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Sunday, February 28, 2010

GMO's : What gives you the right to "play" with our food

After doing some more research on eating healthy and avoiding all unnatural "additions" to food, I came across some very distressing facts about our food that really pushes all my buttons.  My distress is such that my concern for the health and well being of future generations, as well as the protection of basic humans rights have increased along with my knowledge base on this topic.  It isn't that I am unfamiliar with Genetically  Modified foods (GMO), having discovered them this past year, it is the fact that after years of the consumptions of these foods by much of the population, we are only just now stumbling upon some very negative and dangerous health risks associated with them.


However, what makes this intolerable, is the fact that no proper, careful, publicly documented, and accumulated research was done prior to the unleashing of GMO's on the world.   That governments allowed them to be marketed in the first place without substantial proof of their safety, and that the population consuming these foods was neither consulted, nor given a choice in the matter.

What makes it infinitely more intolerable, is that permission to perform independent testing must be gained from the companies who developed GMO's, because they were  issued patents giving them  exclusive rights to these products, which sets a dangerous precedent for the world's population where food production,health and the environment is concerned.


While sifting through the information I came across so far, all the evidence points toward these facts: 1.) Our knowledge of genetic manipulation is still in it's infancy.  2.) The testing done by the producers of GMO themselves was extremely unscientific, sloppy and rushed    3.) the opportunity for choice was was not given to the general population.  Just like some of  the rats in one of their now publicized experiments who refused to eat GMO foods when it was offered, we were also virtually force fed the stuff.  In that particular experiment, by the way, almost a quarter of the rats died after involuntarily consuming just one of  these products. 


Allowable studies done by independent scientific community to date point towards damage to the brain, major organs, immune system, joints, possible damage to genetic structure, and speculation of the development of at least one debilitating disease connected to the consumption of  genetically modified foods.  Severe allergic reactions to GMO's have been noted all over the world, but most recently were documented in India where people were raising GMO cotton.  Sheep there died within hours of eating the cotton plants after harvest.  Cows have died in Europe as a direct result of consuming GMO crops.

It is rapidly becoming obvious that damaged health due to GMO foods and products is far from temporary, and may not even be reversible.  As is the case with L-tryptophan, a GMO food supplement, many people have become seriously disabled and died ingesting it in the U.S .  In addition, it was discovered that the growing of genetically modified foods causes environmental damages, and that this might also be responsible for the death and decline of  wildlife species such as Bees and Butterflies who are dependent on pollens to survive.  As if that isn't bad enough, one of the developers of GMO went so far as to illegally test one of their products on children in China.


The true and long term extend of damages due to the unleashing of GMO's on the environment, as well as human and animal health has yet to be discovered.  However, current surveys show that, in Canada alone, at least 88% of the population want GMO foods labeled indicating that they might not choose to consume these foods or food products.  In Europe existing GMO foods are clearly labeled, the importation of any food product containing GMO or any GMO food is strictly prohibited due to public demand.  In Britain it is the same.  In India it seems there is a growing resistance to them as well, and the Indian government is very cautious about GMO production.  Much of the world, it seems, is very much resistant to the idea of GMO foods.  This points to the very interesting fact that the companies responsible for producing these types of foods might never have reached the production stage this quickly, if at all, if they had been open with their plans, published their experimental results, and consulted the public. 

 We all have a basic human right to be informed, as well as to information, the same as we all have the right to choose, and to be healthy.  We are not guinea pigs, nor is the world we live in a scientific laboratory, never mind someone's private laboratory. 

Yet on the surface of things it appears, the companies behind the production of GMO's, as well as apparently our political leaders, seem to think otherwise. These companies blatantly suppressed experimental result about their products for years and proceeded with production with total disregard. Government pushed through patents and permission for the production and marketing of GMO foods, and has to date downplayed any concerns in this regard. In such a way our basic human rights were easily navigated around and ignored, and thus our personal power stolen, and our health seriously compromised.

What is particularly distressing is the extent to which  GMO's have been incorporated into our foods and food system at this time. Examples of some of  these foods are alphalpha, corn, soy, potatoes, tomatoes, cotton, canola,  lettuce, mango and more. Our food is so badly contaminated with GMO's that they are present in just about every available processed and canned food, in vitamins, medicines, in condiments, flavoring, fillers, personal hygiene products, and in dairy.  It is fed to cows, pigs and chickens, is present in eggs, frozen foods and in baby formula.  This makes choosing healthy food not only extremely difficult, but is severely limiting in regards to food choice.  So now, in addition, our right to be healthy has been severely compromised in this, secondary way.

While at this point it may obviously be far too late to reverse any damage already done through the production and consumption of GMO foods, we can still demand our right for good health and our right to choose.   In fact doing so has become imperative, if we do not want our health and environment compromised further.  One way is to demand the clear labeling of these products and the removal of it's inclusion in prepared foods, dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals.  This however is just a start.


We can also insist GMO crops be removed, that strict regulations be put in place regarding existing GMO food and food products, and that any new production be banned until extensive proof of safety has been attained.  Legal guidelines in regards to developing GMO should be demanded and enforced.  Experimentation with GMO's should be strictly monitored and published, and the population informed and consulted in regards to any new GMO product development.  Finally if brought to a marketing stage for consumption or use, regulations for clear labeling of all GMO products must be strictly enforced.  In doing so we assert very clearly and loudly  that we are not guinea pigs, nor will we accept such a role.  If you are interested in learning more please follow the links both above and below.



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