Just Say No to Monsanto

Fruit still life

From a TED Conversation

Question: We just lost the constitutional right to take Monsanto to court if their GMO crops sicken or kill us. Any comment?

Spring responds:

Today Monsanto got a lot of America farmers punched in the nose. Japan banned American wheat because it’s contaminated with GMO grain. Let’s hope that bloody nose shakes other farmers awake. Isn’t it encouraging to watch other governments protect their citizens?

GMOs are also banned in most European countries. They aren’t banning American wheat for fun. They have to get wheat somewhere else and pay more for it. There’s no reason to think they’re all stupid.

No engineered foods have been proven to be safe.

This is a great chance to change our own government, pushing it back to positions and laws that protected consumers from adulterated foods. The great thing about big government was we had unannounced inspections to insure the weight in packages wasn’t short and that gas pumps were properly calibrated so buyers got what they paid for. And only natural ingredients were in prepared foods.

Don’t be discouraged. We can take this country back for the people living here. It hasn’t been long since we had honor and fairness in business. Actually, we still have millions of honest businesses and good politicians.
We can drop politicians who vote to favor business over people. We can retake control of local school boards, town councils and legislatures, and elect people based on their brains and social consciences, not their position on gay marriage.

Countries that ban GMOs are exercising reasonable caution and that’s the right of all of us. If we don’t know what’s in our food, we can’t make informed decisions. That’s not right. And it’s not American.

My Abundant Garden

I stated growing greens, fruit and vegetables three years ago on only a tenth of an acre. There is often such abundance that we take vanloads to the food bank. We grow potatoes, onions, garlic, pecans, squash, peaches, etc. If we let things go to seed they pop up all over the little lawn we have left. Anybody with a half acre in the suburbs can grow all the vegetables they need. In summer there’s chard, in winter there’s cabbage; potatoes and onions left in the ground are usable all winter.

The reason for huge industrial farms is profit from patented fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, food and seeds. Genetically altered seeds that must have patented chemicals to survive are the logical next step if your only motive is money. And that step has been taken. The growing monopoly on seeds really scares me, which is why I’m writing this. I won’t get anything out of it, so the people at Monsanto think I’m stupid.

We use drip irrigation, (no wasting water spraying the air) so we’re not watering weeds, so we don’t need herbicides.

There are solutions if we rise above profits or if profits stop rising. Everybody in my neighborhood grows heritage gardens. We share. It’s fun and we get to know each other.

Monsanto bought our source of heritage seeds and now they have very few available. We need an anti-trust president.

Our adulterated food supply

Look around you at how grossly overweight most Americans are. Do you think it’s just because we’re slothful and gluttonous? That we’ve changed that much in only a generation?Woman eating fruit

It may be because we’ve given the food industry free reign to use chemically adulterated foods in almost all meals, cake mixes, crackers and cookies, cakes, frozen dinners. Go check the labels in the market. You’ll be amazed to see that chemically altered hydrogenated oil, a totally unnatural ingredient, is in almost everything. And so is chemically altered high fructose corn syrup.

Most Americans had no idea our food supply was being adulterated, and we still don’t know if those ingredients are safe to eat. They have never been tested except through subjecting the public to them in food.
The things we feed our kids as treats, like ice cream bars, aren’t just fattening, they have chemicals that we know nothing about.

Businesses have a history of pushing the envelope, selling Pintos knowing they explode and the passengers burn to death because Ford executives wanted to make a few cents or dollars more and it was cheaper to pay death claims than move the gas tank to protect their customers. A lot of people burned to death.

Maybe GMOs will give a lot of people cancer. We don’t know.

Why screw around with the health of a nation so Monsanto can make a profit? It’s incredibly short-sighted. We don’t need their products, so maybe we should join the world and just say no.
Breeding is not the same as genetic engineering, as I am sure you well know. We’ve made turkeys that could never survive if we didn’t feed them, but they’re still turkeys. Better we should breed better corn than add fish genes to it.

Photo credits: from paintings by Spring Bright

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