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Obama Should Protect Citizens' Health, not Monsanto’s GMOs

Ruth Hopkins
5/7/13

Welcome to the laboratory-rat cage, folks. We’re all being experimented on by Monsanto and the federal government.

In April, President Barack Obama signed HR 933 into law. While this appropriations bill was fairly standard, a biotech rider included in it was not.

This biotech rider-made-law has been coined the Monsanto Protection Act by those who believe in food sovereignty. Why? Simply put, the rider says the Agriculture Department must approve the growing, harvesting, and selling of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). It shields GMO producers from litigation that could be brought against them for health problems incurred by people due to consuming their genetically-modified crops.

As the world’s largest producer of GMOs, mega corporation Monsanto stands to benefit immensely from this new law.

What are GMOs? Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals that have had genes from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals inserted into their DNA. In other words, genes are being transferred across species by scientists in labs. They are manmade organisms that do not occur in nature. GMO seeds are usually modified to give them resistance to insects and disease, and to withstand application of herbicides and insecticides, toxic chemicals that would injure or kill organic crops.

Ironically enough, the same corporation that makes GMO seeds to withstand herbicide is the very same corporation that makes Round-Up, a popular, widely-used broad spectrum herbicide: Monsanto. It’s as though they’re attempting to create both the disease, and the cure- for profit, of course.

Advocates of Monsanto and GMOs claim their genetically altered seeds offer increased crop yield and could help feed the world’s exploding population. Opponents know this supposed "benefit" is short-term at best, and the costs of GMO to future generations and our environment is too high a price to pay.

When scientists play god without fully understanding the possible effects of their actions, the potential for far-reaching catastrophe with long lasting effects is enormous—and so it is with genetic tinkering.

Inserting genes into other species may produce unintended results. While GMOs may exhibit the properties Monsanto seeks, there’s no way of knowing how else these genetic changes have affected the plant. They may render plants toxic or allergenic.

GMO seeds cultivated in the field are not contained. They are free to interbreed with native plant species. The offspring produced by such mating is another GMO plant, not an Indigenous plant species. Less nutritious, synthetically produced GMO seeds are now contaminating our landscapes, free to compete with Indigenous species that are millions of years old. These natural, Indigenous plants have medicinal properties. Manmade GMOs threaten to drive our Indigenous plants to extinction. Our Native plant species cannot be replaced once they are gone.

GMOs are also producing super pests. Like everything living, insects and weeds adapt to survive. When GMOs eliminate pests that are not resistant, only the resistant ones are left to breed. This creates a vicious circle where GMOs and the toxic chemical soup needed to keep pests at bay must continually get more poisonous and deadly in order to keep up.

DNA, including altered DNA ingested from GMO plants and animals, does not always break down completely in the gut. Studies now show that consuming GMO crops may cause allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, gastrointestinal and lung problems, obesity, and even cancer.

Studies have now shown there’s a link between GMOs, pesticide use, and the extinction of bees that pollinate the very food we need to live. If we fail to curb GMO and pesticide use, and bees go extinct, we will follow soon after.

Other countries around the world have recognized the danger of GMOs. More than 60 countries have either restricted GMO use or banned it completely, including Australia, Japan, and most of Europe. Here in the U.S., we can’t even manage to get legislation passed that will mandate the labeling of GMO products.

While campaigning in 2007, Obama had said he would order mandatory labeling GMO foods if elected President. To date, genetically engineered foods remain unlabeled. As a result, most people have no idea they’re buying or ingesting GMO food and remain largely oblivious to the danger. GMOs now predominate grocery store shelves. Besides the produce section, companies like Nestle, Kellogg's, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Campbell’s, Hershey, and a host of others have GMO ingredients.

Monsanto’s influence over the President is suspect to those who oppose GMOs in favor of all-natural, Native seeds, which are now in danger of going extinct thanks to genetically modified seeds that are infiltrating natural landscapes like a cancer.

