Monday, July 18, 2005

Genetically Modified Foods

We respectfully ask that you read the entire post before commenting the first time, but for your convenience we have put a jump to the comments section right here, so that you can easily find them.

The topic that I have chosen for discussion is the development and usage of Genetically Modified Food, or GM foods for short.

While some scientists have heralded these products as a method to bring nutrients, immunities and antibiotic properties to the world, there is a large debate in the scientific community as to the safety of these products over the long haul. Some people feel that the "chemical cocktail" of GM additives with hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and other chemicals that are already in our foods could pose a threat to humans.

Many of us, may remember the movie that starred Lily Tomlin in the 80's called "The Incredible Shrinking Woman". In the movie, Lily's character is inadvertently exposed to large volumes of products that interact to a toxic level that causes her to shrink, shrink, shrink. At the time-- who would have thought that our foods and products could have such adverse effects? Yet that has BECOME the reality.

So what is Genetic Modification?

A short course on it is that seeds are stripped of their original DNA that governs their immune and reproductive systems. Then an additive is applied to it to make the seed germinate, it is immunized and added to and then comes to fruition. All of the additives become part of the plant. The effects of these additives and our ingestion of them and also the ingestion by birds, bees, insects, other plants and animals has not been tested for a very long amount of time, yet the technology has been approved and is in widespread usage.

Traces of the "growth additives" have been found on every organic farm in the United States and are expected to be found everywhere in the world over the course of time.

At this time there is very little legislation that governs Genetic Modified foods. Most companies do not even TELL their consumers that they are using genetically modified ingredients. To my knowledge there is also no legislations saying that they MUST divulge this information. There is no legislation that requires Genetically modified crop farmers to tell other local farmers that they are using this particular type of crop. The ramification of this is that in the pollenization of plants, the GM crosses over to other farmers’ crops.

Following is a brief list of some genetically altered and non-genetically altered products that are currently in use in the United States:

I personally find it reprehensible that the list of infant products is as long as it is. What are we giving to our babies from the first moments of their lives?? What could be the ramifications of the ingestion of them?
Could there possibly be a link in the surge of ADD/ADHD, Autism, etc... that we are seeing in children relating to the ingestion of these products??

Well.. that is part of the problem! They have not been studied long enough to really KNOW.

And before people begin with the: "But if it is cleared through the FDA for consumption it MUST be okay" debate--let us remember that the FDA also cleared products that have later proven to be detrimental for human consumption: Vioxx, Celebrex, Aspartame, Phen-Fen, just to name a few.
The limits of BIG business seem to be very vague, when the potential to make money is in the multi-billions of dollars!

In the United States approximately 80 million acres are raising genetically modified crops yet while we are consuming these products on a daily basis other nations have very stiff laws and penalties for those producers who do NOT label and comply with the laws regarding GM foods. Some of which are: Great Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Greece, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium-- virtually ALL of the European nations have taken very STRICT action regarding GM foods and Latin America and Asia are beginning to catch on in the banning and restrictions on these products. So where are WE in our knowledge of what we each consume three times per day, 365 days per year?

I hope that this article will challenge you all to look into the evidence on GM foods and make informed choices. Also, that it will inform your conscience to making good choices at the Polls and in the dissemination of information regarding GM foods to all those that you love.

Nariel - Ancient Eyes for Current Times

This is very alarming indeed, Pat. Of course the FDA is notoriously famous
for jumping into bed with big biz every time a buck can be made. To think
they are looking out for our welfare and safety is a JOKE… and a sad one at
that. Any time you have a Government so tightly in bed with super corps
such as Bayer, and DuPont, you’re going to have a case of the foxes guarding
the proverbial “hen house”.

Call me a “conspiracy theorist” if it makes you feel better, but I do not
for one SECOND put it past this Government to make BILLIONS of “big
business” dollars at the expense of human lives, including those of their
own countrymen.

Now that I’ve gone there, I am not convinced GM foods are bad. Neither are
some experts. But that is not the point! The point is, there is credible
evidence to suggest there are dangers associated with the consumption, and
production of these organic products. That should be enough in itself to
force the placing of those “Government warning labels” on these foods when
they enter the marketplaces. After all, this IS a country where there are
some growing demands for warning labels on twinkies and soda pop.
Additionally, strict Government regulation and a lot more research are
OBVIOUSLY warranted in this field.

Yes, I know I just condoned the “fox guarding the hen house” after
suggesting it’s not a good idea. But this is ONLY the case because of the
fact that THIS Government is bought, sold, poisoned, and PAID for by big
business. GM foods are only a tiny symptom of a HUGE illness; a corrupted
Government that has become separate from it’s People. The only cure for
this is to take our country back out of the hands of the corrupted
businessmen and lawyers and start putting regular, everyday, middle-classed
and lower-classed Americans like ourselves back into power - in a massive
shakeup of the government, too; not just one American at a time.

Too many people forget that we COMMON folks still hold the great ability to
wage a peaceful, Constitutional coup, and as soon as ’08. Why do we have to
let the media present two choices for us and say “pick one”? Answer: We
DON’T. And do not forget, the “big media” becomes less and less significant
with every passing day. There is still hope for America.

I’m sorry if this seems to have gone off-topic to some, but to me, it is a
very ON-TOPIC response to the GM foods debacle. Thanks for alerting us to
this, Pat. I find it appalling, and alarming.

Carl -The Gun-Toting Liberal

Organic foods are the way to go. Society allows this, and has promoted it by their acceptance. We all eat all this processed crap. Its our own fault that we allow these companies to produce all this junk. We are an obese nation that consumes in a gluttonious fashion.

Laziness has gotten us here. I don't think the convience of injecting cows with hormones is worth it. Corn feed those suckers. Again its our own fault for allowing it....start checking your foods, and only buy organic if it bothers you so much. Don't sacrifice convience for whatever health risks may be there.

I do agree they should label them all so you can make that informed choice. Thanks for making me think on this one.

Jay - Stop the ACLU

Wow, I didn't think it was possible, but this is another one of those issues I just cant get myself excited about. While I do like to know what is in my food, it really does not concern me way too much.

The move towards genetically enhanced foods, has allot to do with the attitude of it's consumers. We all want more orange oranges, and juicier cuts of meat, and redder tomatoes, that are not overly ripe nor under ripe. We want Bananas that last forever on the top of the refrigerator, and we want milk that both tastes good and lasts a really long time.

The farmers and AgCorps are just providing us the product we demand. Maybe, in the interest of choice, they should label modified and un-modified, heck they can even make it a marketing technique. There are enough people out there that would buy off on it. But lets be realistic, we can't have our red tomatoes and eat them too. If we demand something, in a free market economy, someone is going to supply it. Be careful what you want, you may just get it.

Zaphriel - Birth of a Neocon
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