Environmental pollution is as American as apple pie. From urban smog to fluoridated water, ~ 82% of the domestic population take it as a given that they are, and will remain, perpetually surrounded by pollutants for the remainder of their individual lives. Besides the potential effects of electromagnetic soup, might it also be possible that the very genetic code of the biological life on this planet is being deliberately manipulated so as to artificially steer the course of evolution?
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are synthetically grown biological products. Also known as genetically engineered (GE) foods, the GMOs listed throughout this book sound more akin to a rogues gallery rather than as an assortment of concoctions taken from a laboratory petri dish. Some of the GMOs include Concanavalin A (which is a potato lectin that acts like a toxic immune suppressant), Roundup Ready (which is Monsanto’s copyrighted GE soybeans), FlavrSavr tomatoes (which resist rotting), the Antibiotic Resistant Marker (ARM) gene, the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV) promoter, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH) in milk, Showa Denko’s Strain V bacterium (which contaminated some supplies of L-tryptophan back in 1989), poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and Monsanto’s world famous Bacillus thurigiensis (Bt) cotton and corn, particularly the latter crop’s Cry1Ab and Cry9C (aka StarLink) varieties. Don’t they sound just ravenously appetizing?
The author bellyaches that these GMOs cause serious health problems. Everything from permanent genetic damage to developing virulent allergies and suffering from malnutrition are claimed to be caused by these GE foods. As if the GMOs stacking and silencing your genes, in addition to turning some of your gene sequences on and off randomly, would be worth getting upset about. Not only that, but there is also a ton of anecdotal evidence offered, such as tale after tale of various farmers feeding their livestock a combination of GMO corn on one side of the trough while also offering organic feed on the other side; these very different farmers consistently self-reported that their various animals would nearly always try to avoid the GE slop while simultaneously huddling around the organic feed. I wonder if anybody ever stopped to consider if maybe there might be intervening variables causing, or at least correlating, with why the crows, pigs, and cows seem to prefer organic feed over the GMO feed.
What is a recurring theme throughout this expose are all the coverups. Whistleblowers like Arpad Pusztai (a scientist who was initially gagged by the Rowett Research Institute), Ignacio Chapela (a Mexican scientist who suffered from intimidation), Robert Cohen (a businessman who managed to acquire over 44,000 internal documents from agribusiness corporations that revealed corruption), and Jane Akre and Steve Wilson (a married investigative reporter couple who were censored by FOX) all demonstrate that Big Food has something to hide from the American public, or so Smith would have us believe. Like Daniel Estulin’s encounters with various intelligence agents while he was trying to keep tabs on the Bilderburg Group, much of what these GMO whistleblowers endured is only provable anecdotally from memory (at least apart from some random articles about Pusztai, whom some could argue was an isolated case). Why Cohen has never released those documents onto the Internet, or why the only other record of Akre and Wilson’s television expose was their interview shown in The Corporation documentary, are questions neither Smith nor I can answer at this time, if ever.
Apparently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) serves as a revolving door for agribusiness, particularly Monsanto. Michael Taylor is one such individual who is the epitome of the corporatist – he worked at the FDA, then for Monsanto, and then went back into the government. Needless to say, the corporate lobbying from Big Food is so prolific that it should come as no surprise that the FDA’s position has consistently been that GMOs do not require safety testing, because the corporations are responsible for that. Considering that the FDA admits that they are responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety of “our” nations’s food supply, wouldn’t it then stand to reason that since they have chosen to become systematically negligent in their duty that their agency shouldn’t be abolished as a necessary consequence of that negligence?
Speaking of Monsanto, their corruption is even more nuanced than the FDA’s shenanigans. For instance, their abuse of copyright is now considered legendary for its flagrancy (which, of course, is protected by corrupt judges, more likely than not to be on the take). If GE seeds are blown onto a non-GMO farmer’s land, that farmer risks being sued by Monsanto for copyright infringement if he attempts to remove the GE contaminated crops. At other times, Monsanto will initially aver their lawsuit provided that the farmer in question signs a non-disclosure adhesion contract, which naturally they will try to intimidate him into signing, even when it is clearly not in his best interest to do so. Monsanto’s insidious terminator seeds uniquely threaten the very genetic integrity of traditional heirloom seeds, for once contamination occurs, those seeds will only be good for one more harvest. As if that control-freak desire to monopolize agricultural seeds wasn’t bad enough, Monsanto enjoys corporate welfare in the form of undue government protection by being exempt from federal court actions barring their planting and selling of GE crops (such as their Bt corn; oh, and did I forget to mention that corn is the top crop for agricultural subsidy payments?).
Unfortunately, where Smith’s book really falls off the wagon was when he proposed how to deal with these GMOs. First, he said the most important thing to do was to “spread the good Word,” as it were. But what, pray tell, was the loyal flock supposed to proselytize about? Grassroots lobbying for coercive product labeling, of course! That’s right…alleged “freedom fighters” demanding the government to interfere in the market in order to “protect” consumers (gee, where have I heard that one before?). As if that wasn’t bad enough, this goal for them to lobby over only serves as a way for setting the stage for boycotting the sale of GMOs. Wait a minute…isn’t it already possible to boycott GE foods by reading the ingredients list? Actually, yes; but not only that, Smith also provides a list of GMOs in this book so that readers can avoid them, yet for some strangely inarticulate reason, “we” should still violate everyone else’s economic liberty by forcing more labeling, by way of government, above and beyond that damn ingredients list!
