When it comes to the debate about the legitimacy and usefulness of genetically modified crops some argue that the train has left the station…that there is no stopping them now and progress is progress. As if those who oppose or question GMOs are ignorant or afraid of change. In an August 9, 2012 letter entitled, “No stopping GM tide” published in Sydney based newspaper The Australian, John Francis of Tasmania writes,
“Genetically modified crops are better than conventional crops, just as tractors are better than ploughmen and horses, which is why GM crop adoption is as inevitable now as adoption of the tractor was 100 years ago“.
I argue that there are better ways to innovate agriculture than to blindly allow corporations to market and patent our food using untested genetically modified methods. There are better ways to innovate than to poison our bodies and land with more and more specialized pesticides with unknown consequences. I realize that Americans often throw caution to the wind, especially when profit is involved, but the way big Agriculture has indoctrinated farmers and consumers with GM crops is deceitful and bad science. Science is process and testing and most if not all of the existing GM crops have been designed around productivity not human health nor precious resource management of soil, water or existing natural plant and animal systems. Chemical warfare innovator Monsanto is deceitful as to how they have tested their products not to mention its status as a superpower in the land of lobbyists. How is it that in just two decades over 70% of grocery store items contain one or more genetically modified ingredients? It is as if those who we elect to regulate have been asleep as well as the average American. If you don’t care about what you stuff in your face, what do you care about?
One thing we can all agree on is that the world is talking about genetically modified organisms…finally. Europe in many cases has banned them, Africa is rightfully suspicious and places like the US and Australia are actively engaged in the debate. In the US, GM crops have infiltrated into most crop fields in America. In the 90′s, genetically modified crops literally swept the nation with little notice from the public…but times have changed. In November 2012, the state of California will vote yes or no to label food products containing genetically modified ingredients. See my previous blog post about what the California vote could mean to the future of GM foods.
In the quote above from the Aussie he states that [GM crops] are as “inevitable as the tractor replacing the plough”. I have another analogy. While the tractor was a great idea…genetically modified crops are not. Corporate giants made a hasty market move at the expense of nature and humanity when they developed GM crops, what GM crops have done is increase corporate profit. The pushing of GM crops is a bed fellow of the oil & gas industry as well as the beef and dairy industry and countless other industries that greedily push for profit at any cost. Maybe the tractor is an accurate analogy because it consumes that dirty ol’ fuel that we all know is not sustainable nor healthy. When will we learn that high productivity is not always good, be it food production or the economy. Sustainability should be the long term mission for any nation’s agricultural goals. There are organic farmers that are successful! There are ways to farm and produce food that people need and want. There are ways for farmers to wean themselves off of Monsanto’s poisonous breast.
I personally love science and in the case of GM crops I look forward to independent, peer reviewed, time tested genetically modified crops not influenced by lobbyists, corporate profit or education grants with strings attached. GM crops blindly pass through the EPA and FDA at the expense of human and animal health, the environment and the organic/natural food market.
Genetically modified crops [at present] are unsustainable and driven by corporate greed and control. Just as the coal and oil industry is unsustainable and is slowly but surely being replaced by cleaner, more efficient and sustainable energy sources as this century marches on. The future on this little blue globe must become cleaner if humans are to live healthily. GM crops play dirty. The train may have left the station but even the locomotive had its heyday.