Many years ago, a brilliant metaphysician/herbalist admonished me never to eat anything God hadn’t made. Our bodies, she said, and the planet with all its bounty, had grown out of the same beneficent Source and were therefore genetically programmed to work perfectly together both to protect health and to heal or repair when needed. Whether you think of that source as Creator, the Universe or Mother Nature, the synergistic system has worked really well for a very long time, so when man tinkers with the food chain, she said portentously, health suffers. Of course back then, the tinkering was small potatoes.
So here we are in 2014, when trying to even locate a food that hasn’t been tinkered with is a struggle. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease and a million other horrors are all skyrocketing and obesity is an epidemic, as man-made foods grow bigger and bigger at the same time they grow less nutritious, more adulterated and more dangerous. And, as usual, greed seems to be the motivating factor in why food no longer tastes like food, unless you happen to be eating it in Europe or the UK where GMOs & GEs have been wisely outlawed. In this country, the spin-doctors of giant Agro and Pharma are busy churning out hogwash to obfuscate the imminent dangers to us all.
The Seeds of Trouble
Giant biotech and chemical corporations have gobbled up nearly 200 small companies over the past decade, making it hard for farmers to obtain non-genetically modified seeds. As pesticides are being engineered directly into the seeds themselves, when wind and birds and bees carry pollen from field to field it has become nearly impossible to contain this contamination. With Genetically Engineered corn, soy and cotton already taking over the fields of our country, conventional and heirloom seeds are being left in the dust, and along with them, the sustainable farming methods that have produced healthy foods for millennia.
Pesticides aren’t the only issue where seed alteration is concerned… manipulated genes are crossing species in new ways… tomatoes being made with fish genes… fruits and vegetables re-engineered into foods Mother Nature never dreamed. If these facts don’t scare you, you might want to do a little research of your own and see where it leads you. And while you’re researching, don’t stop at vegetables…I just found out today that some of the big hatcheries routinely inject eggs with an antibiotic (gentamicin) even though those eggs are destined to grow into chickens that are labeled “organic”. And plenty of info is available on the dangers of the farm animals treated with antibiotics and growth hormones as a matter of course. I think it’s fair to say that following the advice of my metaphysician friend to eat “only the food that God created” is getting harder and harder to do.
Corn was lost to most of us who care about food safety, when it was modified to create its own insecticide. (God help the bees and butterflies, as well as us humans.) Because Big Agro has thwarted all efforts at labeling what’s GE or GMO (genetically engineered or genetically modified) and what’s not, more than half the cornfields of the US are planted with corn that carries its own toxicity within. Neighboring farmers’ crops too, have been contaminated and as there is corn oil in a huge percentage of the processed foods we eat, this is a serious issue. Corn no longer tastes the way it used to and it no longer functions in our bodies the way it used to, either.
Soy has also been seriously modified, so soy flour, soybean oil, tofu and soy beverages – once thought to be the province of the über healthy food crowd – are now filled with more than simple soy. Cotton has also been modified to resist pesticides. While you probably don’t think of cotton as a food, its oil is used in many processed foods, so the danger goes unnoticed because we think of it as a wearable not an ingestible.
Papaya, rice, tomatoes, canola oil, milk and dairy products, potatoes, peas – all these have now been genetically modified to assure longer shelf life, look more appealing and resist insects by incorporating insecticides. Many scientists and nutritionists here and in other parts of the world believe the rampant rise in allergies, increased risk of breast and colon cancer, decreased fertility and a bizarre, previously unknown disease called Morgellan’s, plus a host of other escalating illnesses all may have links to genetically engineered foods. Recent studies suggest that the astounding rise in Celiac disease that has fostered an entire industry of gluten free foods, may be the result of genetically modified wheat that can no longer be metabolized like the normal wheat we all grew up eating. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has repeatedly warned of the potential dangers to human health from such alternatives, but the vast sums of money being expended by giant corporations to block efforts at labeling, have left us in the dark about how to choose (and afford) what’s safest. At this point, we’re not even imagining we can stop them from creating these dangerous hybrids and mutations, we’re just asking that such foods be identified and labeled to give us a fighting chance at making healthy choices.
Currently, many farmers not only are being pressured to purchase such GE seeds, but must then license the right to replant them. We’re told that all this genetic modification is intended to increase crop yield, but it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine it’s really meant to increase profits and, in the not too distant future, control over our lives. After all, if you control food or water, you control the world. It’s really that simple.
Your Right to Know
Farmers are rebelling and whole countries have banned this blatant attack on lives and health. Other countries are at least labeling GEs and GMOs so a consumer can choose, yet in the U.S. the consumer’s right to this important knowledge has been suppressed, in great measure because of the vast financial resources of those who oppose both limiting and labeling.
Please know that the anti-labeling campaigns are being funded by giant chemical companies – the kind who make the pesticides, then create seeds that can resist them, then create stronger pesticides and so on and on, in a never-ending cycle of profit, while spin-doctoring the reality, all to the detriment of human health and safety.
Fortunately, public outcry killed the Monsanto Protection Act last fall…this was a bill designed to make labeling to identify GE and GMO foods unlawful. So as of now, states can mandate the labeling we need and many have initiatives underway to do this, but to make these initiatives into laws that will protect our food supply, we ourselves must make our voices heard. We must demand that GMOs and GEs be appropriately labeled so we can make informed decisions about what we choose to put into our bodies and those of our children.
© Cathy Cash Spellman/The Wild Harp & Co. Inc 2014