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Sunday, May 18, 2008

A genetically modified nation: Frankenfoods - why?

Regardless of where you live, genetically modified food is an issue. GM food (as it will be referred to for the rest of the post... also referred to as genetically engineered) is food that has been injected with foreign genes so as to produce a desired effect. Arctic char (fish) genes, for example, are injected into strawberries so they can withstand colder temperatures. In some regions where food is scarce, gm foods may sound like a perfect solution (although it leads me to wonder why the GM corporations, such as Monsanto, are developing "terminator" seeds which die every year - doesn't that defeat the purpose?). But, are the long-term effects worth it? Well, that is hard to tell.

Since the genetic engineering of foods only really took off in 1982, there hasn't been a sufficient length of time to test for any ill effects that generally take a number of years to manifest (although it is now being thought that it's linked to far more allergies and behavioural problems in children). So why, in Canada, the United States, Australia, and other highly developed nations, are we eating questionable food? And, possibly more importantly, why, in UNDER-developed countries, are they being fed food that may (or may not... to be fair) cause more problems than it could solve? Are we really facing such a hunger crisis that we cannot find safer (fully tested) alternatives? Are we really so self-centred we won't face the REAL problem... unfair distribution? I fully believe there's enough food... it's just not getting distributed evenly.

(click picture to go to where I got it from)
If this is truly meant to aid our society, wouldn't the product - our food - be thoroughly tested for safety? Instead, they're figuring out ways to make seeds that only last for one crop... seeds that really do nothing at all to combat world hunger... but... they're doing it in the name of combating world hunger... and it seems to me that we're stupid enough to let them get away with it. It seems to me that we only care about what we're told... since truly knowing would actually involve work... and none of us want to do that, huh?

Personally, I think they're just trying to wipe out half the population... the half that can't afford to avoid the GM food... that solves our population crisis, doesn't it? It also gaurantees survival of the fittest. Yay... we've evolved so far that we can use science to express our lack of evolution.

Is there anything we can do about it? You bet there is... we can demand proper labeling... we can lobby our governments to stand up against these major corporations ('cause if you haven't figured out by now... gm food is just a way for corporations to make huge funds)... and if all else fails, we can do the research ourselves, only eating food we find to have no gm ingredients... and sharing that information with others (once I have a reasonable list, I'll post mine). After all, we just found out in Canada, with the denial of Bill C-517 (which would require labeling GM foods), our government is not going to do the work for us and keep us protected... they don't even believe we have the right to KNOW whether or not our food has been tampered with.

I leave you with a fantastic video about GM foods I found on YouTube by Dan (El Kabong) Sullivan... a brilliant parody of Neil Youngs "Rockin' in the Free World"

So, as I sign off to prepare dinner... I say: chew on that, will ya?

**I apologise if some of this rant was a bit hard to read through... I'm a bit enraged as I just fired off an e-mail to our Provincial representitive who e-mailed me to let me know he could not support Bill C-517... apparently labeling GM foods is too much work for the Minister who would be responsible**

***Updates*** - Videos of the Week will be about genetically modified foods... some will be pro, some will be against... I have no control, since it just goes by YouTube's channel.

1 comment:

Da Old Man said...

One potential problem with GM foods is that potential allergens will not be made known. In fact, as food is modified even further, it may be possible to even identify those allergens.