Our Children Are Not Roundup Ready
What you need to know about GMOs
Originally Published at Gaiam Yoga
There are three ways to look at nature: run in fear, seek to conquer, or live in harmony.
Humankind’s first gods grew out of the unpredictable forces of nature. These immortal deities were feared and revered. Cultures were centered on mythologies, which allowed us to feel we comprehend the world.
We have come a long way from placing a sacrificial goat on a raised ceremonial structure at the volcano’s edge. But we are far from attaining harmony.
Today, there are many who think we can control nature with technological breakthroughs. They believe in global reach, western ideals, the powers of hierarchy, and technology to solve problems. They worship at the altar of innovation.
Technology has helped us enormously, but has also contributed to our disconnection from the earth. We spend far more time at our televisions and computers than we do in nature. More importantly, we are destroying the environment and the other beings that share it, only to marvel at our technological prowess.
“One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between
Man and Nature shall not be broken.” ~Leo Tolstoy
Yoga means union. It’s not only the union with our spirit but with everyone and everything around us. We must first find balance within ourselves.
Ayurveda teaches that diseases arise through the damage of our water, air and soil. We cannot be healthy in a world that is compromised by our ignorance. So it is important that we understand what GMO crops do to our environment and our bodies.
“Yoga exists in the world because everything is linked.” ~Desikachar
What are GMO foods and why are they controversial?
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. The chemical company, Monsanto is the leading producer of genetically engineered seeds and herbicides. They own 53% of the world seed supply and are among the biggest beneficiaries of GMO crops and foods.
Genetically Modified Organisms come in two forms, Pesticide Producing and Herbicide Resistant GMOs.
The Pesticide Producing GMOs are seeds that were modified with the BT protein also called BT poison. It is a naturally occurring insecticide produced by bacteria in soil. It’s nature’s protection for the sprout.
These plant seeds cannot be registered as “seeds.” They are legally labeled pesticides because when the insect feeds on the crop, the BT protein causes it’s stomach to rupture.
Monsanto, the maker of this pesticide, cites that BT is a naturally produced protein and harmless. It is found in nature, but the extremely high levels used to produce these “seeds” has not been proven safe.
Herbicide Resistant GMOs
These plants are called Roundup Ready and have been genetically modified to be resistant to weed killer.
Herbicides are designed to kill weeds. Roundup Ready crops are designed to survive poison.
The produce absorbs those toxins and we consume it. This style of farming creates a vicious cycle; eventually weeds become resistant to the herbicide, which requires more spray and this means more poison in the environment.
One of the many problems with this is that the “pests” are not the only insects affected by these poisons. Bees and butterflies are dying at alarming rates.
Scientists around the world believe this is the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder.
We don’t understand the long-term effects of these contaminants in our bodies and in nature. The rate at which we develop toxins is faster than the rate our bodies develop resistance. Our children are not “Roundup Ready”.
How does Monsanto get away with it?
The government designed the FDA to protect us. But, over the last thirty years it’s authority was systematically stripped away.
Regulation laws changed in the 1980’s. A large company no longer has to prove that what they sell is safe. The responsibility is on consumer advocates to prove a product is UN-safe.
These vast, wealthy companies can easily hide because they have nothing to prove. As a result, there are no longitudinal health studies demanded for products.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine states that GMO foods are not safe. They state:
“There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies”.
The “serious health risks” include infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, and changes in major organs and gastrointestinal system. They noted that thousands of sheep, buffalo and goats died after grazing BT cotton plants, more than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, other rodents showed immune system toxicity, organ lesions and tumors.
They urged long-term safety studies and were ignored.
This week, the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology published a new study that links exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide with breast cancer. Hormone-dependent breast cancer cells grew “at levels far below what millions of people are exposed to every single day though the general food supply”.
The study results show that “Roundup Ready GM soybeans are a primary driver of the breast cancer epidemic.” 93% of women tested in 2011 had this toxin in the fetal tissue.
Monsanto’s “pledge” proclaims transparency, integrity, and respect. Their business practices have not lived up to their promise. They spend millions of dollars fighting any legislation put forward to protect the public. They fear the consumer’s reaction if the truth came to light.
“You are only afraid if you are not in harmony with yourself.”
Do all countries use GMO crops?
