Dining With Frankenstein

It’s like a Kafka story, really, but directed for our present day reality by the Wachkowski brothers of The Matrix fame. The scale of the conspiracy is that big. Except it’s not a conspiracy. This one’s running naked, screaming at the top of its lungs down Main Street.

The current you-gotta-be-kidding-me issue at hand is our government’s authorization of 2,4-D resistant corn. Toxicologically speaking, 2,4-D is the most poisonous chemical compound every synthesized by man. It was the primary component in Agent Orange, which we used without discretion during the Vietnam War as a defoliant to clear large tracts of jungle providing cover for the enemy. 2,4-D exterminates life on contact.

So how will commercial cornfields not wilt and die when sprayed with it? Simply put, they’ve been genetically modified to resist it. The small problem is that our bodies haven’t been genetically modified to process this GMO corn covered in toxic spooge. No one knows what the effects of eating it will be.  But I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark here, and say it’s probably not gonna be the best thing for us. Odds are high that we’ll be growing teeth out of our necks and wheeling each other around in oxygen tents in a generation.

I wish this were a dramatic exaggeration. But it’s the straight up, no bullshit skinny. We citizens of the U.S.A are literally heading toward a time when there won’t be a single comestible we put in our mouths that some corporate sponsored scientist hasn’t totally fucked with genetically.

The guilty party better not be news to you. They’re called Monsanto, and if you haven’t heard about what they’re doing, you better get busy on You Tube and Netflix and Wikipedia… and just marvel.  (Food Inc, Future of Food, David Vs. Monsanto, Scientists Under Attack, Hidden Dangers In Kids Meals, and the newest and hardest hitting out of France, The World According to Monsanto)

A little backstory… A career pharmaceutical executive established Monsanto at the turn of the century and the company has continued to excel in creating all the best stuff ever since: sulfuric acid, artificial sweetener, synthetic plastics, dioxin, DDT, and eventually, good old fashioned nuclear weapons. The logical next step for such an ambitious corporation would be food production, right? Why not leap from a hazardous chemical monolith to a bio-tech monolith? There will always be lulls in warfare, but people will forever need food.

Hand in hand with Monsanto’s history of deleterious creations was an equally labored dedication to marketing. Whether it was the cartoon ad campaign touting the safety of DDT (a multitude available on YouTube) or the creation of several Superfund sites (over 50 in the US alone), Monsanto always came out smelling like a genetically modified rose. One of their chemists received a Nobel Prize in 2001. And they were named “Company of the Year” by Forbes in 2010. They continue to sponsor attractions at Disneyworld and Disneyland. Enjoy the rides, kids…

The Company of the Year, as it happens, has been the target of civil and criminal law suits since its inception. In the US, India, Canada, Indonesia, France, Mexico, Germany and the UK, cases have been filed against them for bribery, illegal waste disposal, false advertising, child labor abuse, suppressing evidence, and endangering health.

The rare few they don’t win are settled from a virtually limitless deep pocket. Most recently, $93 million was paid to a town polluted during the production of Agent Orange. A pittance compared to what they’ll earn if the government approves Agent Orange resistant corn.

They’ve won both of their cases before the US and Canadian Supreme Courts by one vote. Justice Clarence Thomas was a Monsanto employee in the 1970’s, but seeing how his tenure has already played out, I’m sure he wasn’t influenced in the slightest.

Upstanding civil servant Donald Rumsfeld personally profited by more than $12 million when Monsanto bought G.D. Searle, a company he ran for years.  No conflict of interest there. Nor is the fact that Monsanto spends tens of millions in lobbying in D.C. every year, in addition to direct donations to both parties. Why choose?

The revolving door between the FDA and Monsanto hasn’t stopped whirling since the 70’s. It’s as corrupt as the one between Wall Street and the Fed, only worse, because unlike the Fed, who just manipulates the value of money, the FDA is supposed to be looking out for what we’re putting into our bodies.

