Genetically modified foods
England, GM foods will always be associated with lies and deception.
That's for a very good reason, because everything we have been told
here about GM over the years is provably untrue. Take one example:
we were told that GM crops were necessary for the good of the Third
World. It would help eradicate hunger, it was said. Now we find
out that the vast majority of GM crops in the world today are grown
in North America. If GM type food is being developed for the benefit
of the Third World, why is the First World deriving so much benefit
from it first, before the others? Why on earth do the wheat growers
of the US and Canadian prairies need seed that delivers higher yields?
If GM is so important for Africa and Asia, why aren't they top priority
instead? It beggars belief that GM is touted as the answer to world
hunger but is busy being devoted mainly to feeding the fattest people
on the planet, and not the needy and under-nourished.
Nobody is saying the scientists are lying. The men in white coats
who invented the new way of growing crops no doubt had the best
interests of humanity at heart. Unfortunately, their patents are
in the hands of businessmen, people who struggle to produce a convincing
picture of altruism. One example: GM seeds that are making it to
Africa are being sold to the farmers there, sold in a market where
farmers rarely deal in a cash economy, and, moreover, sold as First
Generation hybrids, which means they are sterile. Local farmers
are used to conserving seeds from one season to the next, to provide
for the new crop. They are having to get used to a brand new system
of selling all their harvest each year and saving money from the
proceeds to buy next year's seed. It's a plan that ties the dirt
poor farmer to the big seed companies - forever. There is no way
the farmers can break out of the trap. Worse, they are being tempted
to grow inappropriate crops: the rice farmers are not just being
offered GM rice, but the whole range of GM plants. Farmers are switching
to what might seem the most profitable product available, a short-term
philosophy that ignores local need; local climate conditions; and
local food supply.
Back in Britain, the GM bandwagon arrived in the 1990s. The population
was told that GM crops would need to be 'tested' in our country.
Why? Is the climate that different to the US, or the soil, or the
agricultural methods? If GM foods are helping the hungry, why does
prosperous England turn out to be the next area for colonisation
on the list? Worse, the British public soon had to get used to the
news that GM seeds were carried by the wind, and spread. We were
promised that this wouldn't happen; we were told that these GM 'trial'
beds would be isolated and protected. Rubbish. GM plants spread
into areas where farmers didn't want them, and farmers who had consciously
said they didn't want anything to do with the 'GM revolution' were
finding their fields polluted by the new technology. It didn't end
there. The GM companies then had the damn nerve to sue the victims
for 'stealing' the GM crops, the invaders on their land, (which
they hadn't asked for and didn't want) and were being awarded damages
in the courts! In Canada, even more bizarrely, the GM companies
were suing farmers for 'trespass' and said they were threatening
their patents, and were being awarded not only the produce of their
fields but their land as well. That was the last straw. If there's
one thing that Englishmen hate, it's legalised robbery. It reminds
them of the dust bowl of the 1930s in America, the tragedy that
John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie chronicled so wonderfully, where
farmers were swept off their land by caterpillar tractors, all perfectly
legally and at the behest of rapacious banks and landlords.
There was more to come. The media got on the case and decided that
GM crops represented 'Frankenstein foods'. No, it doesn't make any
sense, but that didn't stop the campaign. The bogey of eating 'artificial'
food was scarey to the British public and they turned off the idea
in droves. They stopped buying anything that even had a hint of
GM about it. The GM industry hit back, and made sure that food labelling
was no longer required to specify if packets of soya beans were
GM or not. One week, labels might say, 'made from 50% GM crops',
the next week they said nothing. The population was livid. Big Business
had once again rigged the game, forcing politicians to kowtow to
their call and outlaw information that might be detrimental to their
sales. People weren't buying GM? The cynical response was not to
tell people it was there. How's that for deception? Oh, did I mention
it was all perfectly legal? That just made the angry people madder.
They felt used, abused, and manipulated, and turned against GM companies.
The GM industry had one last trick up its sleeve. It recognised
that a huge publicity campaign had been mounted against its most
vociferous advocate, Monsanto, so it simply collapsed the company,
dropped the name and started up again under another title. Bad move.
If anything, this just convinced the doubters they were right. If
the company was so unsure about sales that it could re-invent itself
overnight, then what else was invented, spurious and untrue? The
move proved one thing. If you critisise the GM giants, they cry
'Foul' and talk about the free market and consumer choice. If consumers
then actually go ahead and choose, well, like choosing something
that isn't in the big companies' interest, like buying their food,
then they'll change food packing; change company names; and outlaw
information. What happened to the Free Market? Oh, that's only good
when you, the people, buy what the company wants to sell you. If
you won't buy it, they'll rig the market. It won't be so darn 'free'
then, but at least sales will hold up. So much for capitalists;
they believe in capitalism, when it suits them. If it doesn't suit,
they'll choose Big Government, every time.
Mike Scantlebury is one Internet Author who
fears Frankenstein farmers. He lives in Manchester, England, the
big city, but manages to grow his own veggies in his back yard and
a small allotment. He's never had time for GM foods and reads the
labels, every time. Hear what he has to say on other topics, see
him on YouTube and MySpace.
Re-published from TrueChristianity.info
in September 2012
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