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and why should I care?

This diary was inspired by the people and government of India, who recently filed a lawsuit against biotechnology's Fortune 500 giant Monsanto company. In a wonderful twist, India's government is suing Monsanto for biopiracy.

(NaturalNews) Representing one of the most agriculturally bio-diverse nations in the world, India has become a primary target for biotechnology companies like Monsanto and Cargill to spread their genetically-modified (GM) crops into new markets. However, a recent France 24 report explains that the Indian government has decided to take an offensive approach against this attempted agricultural takeover by suing Monsanto for "biopiracy," accusing the company of stealing India's indigenous plants in order to re-engineer them into patented varieties.

Monsanto has a track record of suing farmers whose crops contain some of its patented GM technology.

Essentially, India is taking Monsanto's own M.O. and using it against them. Fabulous. Also, potentially, if India wins (and I hope they do), fecund.

You can see the France24 report here.

I've been following the efforts of many individuals, communities, states, and nations as we attempt to educate ourselves and circumvent the present and potential dangers and disasters caused by biotech agribusiness companies that claim to be "focused on sustainable agriculture."  

I asked myself, "self, why does it matter if foods are genetically modified? Who does it hurt, and how?"

Please join me beyond the fancy orange curly-q thingy to see a little of what I found.

First I'll say that when thinking of a title for this diary, immediately the old DuPont commercial "better living through chemistry" popped into my head, even though it was made before I was born. I couldn't find a copy of that entertaining piece, but was able to find "The Wonderful World of Chemistry" presented at the 1964 World's Fair. "You're gonna have shoes like you've never had shoes before!" the host bellows.

It's hard to believe that in my 45 year life span plastics have become the norm, and that we have succeeded in creating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a plastic flotsam island two times the size of the U.S., in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. You're gonna have an island like you've never had an island before.

Ok, so that may have been slightly tangential, but I wonder, if few could have imagined the environmental damage plastic could do in such a short time, what about the damage by GMOs (Genetically Modified Oragnisms)?

Well, here's my short list of reasons to stop worrying and learn to love GMO's.

- Recorded deaths, near deaths and food allergy reactions

- Cancer and degenerative disease links

- Birth defects, shorter life spans, superviruses

- Lowered nutrition, increased pollution and toxicity to our soil.

- No regulated health safety testing. Basically, the fox oversees the chicken coop.

- Extinction of seed varieties

- Creates superweeds and superpests

- Destroys life, kills beneficial insects such as honey bees.

- Abuses Animals

- Puts small farmers out of business

- There is more pesticide use with GM seeds

- Organic foods are contaminated by GMOs (and then the company sues the farmer for stealing their GMOs!)

- Seeds can only be used once, farmers wholly dependent on seed companies  ("terminator technology")

- False advertising and scientific fraud

- Monopolization of food production causes dependency. Under the new regulations of WTO, the World Bank, GATT, and NAFTA, the autonomy of local economies can be vastly overridden. When a person loses food self-sufficiency they become wholly dependent.

- For religious dietary reasons (with transgenic alterations, every food is potentially suspect- it may not BE pork, but it may have the genes of a pig in it.)

Scary stuff.

Oh, and here's a link to 14 myths about GMOs, (aka genetically engineered (GE) foods).

Myth No. 4: GE food is extensively tested and the GE food at present on our supermarket shelves is perfectly safe to eat.

FACT: We rely almost entirely on the testing carried out by the GE biotechnology companies that have spent billions of dollars developing the food and intend to make a profit selling it to us. There are serious doubts about the adequacy of the testing and the validity of the conclusions drawn from the results...

I know one thing I don't have serious doubts about; I really love my local organic farmers, and all the hard work they do to keep my food delicious, nutritious, and safe.

Here's where you can find your own local markets, farms, co-ops and stores.

Californians, here's info on how to support the GMO labeling ballot initiative.

Washingtonians, I just learned, are trying to do this too.

Nationally, here's what's happening...

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has reintroduced a bill for labeling in Congress, as he has every year since 2003. What's different and important about Kucinich's effort this time is that Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the second most senior Republican in Congress, is co-sponsoring it. Their bill would require safety testing, eliminate seed patenting, and shift liability for damage caused by genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to biotechnology companies.

Well, you just get on with your own bad self, Kucinich! (~!*)

My county is included among three in California that have joined a growing list of communities and countries that have banned the use of GMO crops.

Recently, Hungary, which has outlawed GMOs, destroyed an illegal crop of corn. Here's a hilarious blog on the occurrence...

Leaving aside the fact that this sort of sweep-the-checkers-off-the-board move is always kind of badass, this is also some amazingly thorough government regulation. For starters, they were willing to take collateral damage -- only some of the seeds on those 1,000 acres were Monsanto-born Frankenmaize, but they destroyed it all despite the fact that it was too late to plant more. Also, these checks were performed despite the fact that you aren't allowed to import GM seeds in the first place. Federal regulators DOUBLE-checking? What are these people, Communists?  

This actually happened back in July, but it's making the rounds of the internet now, because everyone likes to imagine a band of angry Cossacks just fucking a field of GM corn up old-school.

11:44 PM PT: Seems many of the links I posted are broken. I am new to this and it is likely my fault, though initially I thought I was being hacked by the mob, er, I mean Monsanto. Welp, looks like if you just remove the final forward slash from the address you are directed to, the links magically appear. Jic, here is a list to all broken links...

You’re gonna have shoes like you’ve never had shoes before.

http://www.youtube.com/...

The Wonderful World of Chemistry- DuPont- 1964 New York World’s Fair, on youtube.

stop worrying.

http://www.raw-wisdom.com/....

raw-wisdom.com “50 harmful effects of genetically modified foods”

deaths.

http://www.aquarianonline.com/...

The Skeleton in the GMO closet, by Ingeborg Boyens

food allergy reactions

http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/...

Latest GMO Research: Decreased Fertility, Immunological Alterations and Allergies From: Dr. Gregory Damato PhD. W.A.

or

http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/...

Scientists see spike in kids' food allergies by Charles Sheehan

cancer.

http://www.greens.org/...

Seeking the Withdrawal of Approval for Posilac® by Andrew Kimbrell & Joseph Mendelson III, International Center for Technology Assessment

superviruses

http://www.pmac.net/...

Jeopardizing the Future? Genetic Engineering, Food and the Environment, Dr. Michael Hanson and Jean Halloran, Consumer Policy Institute/Consumers Union

seed varieties.

http://www.ghorganics.com/...

Monsanto and Seed Giants Want to Ban Farm-Saved Seed, Golden Organics dot com

superweeds.

http://enviro.org.au/...

GM super-weed discovered in UK field, environmental society of australia

kills honey bees.

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/...

The Global Bee Death by Dan Winter

are contaminated by GMO’s

http://www.bioedonline.org/...

Organic food contaminated with GM. Many so-called organic foods contain genetically modified soya, by Jim Giles

can only be used once

http://www.nelsonfarm.net/...

Monsanto Still Suing Nelsons, Other Growers By Robert Schubert

false advertising and scientific fraud.

http://www.rense.com/...

Health Hazards of Genetically  Engineered Foods By Stephen Lendman

Washingtonians are trying to do this too.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/...

Together we can build a GMO-Free WashinGtOn!, organicconsumers.org

Nationally, here’s what’s happening.

http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/...

GMO labeling initiatives by Trudy Bialic

Thanks so much for popping in, I hope this helps.


Originally posted to water willow on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 08:28 PM PST.

Also republished by Dream Menders and Environmental Foodies.

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