Ok – fair warning. I feel a rant post coming on.
So, a while back I find myself supposed to be working, but I check in to twitter for the first time in ages and see a #FoodD hashtag with some interesting tweets.
Now, I’m totally out of the loop regarding the goings-on in agriculture in the great wide world at the moment. Usually I work hard to stay informed; right now I’m too busy trying to actually farm to keep up on arguments about farming. Apparently there’s a big panel discussion going on and they’re getting my goat.
What the heck is the matter with people???? Seriously.
Next thing I know I’m madly tweeting my frustration to the world. Yep. I was one of those people.
Here’s the thing. Prop 37 was defeated. I haven’t had the heart to read about the details why. It’s too depressing.
And here these folks are, saying GMO’s are safe, it’s just a personal choice, it’s too expensive to label and separate GMO’s from seed to table blah-blabbty-blah.
Here’s the problem with the dialogue about GMO’s.
I’m not going to get into all the gobbly-gook science and B.S. comparison measures they use. Let’s get to the core of it.
This whole “Food Dialogue” carried an overwhelming patronizing tone towards consumers who choose non-GMO foods. Like knowing parents tolerating a petulant child at the dinner table. It infuriates me.
The assumption (which I don’t think is actually their assumption, I think they know the truth, but this is a convenient position for them to take) is that we are only against GMO’s because we have this (mistaken) view that GMO’s are bad for our health if we eat them.
Not a single soul addressed the two real issues at the core of the GMO debate:
1) Should any private corporation, or ANYONE have the right to OWN genetic material?
2) These genes CANNOT be contained.
One tweep, clearly from the mainstream ag world, said us Non-GMO folks shouldn’t push our personal preferences on farmers or other consumers.
To which I replied – What about GMO crops contaminating farmer’s fields??? How is that not “pushing personal choice” on others??? And then turn around and sue him for patent infringement? I mean WTF????
The fact that neither of these issues even came up, despite the twitterverse hollering at the moderator at the top of our lungs, says a lot about the conversation and who controls it.
The whole paradigm held by the pro-GMO troop underlines for me the problems with GMO and modern ag in general – the main pro-GMO guy said: Agriculture is not nature.
Except that it is.
Although we fancy everything related to human existence as apart from nature, we know that is hubris. (I hope we know that is hubris, maybe we don’t.) We don’t live and farm in a bubble. These choices have implications which we cannot even begin to fathom.
We might be able to increase the production of certain crops for the short-term. We might also inadvertently reduce our long-term capacity to produce food by permanently depleting and contaminating the genetic code of our food crops.
I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know how we shift the conversation to the real issues. I think in the long-run, the best thing we can do is demonstrate that small-scale organic farming can be productive, build soil, sequester carbon and maintain genetic biodiversity all while feeding the world.
The only way to get rid of these guys is to prove them unnecessary.
- Law Banning Genetically Modified Food in Peru Goes Into Effect, Huge Fines for Violators (inhabitat.com)
- FOCUS | Top US Healthcare Giant: GMOs Are Devastating Health (readersupportednews.org)
- Kenya Joins the Growing List of Countries Banning Gmo Foods and Crops (gizadeathstar.com)
- We need to fight for correct labeling of food (kansascity.com)
- Queen of Green: The history behind genetically modified foods (metronews.ca)
- Many Pro-GMO Corporate Biologists Own GMO Patents, in Bed with Monsanto (prn.fm)
- Biotech industry wants organic farmers to pay for GMO contamination of their own crops (dprogram.net)
- Label It Yourself: GMO Labeling Goes DIY (treehugger.com)