What Are You If You Are What You Eat and You Eat GMO Food?
Silly question? Not really. The food we put into our bodies becomes our bodies. That’s what the alimentary canal does, turning hamburgers and fries into that nice muffin top of fat around our middles.
Now a new report, just released, presents a large body of peer-reviewed and scientific evidence of the hazards to health and the environment posed by genetically-engineered crops and organisms. This report was issued by actual genetic engineers who believe there are good scientific reasons to be wary of GMO foods and crops. One, Dr. Michael Antoniou is a reader in molecular genetics and head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King’s College, London School of Medicine, in London. He’s spent 28 years in the field of genetic engineering technology and over 40 of his peer-reviewed scientific papers have been published.
In a nutshell, the report says that GMO foods have never been properly tested for toxicity and should be considered dangerous. You can see the report at www.openearthsource.org. At the site, click on “GMO Myths and Truths.”
This fall, folks in California will be able to vote on a referendum requiring all foods containing genetically modified ingredients to be so labeled. Anyone interested in organic, clean, properly grown crops or humanely raised meat, milk, and eggs should be sure to vote for this referendum.
You know Monsanto will be out there with as much money as it takes to convince people that labeling foods is another government intrusion of their rights—or whatever other nonsense they dream up to scare people away from voting for labeling. But you and I also know that the real reason is that once people see a label on their food that says, “Contains Genetically Modified Ingredients,” and people know the content of Dr. Antoniou’s GMO Myths and Truths report, those foods will languish on the supermarket shelves.
Shortly after I wrote the above, I got an email that listed at least one of the tactics Monsanto will use in California to defeat the ballot initiative requiring GMO foods to be so labeled. The ballot measure, by the way, has been cleared to go on the November ballot. It’s been assigned # 37. So the word from now until November for all eligible California voters is “Yes on 37!”
The email said, in part, “Leaders in the disinformation campaign launched against the labelling initiative say that it would be like the infamous Proposition 65, ‘The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986’–a way for bounty-hunting lawyers to file suits against companies for supposedly selling products containing undisclosed GMOs. Of course, GMO’s ally StopCostlyFoodLabeling.com receives funding from the Council for Biotechnology Information. It should be no surprise that Monsanto is a member of that organization.
“James C. Cooper, PhD in economics from Emory University, dismisses the comparison between California’s labelling initiative and Proposition 65. In his report, he delineates the key differences between the two programs:
• The Label GMO initiative allows producers 7 years to reduce GMO exposure of products from under 5 percent to zero.
• Producers are immune from suit if they can provide a statement from their supplier or an independent organization that the food is certified organic and/or GMO-free.
• Producers have 30 days to rectify violations with no liability.
• Whereas plaintiffs were able to keep ‘bounties’ of 25 percent of civil penalties under Prop 65, the labelling initiative provides none.”
Some surprising benefits await those who dig out their raised garden beds by hand. I lived for many years in an old—early 19th Century—stone farmhouse in Pennsylvania. There I made 13 raised beds, each about three feet across and 10 feet long. I dug out the old compacted soil to a depth of about two feet using a small trowel, taking a deep slice of soil and loosening it with my fingers, removing any roots of tough weeds like greenbriar and multiflora rose, taking out any stones larger than a pingpong ball, but also finding artifacts from the generations of farmers who had lived and worked that land. It became a way to get to know those people, and making the raised beds became like a sort of local archeological dig for me. Because I did the work so slowly, and in such small chunks, it took me about three years to make all 13 beds.
I saved all the artifacts and made a list. The list included lots of broken crockery, some with Pennsylvania Dutch designs. Metal springs and gears. A part of a broken harrow tine. Some child’s glass marbles. Pieces of broken glass. The frame of a pair of what must have been bifocals. Buttons. Clamshells from a long-ago clambake. Eating utensils like a knife and fork, several spoons, and a small ladle. All in all, a trove of things from the folks who lived on that land.
After I went through each little segment of soil, removing stones as well as artifacts, I returned the soil to the trenches, mixed 50-50 with compost I’d made. The beds grew a prolific amount of vegetables for many years, until I pulled up stakes and headed west.