been and continues to be one of the loudest voices and most proactive humans we have advocating for food sovereignty and security. She knows gmos and the industry inside-out, upside down, backwards and forwards like the back of her hand. She has written many books, made and been in documentaries and can talk non stop off the top of her head ( and from the bottom of her heart) about gmos for hours on end.
Wikipedia says this about her. “Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, ecofeminist and anti-globalisation author. Based in Delhi, Shiva has written more than 20 books. She is often referred to as "Gandhi of grain" for her activism associated with the anti-GMO movement” Her father was a conservator of forests and her mother a farmer. As the saying goes ,”The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree “ - in this case, an organic tree. Did you know that there are now entire forests of gmo trees?!
I mention Vandana Shiva because she is an excellent source of information and I believe anyone passionate about the gmo industry should know about her. She has a plethora of interviews with people on YouTube ( I posted a couple of links last week). I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with her work and wisdom. Also notable is that in 1993 she won the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize for her commitment to woman and ecology.
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In last week’s article I shared that in the U.S. alone we have lost 90% of our Bumblebees and 94% of our food seed varieties world wide. Those two things alone, should cause a revolution. Until the people cause enough of a stir and stop buying gmo food, it will be business as usual - and that could send us straight into oblivion. Cross pollination ( pollination of a flower or plant with pollen from another flower or plant ) is a grave threat to biodiversity and seed purity. It is also poses a huge financial strain on organic farmers who bear the burden both in labor and finances to protect their crops from contamination via cross pollination.
“Farmers who intentionally grow GMO crops are not required to plant non-GMO buffer zones to prevent contamination unless this is stipulated in the farm’s permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Yet even the use of buffer zones has proven ineffective because these areas are usually not large enough to prevent contamination”. You can find the full article below.
“Growers of non-GMO and organic sugar beets and related crops — like table beets and chard — also face the possibility of contamination from nearby Roundup Ready sugar beet growers, as well as the potential economic effects associated with a tainted harvest. Over 50 percent of U.S. sugar beet seed production occurs in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, also home to about half of the country’s swiss chard seed production. The Willamette Valley Specialty Seed Association requires that GMO plants remain three miles from non-GMO infringement lawsuits, recovering as much as $160.6 million from farmers. At least one farmer contends that he was sued when his canola fields were contaminated with GMO crops from neighboring farms.” Full article can be found here. It is a short read, highly informative and also mind-boggling.
In this Orwellian state we live in today, many ( if not all ) federal agencies have become the antithesis of what they purport they are. This means that the USDA has a history of not thoroughly vetting gmo crops. Add to this illegal and “ accidental” releases, along with biopiracy and seed patents and you have an absolute recipe for disaster! What is that disaster? That disaster is a complete loss of biodiversity and the further collapse of our brink of extinction pollinators.
“The rise of seed patenting has caused a shift in the rights over seeds from the hands of farmers to the hands of multinational agrochemical corporations. Hybrid seeds that came to prominence in the 1930s birthed the venture capitalist fields of biotechnology and genetic modification in plant research. In 1995, US plant patent regulations limiting the distribution of patented hybrid seeds were incorporated into international law with the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement. Under the TRIPS agreement, farmers now had to pay royalties on genetically modified seeds (patented seeds) for farm-saved seeds. Seed-saving is the common practice of storing seeds from successful crops for future use. As seed patent law excludes “others” from using, producing, or distributing seeds, farmers found themselves in the unique position of owing money to agro chem corporations for the seeds that they collected from their own crops. “ ( see source below )
Seed-saving allows growers to develop gene-diverse seeds that are more adaptable to the local environments demands. With the enforcement of seed patents, seed ownership has been centralised from farmers’ individual seed storages to being owned by the top four seed firms: Bayer, Corteva Agriscience, ChemChina, and Limagrain. A 2018 analysis revealed that these top four seed firms held a 66.5% share of the global seed market. – a steady increase from ten years prior, in 2007, when these firms controlled 47% of the global seed market. The monopolisation of the global seed market is causing plant gene erosion and farmer corporate-serfdom. Full article here.
Is there Hope for Farming in the U.S.?
I wish there was. Unfortunately, I do not believe there is. If there were hope that things could change, I think something would have been done before we lost 90% of our bumble bee pollinators. Under both the Obama and Biden administration a man dubbed “ Mr. Monsanto “ has been the U.S. agriculture secretary. His name is Tom Vilsack and his track record is atrocious. He has approved more gmos and petrochemicals than any former secretary of agriculture.
If I made a list of his atrocities it would take up the rest of the article, but I highly recommend taking a peek at the list of his blood curdling decisions. As an example “ he left the door open to the progeny of animals derived using cloning technology being allowed in USDA Organic. Since clones are most likely to be used as breeding stock, especially dairy bulls, it is very likely that the offspring of cloned animals are being used to produce organic milk and other food. I am willing to bet some of the things on the list of his disastrous decisions, you were not formerly aware existed. You can see the full list of his disasters here.
There are many reasons I am not hopeful. USDA oversight is becoming more lax by the day and in some cases non - existent. The fact of the matter is, as long as we have corporate allies in the agriculture sector of government, we will never make any headway. Equally astonishing is that Bill Gates ( a huge promoter of gmo ) now owns 90% of U.S. Farmland. Currently 90% of all U.S. farmland is comprised of gmo crops - and that was before Bill Gates entered the picture..
Between the House and Senate we have 26 people directly involved with agribusiness. Add that to the large proportion of members in our House and Senate who are lobbyists, lawyers and financiers and it looks pretty grim. Nobody is paying attention to the interdepartmental dealings ( like the FDA and the USDA for example ) the deals cut behind closed doors, the USDA approvals that take place before enough research, trials and tests are done. On top of that most of the research is not independent and is often fraudulent and paid for.
Amongst cronyism, corporate interests, monopolisation and government oversight, there simply isn’t much room left for integrity in our food supply.
Citric Acid and Mold ?
Citric acid is a preservative that is in almost every single processed food and drink there is. It’s even in organic products. According to USDA rules, if 95% of a product is made up of organic ingredients, it can be called organic. If it's 70% organic, the label can read "made with organic ingredients.
What that means is that you will be hard pressed to find any processed food or beverage that has organic citric acid in it. Why should you care, you may wonder? Well, because modern day citric acid is made from none other than gmo mold. Yep - don’t believe me follow this link. Mold is highly toxic to the body and can cause myriad complications, so buyer beware!
In closing I would like to say that this subject is a rotten, lousy, depressing , no darn good issue and it’s affecting all of us as well as the whole ecology. I think at this point the only way to avoid it is to grow all your own food or move to a country where gmos are banned. Thank you for taking this three week long journey with me. I hope that it has enlightened you. If you are feeling disempowered by all this and would like to be proactive, I have written a list of ways to tackle this monstrosity of an industry.
What Can Be Done?
Grow your own food
Avoid purchasing gmo food whenever possible
Get vocal with your politicians
Help raise awareness
Feed organic food to your pets ( to avoid health issues ) Link here
Learn as much as you can about gmo and the industry
Support local farmers
Sign up for a newsletter that supports organic and informs you about gmos - Millions Against Monsanto ( they also have a FB page), Non GMO Project or Organic Consumers Association ( donate, donate, donate! )
Watch videos and movies on the subject ( see GMO Part 2 )
Join a local non gmo chapter
Support companies that do not use gmos in their food, supplements or body products Link here
Learn about seed banks - good ole Bill Gates is heavily invested in those too. Article here.