Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another View on the Genetically Modified Food "Controversy"

[From Don Hess. The proprietor of this Blog does not necessarily agree with this material.]

Friends of the Philosophy Club, Although I wasn't present for Deardra's presentation, I did help her "vet" the slides, and am familiar with her talk. Because of the complexity of the subject and the time constraint on any club presentation, I decided to add this view to fill in a few of what I thought were the "gaps" in Deardra's short prentation.

For those who are truly interested, and who would like some very well presented information, there are four DVD presentations on the dangers GMOs present, and on Monsanto's political revolving door with the USDA, FDA, EPA and Supreme Court.

The swapping of personnel positions between their Monsanto employ and the various agencies of government, including Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, is a matter of record; there is no disputing it. The chronology of the swings in the revolving door is far too synchronized with important decisions made by these bodies to be coincidental.

The DVDs are "The Future of Food", "Food, Inc.", "The World According to Monsanto", and "David Versus Monsanto". If you choose to view them, you will get an understanding of Monsanto's monstrous activites and their destruction of animal and human lives and of the environment.

I presume any personal bias against belief and tendency to dismiss the dangers, the politics, or Monsantos destructive activities might stem from a belief in the benign character of capitalism and the self-policing potential of the "free" market.

But this rogue organization has thwarted all the processes designed to promote the safety of the food that sustains our lives - to the extent of buying up all of its seed competition, intimidating farmers by suing them for "breach of patent" when wind-blown GM seed contaminates their fields planted with organic crops. These processes thwart the normal "market function" (and consumer protection) of "fair" competition. Monsanto has even gone to the extent of inserting policy written by their shills (see below) at the FDA, prohibiting labelling that would allow the consumer a choice to abandon their products.

Currently polls show that more than 53% of consumers would not buy products that included genetically modified (GM) crops IF they KNEW they were present. These crops are now present in 70% of the products in supermarkets, including everything from breakfast cereals to catsup, processed cheeze, peanut butter, salad dressing, soy milk and jelly. The major marketers of milk abandoned milk from cows fed rGBH (also known as rBST) when only 5% of their customers declined to buy it. Without labelling that informs consumers of the presence of genetically modifified grain content, consumers cannot "vote with their feet" and another normal market function is thwarted.

Michael Taylor was one of the FDA's Directors and wrote the policy, still extant today, that prevents labelling of GM products in the USA. Today he occupies a position as "special advisor" in this area to President Obama. The current head of the Department of Agriculture is Tom Vilsack, also a former Monsanto executive. All together about ten of Monsanto's previous officers have also inhabited offices in the various branches of government with decision power in this area.

Monsanto has also attempted to suppress pretigious independent lab studies of the effects of their crops on rats and mice in England (Arpad Pustai) and Russia, and had the research scientists involved fired and muzzled through non-disclosure agreements. Fortunately, Dr. Pustai was released from his agreement after seven months, and within a month and a half after his disclosures on the health of rats fed GM potatoes, most of Europe abandoned the consumption of products containing GM crops.

Monsanto's suits of farmers and their patents on "terminator seeds" - seeds that will NOT germinate to produce the next generation of crops - belie their "benign" image and expose their intentions to force control of the world food supply and its pricing through monopoly. These activities arise from the corporation that has given the world PCBs, DDT, Agent Orange, Dioxin, Aspartame, rBST (bovine growth hormone) and now genetically modified soy, corn, canola, cotton, papayas, zuchinni and sugar beets, and is now attempting to introduce GM alfalfa, which will contaminate organically grown alfalfa within 5 miles of any field containing the GM brand. Can we count on the moral goodwill of such a corporation to protect our food supply?