As house council, Michael Taylor did everything in his power to advocate for Monsanto. He was the central figure in assuring no labels made it onto milk cartoons poisoned with RBST, growth hormones are so intense, they shorten a dairy cow’s milk production from 8 to 3 years and then end up in what becomes Grade A chuck for those fun filled, kid friendly summer bbq’s. He was “appointed” to the USDA where he proceeded to approval Monsanto’s GMO products without any testing, then went back to Monsanto a few years later as a Vice President and a pay check five times what Uncle Sam paid. The door revolved again when Obama appointed him food czar. Does this scumbag have kids? You can bet they’re eating organic, and don’t have ADD or peanut allergies or any of the other myriad issues we face today that can be traced to the birth of the genetic modification of our food.  Dig in!

Obama continues to reappoint officials like Taylor, one after the other after the other. He has approved more genetically modified crops during his tenure than all of his predecessors combined. Interesting, though, how the White House kitchen, as well as the corporate cafeteria at the Monsanto Headquarters, are “100% certified organic.”

So how can the EPA reject a ban on dioxin tainted herbicides? 40 years of scientific evidence is irrefutable: dioxin is responsible for birth defects (500,000 children in Vietnam), nervous system disorders and myriad cancers. So why would our government even consider its use on our food, while Europe bans it across the board? We can’t even get our food labeled!  Monsanto has squashed labeling campaigns in Vermont, Connecticut, Oregon and Washington. Even China labels their food. But not us?

2,4-D resistant corn will destroy all small-scale natural and organic farming in this country within 5 years. This stuff doesn’t “wash off”. Nor does it break down.  It goes right in to the soil and the water and every other life-sustaining element of our existence, on a genetic level. So when you eat a corn or soy based product, which covers a dizzying array of what you’re consuming daily, most likely, its genetic makeup has been altered to include everything from animal genes to bacterium: bacteria that can eat up carcinogenic herbicides.

Monsanto pitched GMO corn to the world as something that would save money, protect the environment, and most importantly, feed the starving people. What’s happened is the exact opposite. Grain prices have tripled, (it costs a farmer double to buy a bag of GMO corn seed), corn itself is in shorter supply, and our soil is being so poisoned to the point of infertility.

The irony is truly Kafka-esk. Monsanto’s seeds are lab modified to make them resistant to Monsanto made chemicals, like “Round Up” herbicide. But it’s the process of genetic engineering itself, not the use deadly pesticides, which are the cause of the problem. Monsanto is essentially offering us a no-way-out solution to a problem they are responsible for causing.

Soybeans are on the chopping block too. The few Organic farms left use soybeans grown from Wilcox heirloom seeds, which have been growing naturally in this country for over 120 years. That seed is on the verge of being polluted out of existence from cross-pollination of GMO soybeans. This is not something we can rescind either. We’re on the verge of losing our organic lineages. This is particularly devastating when you consider the history of El Maize.

The corn we eat today that’s not GMO crap was carefully cultivated over thousands of years. About 7000, to be precise, starting in southern Mexico. It became so valuable to human survival and culture that the plant was literally elevated to God status in the ancient religions of the time. We’ve been eating that corn since, until now.  And the real threat lies in the fact that like GMO soy, GMO corn will cross pollinate with the natural line and wipe it out forever. And, oh yeah, you’ll be sued for patent infringement when Monsanto seeds contaminate your pure ones.

So what is our problem? How ignorant are we going to let ourselves be? Every single element in our lives is a balancing act between pro and con. You can go to Vegas tonight and hit it big enough to retire. It’s totally possible! You can also lose everything and become instantly destitute. We know this. So why can’t we apply it to food? How badly do we have to get hurt before we step up? Do we really need more omega 3’s in our soybeans through genetic modification? Do we want to increase our corn yield by bathing them in chemicals? What are the costs of all these great promises?

Somehow, the cons were left out of the Monsanto case for making every thing in our lives better and cheaper, and we’re swallowing it, literally. Time to accept the truth. It’s not as pretty, but it’s the first step to changing an apocalyptic future. As George Orwell said, “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”  Let’s fire the first shot, already.

 

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