As President, Obama has appointed agents of Monsanto to key government posts within the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), where one would think it was a clear conflict. In 2009, Obama filled the post of Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture with Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center. Beachy openly advocated for GMOs after the fact in The Scientific American. Former Monsanto Vice President for Public Policy, Michael Taylor, was named the Deputy Commissioner of the FDA. Taylor’s work for Monsanto included gaining approval for their genetically engineering bovine growth hormone.

When will we learn that our health and safety is more important than corporate profits? As long as the Federal government is in bed with Monsanto and its ilk, we’re well on our way to finding out what money tastes like, because there will be no real food left to eat.

“Enjoy your Frankenfood dinner.” – GMO advocates

Ruth Hopkins (Sisseton-Wahpeton and Mdewakanton Dakota, Hunkpapa Lakota) is a writer, blogger, ethnoscientist, Tribal Judge for the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, and the Tribal Colleges Liaison Manager for the University of North Dakota (UND) and North Dakota State University (NDSU) via North Dakota EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research). Her first horror novella will be released in 2013. Follow her on Twitter.
 

 

 

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Two Bears Growling's picture
Sister, you said a mouth full. I have been warning folks for more years than I can remember to stay away from commercially produced foods. They are laced with poisons. I think everyone needs to watch the documentary: Food Inc. It will open your eyes in ways you can't imagine about what is going on in the food industry & the partnering between the USDA, the Feds & these mega corporations like Monsanto. So many politicians have sold their soul to these corporations & do not represent we citizens best interests. They represent their bank accounts & some preceived power they feel they will be given by these monsters like Monsanto. Until the citizens stand up for what's right & demand their state representatives in Congress do OUR bidding instead of their slave masters in big business, not one thing is going to change for the better. It's no surprise to myself & those like me who have known for years all these artificial poisons polluting our food industries is the root cause of so many diseases & health problems. Take control of your lives & your health my friends IF you want to survive this all. Garden with natural things. Raise your livestock without feeding them all these man-made things. Know what you raise to eat & you will know what you are putting into your body. Be pro-active with your health & take control of your lives & your family's health. Get physically active, learn to garden & grow things yourselves to eat. YOU can take charge of your lives folks. Get up, get busy & change your lives for the good. Sitting around talking about things will not get one thing accomplished my friends. So let's get busy & take charge of our own lives & our own health one person at a time!
Two Bears Growling
Anonymous's picture
Revolution is the only way out now for all of us. These reptiles in the White House and those reptiles running the mega corporations, can only be stopped in darkness, where they belong. Awake from your slumber native peoples all over the world, awake from your slumber everyone and cast these reptiles back into darkness.
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
They also said that if their GMO gets on your crops; you have to pay Monsanto for the GMO, although nature blew it unto your crop. Native tribes should tell Monsanto that if we find GMO on our reservation; we will sue.
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Im in love....what a great article Ruth ...Im going to read it straight thru again. Thank you so very much!
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
A lot of emotional rhetoric and ideological language here. It'd be really nice if you provided some reputable sources to back up your claims. Otherwise, all you're saying is just conspiracy.
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Wow...but somehow, sadly expected. What makes it worse is that the majority of farmers use the SAME seed/brand so that if there were to be any issue with crops, almost ALL of them would be devastated. Diversity is NOT AN OPTION. Genetic modification IS, and it should be used in very limited, controlled and absolutely necessary circumstances. So, now we get a dose of who-knows-what, along with the hormones, antibiotics, pesticides & herbacides in our food supply...
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Wait a darn minute, why are we again giving in to their control? The more power you give to the government and corporate; then we become vulnerable ...yes. again why leave it up to them. This government is suppose to be for the people and by the people. The American people forgets that they are in control. Don't forget that we are in control, we can choose what is best for our future in this free democracy.
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Thank you! Obama get your head out of the sand. Ban GMO's foods, require GMO labeling.
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Monsanto is in bed with Obama prube wrong?
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Same pesident today says, "As a president, as a father and as an American, I'm here to say we need to act," Obama said. "I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that's beyond fixing." But our food is less sacred? This "father" wants his lineage to eat this garbage? Real nice man.
Anonymous