No. GMO foods and crops are banned in most countries. The Organic Consumers Association has a list of countries that forbid GMOs.
The few countries that allow GMO crops demand that products are labeled. The United States does not have GMO labeling.
The FDA can require labeling but doesn’t because there is no pressure from Congress.
There are 420 million acres of GMO crops being grown worldwide. 85% of all corn and 95% of commercial soybeans grown in the US are Genetically Modified.
Monsanto and companies like it, work on scale and government favors to crowd out the small farmer and destroy the local capacity to grow.
Monsanto strips the seeds from American farmers and forces them to buy Monsanto “seeds” every year. No farmer, no matter how many generations of experience and investment they represent, is allowed to replant offspring seeds.
Corporations don’t get to extirpate American traditions as if they were weeds.
“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” ~Aldo Leopold
Can GMOs help feed the world?
Monsanto produces glitzy promotional materials that proclaim they will “feed the world”. There is absolutely no evidence that these crops increase yield.
GMO crops will not go far in solving the world’s hunger problem, as they have been banned in most of the world.
The fact is that patenting seeds is a big business model. Who ever controls it, controls the food supply. These giant conglomerates are not feeding the world; they are feeding their greed.
Dow, DuPont, Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto are chemical companies. What business do chemical companies have in producing the food we consume? They are destroying the soil, the water supply, and our future.
The real problem is money in politics; legalized corruption. Crass economics rather than moral principles guide us.
“Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.
~ Thomas Jefferson
Why does the Government protect them?
Last month, Robert Fraley, a Monsanto executive and Mary Dell Chilton, a scientist from Syngenta, were awarded the Nobel Prize of Agriculture. This is just another corrupt attempt to legitimize GMO production.
These executives are working both sides of the system. First they work for the giant corporations then they work for our Government and vice versa.
The Deputy Food Commissioner for the US Government, Michael R. Taylor, was VP for Public Policy for Monsanto.
This chart shows many more examples of the revolving door between our government and the Monsanto Corporation.
“Faith and love are apt to be spasmodic in the best minds. Men live the brink of mysteries and harmonies into which they never enter, and with their hands on the door-latch they die outside.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Twenty-six states introduced labeling legislation, in 2013.
Monsanto and Dupont spent $45 million and General Mills spent $1.1 million to defeat these labeling initiatives. Chemical companies and grocery manufacturers work together to keep the American consumer in the dark.
Voting is underway in Washington State, and the final ballots will be cast on November 5, 2013. Share information so that people understand what they are voting against.
Why are the news stations so quiet about GMOs?
Few are brave enough to report on Monsanto and the corruption behind GMO foods because television stations are terrified to lose their advertising.
Fox News did a series called “Get Our Milk Off Drugs”. Monsanto lawyers threatened the news station and in the end two reporters and the General Manager were fired. Read the full story here.
Television stations are obligated to perform a public good in return for access to the airwaves. That helps the press perform the vital role of illuminating misdeeds that nurtures our democracy. Monsanto threatens not only a small TV station, but also the trusted relationship between the press and the public.
Monsanto manipulates technology for their own profit, but we cannot allow them to manipulate the press, and yank out the sturdy root of our democracy.
How can you make a change?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead (text box)
Write members of Congress. Demand your right to have food labeled.
Call or write your Congressman or woman and tell them you want a Federal GMO Labeling Act. Dennis Kucinich has brought The Right To Know Act to Congress since 1999. It has been 14 years and only now is it gaining consciousness in the public.
Find members of Congress here. http://www.contactingthecongress.org
I have a compiled a complete list of foods to avoid. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/04/butter-salt-a-side-of-poison-how-to-protect-your-family-from-monsanto-genetically-modified-foods-marylee-fairbanks/
Here are a few inexpensive organic alternatives.
Trader Joes (Anything with the TJ label is non GMO)
Late July organic snacks
Earthbound Farm Organic
The NON-GMO Project can help you find healthy foods.
Use buycott. Download this great app and with a scan of the barcode you can see if a company’s values are in line with your own.
Fooducate this app that helps you find healthy food easily in your grocery store.
When we align the way we live with our principles we create lasting change. We can fear, conquer or find harmony with nature. But, there may be a fourth way: the earth as a looking glass, a mirror that reflects not just our image, but our intentions, our wisdom, and our union.
Will we like what we see?
“Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe deeply, move harmoniously”.