Currently, there are two bills before Congress for reconciliation, HR 475 and S 510, which attempt to criminalize organic farming and prohibit private gardening. HR 475 was introduced by a House member whose husband is patently employed by a lobbying firm with Monsanto as a client. Monsanto denies any connection with the Senate bill. Fortunately for the possible outcome of reconciliation, an amendment sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester of Montana would limit the provisions to farms of more than $500 thousand gross a year. But the insideous attempt toward creating monopoly is apparent in Monsanto's interest in these bills.

Monsanto has contributed to the deaths of over 125,000 small Indian cotton growers by buying up all of the competing organic seed suppliers, witholding all that seed from the market, forcing the farmers to buy Monsanto's seed and then jacking up the prices fourfold, causing small farmer bankruptcies, despair and suicides.

Thank God much of Europe and Japan have outlawed their products for human consumption. Those countries will provide a safe repository for seed varieties when this rogue corporation destroys plant diversity to an extent that one or two crop blights in this country will destroy the entire monoculture food producing capacity of this nation - much like the wheat failure several years ago in Russia and the potato famine in Ireland.

It is up to you to draw your own conclusions about this monstrously destructive rogue corporation, but I urge you NOT to do that on the basis of ignorance. You owe it to yourselves to view the information necessary to make sensible judgements. Efforts are underway today, through hearings, to require the Justice Department to break up the monopoly Monsanto holds over the industry. Please take the opportunity to join them if you are persuaded by the information I'm offering here.

Three of the DVDs are available, full lenth, on You Tube under the exact titles I've listed above. Start with the four DVDs above and then investigate further via the internet.

It is YOUR health and YOUR future that are as stake if you are one who permits this organization to continue its evil activities without objection or resistance.

Don Hess


Ira Glickstein said...

Don Hess: Thanks for your new Topic.

Deardra, in her presentation, also mentioned Clarence Thomas' role on Monsanto's legal team that successfully cleared the legal barriers to GMO.

I have high respect for his voting record in the US Supreme Court and his previous role as President Ronald Reagan's Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

However, I had no idea he was that good a corporate lawyer in the earlier part of his distinguished career. According to you and Deardra, he seems to have put GMO on a sound legal footing during the three years he worked for Monsanto (1976 to 1979). Thanks for that information!

Ira Glickstein

Deardra MacDonald said...

Ira, Joel, Don: I am glad that Don clarified the gaps in my presentation. The controversy of genetically modified foods are so sharply diverse that neither side will take a look at what the other side is saying. My "purpose" in presenting this topic was to open the possibilities of looking at both sides, and not to just except one side blindly.

I am looking for scientific proof from those who say that genetically modified food are "Safe" for human consumption. The comments I received back was on Ireland, Clarence Thomas, or that it is virtually impossible for a chemical manufacturer to carry out tests without exposing itself to lawsuits from one direction or another.

I am looking for comments that will show me that extensive scientific research has been done on humans and rats. I am open to new information that I was unable to find. Please educate me...

Remember the Tobacco Corporation and Medical Industry said that tobacco was safe for 40 or more years. As I said in my presentation "More doctor smoke Camels than any other cigarette." The campaign began in 1946 and ran for eight years in magazines and on the radio. They are still bills in the House and Senate today trying to pass stronger wording against tobacco.

I am asking for comments that will show me that I have not done enough research. I am asking YOU the reader to "SHOW ME THE BEEF" like the fast food commercial stated.

Show me the research that has been done on humans and rats. The health risks have not been done according to Wikipedia. Genetically modified foods were first put on the markets in the early 1990s... Please show me the research done on HUMANS. Thanks you, I hope you will educate me?

Ira Glickstein said...

Deardra, we have been eating GMO for over two decades. No damage to humans has been reported

In all that time, with billions of us participating in the real life test. We are living longer and there are more of us.

Perhaps you could blame GMO for the problem that fewer people are dying of starvation and more of us are obese.

Indeed, some of the life benefit to humans may be due to less use of pesticide spraying while crops are growing, since the GMO crops are not attractive to certain insects.

Where is the evidence the food is in any way less wholesome and nutritious?

Ira Glickstein