As you can no doubt see, this trifecta of proselytizing, grassroots lobbying, and boycotting are inherently reformist, and (surprise, surprise) its results are littered with utter failure. Smith’s book was written in 2003, and since it’s been a decade, I think a reevaluation is in order, don’t you? Let’s see…last year’s Prop 37 in California was narrowly defeated, Whole Foods lied about selling GMOs, and it was also discovered that the Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors was chiefly staffed by corporatists who profited from the sale of GMOs. Interestingly enough, the best success that the “organic” side has enjoyed is the widespread implementation of voluntary labeling, chiefly by the private sector Non-GMO Project Verified Seal, as well as by their statist counterpart, the less stringent USDA Organic Certified sticker.
I hate to say this, but I think this crap about GE foods destroying my DNA is less believable that even water fluoridation, which at least was presented by a competent investigative reporter in an intellectually appealing way. There was really only one substance at play there, with at most two or three deviations that I can recall, not an entire class of substances that allegedly perform very different things, all the while the “organic” side admits (as part of Smith’s overall thesis) that “we don’t know all the relevant effects yet, because of all these coverups” and so on. Frankly, considering the sheer range of achievable options available to the organic “side,” they have much fewer excuses than those individuals more concerned about coercive mass fluoridation, because their rationale is harder to avoid since the public water supplies has literally been monopolized, as opposed to the food supplies which have, at worst, been oligopolized. Because of that, there is some measure of choice with regards to food (shitty as they may be), whereas with water supplies there is virtually no choice other than flushing your precious remaining Federal Reserve Notes down the toilet by buying bottled water (all of which is fluoridated anyway), moving into one of the ~ 20% areas of the country where the public water supply isn’t fluoridated, or drilling a well on your own homestead (assuming you can afford one in the first place). Approximately 50 – 60% of our bodies are made up of water, not food; so why all this undue attention about food safety from these dissidents when water is infinitely more important yet there is less “activism” surrounding it relative to the anti-GMO issue? Who is driving the attention of the alternative media here? Propagandists like Jeffrey Smith who have an axe to grind?
Now, why in light of these grievous environmental problems is there no mention of actual options that can work to get you off GE food, or at least mitigate your exposure to it? You’d think Smith would mention guerrilla gardening, homesteading, or at least the locavore approach, but no, he’d rather have you write letters and annoy the living piss out of your neighbors instead of doing something actually effective. And some of you wonder why I am so utterly disgusted by reformists; it’s because they unnecessarily increase your opportunity costs.
It is because of stupid shit like this that I can’t help but think that buying “organic” is nothing more than a scam, primarily because a good chunk of the time, what is declared “certified organic” isn’t actually truly organic because there’s still GMOs in it (but hey, that’s Orwellian logic for you). So-called “organic” products also rip off anyone who brings in less income than what is typically considered upper middle-class, considering that organic products usually cost at least double or triple than their GE counterparts (depending on where you live and what you are buying, of course). Unless those poor folks who are sincerely concerned about GMOs start dumpster diving, they’re completely screwed (and even if they do, they’re still bound to come across perfectly edible yet GMO laden “frankenfoods” anyway). Buying organic is perfectly evocative of conspicuous consumption at its absolute worst, because it portrays itself as being anti-Establishment while acting exactly like the Establishment it pretends to oppose; this is textbook controlled opposition.
Those on lower incomes who are sincerely concerned about GMOs, but can’t afford to buy organic, unfortunately begin to think about how the GE food that they can afford is systematically killing them. This psychosomatic effect has been described by some conspiracists as “The Magician’s Curse,” whereby an individual who believes that he has been cursed (because some asshole convincingly told him so) begins the slow process of acting towards this self-fulfilling prophecy. The best advice I can offer these folks is to literally not think about the GMOs, all the while trying other realistic options, at least for the time being. These GMOs may indeed be slow-killing you, but at least you aren’t further accelerating it by choosing to also suffer from the magician’s curse.
There is such a thing as false dichotomies, like the left-right paradigm. I still can’t believe that these environmentalists expect me to make a choice between the GMO “side” and the organic “side,” especially considering the latter’s rampant infighting, such as between the OTA and the OCA. In light of their acceptance of government coercion whenever it suits their agenda to forcibly label GE foods, these assholes seem little more than closeted statists to me. No wonder Gary Hunt put GMOs on his Divide & Conquer list; considering all the aforementioned problems and radical solutions necessary, it’s outside the feasible range of most dissidents to adequately handle. Until such time as you are buying affordable local foods or are homesteading your own food supply, you are unfortunately stuck with these shitty laboratory experiments trucked in from only God knows where. Then again, who knows? Perhaps in terms of popular applicability, maybe the freegans really did get it right.
Jeffrey Smith’s Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating is a completely shitty book that truly tried the limits o fmy patience (just in case you didn’t get the hint already). On the off chance you cared about Smith’s credentials, you’d might be interested to know that he is little different from Ralph Nader, albeit noticeably less accomplished. This talentless hack also has his book sold through Amazon alongside a 3-disc “GMO Trilogy” set, of which you can watch and listen to from the Internet for free. Having watched Unnatural Selection, I felt it was a badly edited copycat of The World According to Monsanto. You’re Eating WHAT? is simply a regurgitation of Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals, and Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals was nothing more than a regurgitation of Chapter 8, “Changing Your Diet” (in other words, the GMO Trilogy is a complete waste of time and money). Having been foolish enough to suffer through yet another anti-GMO documentary made by Jeffrey Smith, Genetic Roulette, I can say with full confidence it feels little more than an expansion pack upon The World According to Monsanto; the sheer monotony of the overly redundant material led me to lose a bet with a friend that those random Indian farmers who committed suicide over being too deeply in debt would not be mentioned, in fact were mentioned. In light of such blatant propaganda like the “Just Say to GMO” and “Label It” music videos, I have to wonder whether these dissidents who claim to want to eat organically are truly sincere or are just simply cosplayers who get a cheap thrill by acting “rebellious” all the while poisoning the well with their cheap antics.