Thursday, June 9, 2011

Monsanto: Taking Over the World, One Seed At a Time

I'd like to do a review on a documentary I recently watched, The World According to Monsanto. First, a little info on Monsanto. Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. They are now the largest producer of genetically engineered seeds. They were not always in the seed business, they started out producing artificial sweeteners, rubbers, plastics (among many other things) and even produced Agent Orange and the bovine growth hormone, both known to cause cancer. Does it not strike anyone as alarming that they are now the largest distributor of seeds? It sure as shit is a cause of concern for me. Today Monsanto also makes Roundup, a non-biodegradable pesticide (keep in mind, most GE crops are sprayed with it).
"Most pesticides also contain inert ingredients that function as surfactants
which aid in the penetration of the herbicide to the plant cells. In the case of
glyphosate-based, Roundup, the inert surfactant is polyethyloxylated
three times as toxic as that of glyphosate. Symptoms associated with POEA
toxicity include gastrointestinal pain and vomiting, swelling of the lungs and
pneumonia, reduction of blood pressure, and red blood cell destruction.
Current research suggests a synergistic toxic effect of glyphosate with its
surfactant, POEA. At high dosages, inhalation of the combined product can
cause severe effects including lung hemorrhages, bloody noses, and
diarrhea. Deaths have resulted from accidental or intentional ingestion of
undiluted product."

Do you really want these people producing and genetically engineering your food? These GE crops are so new to human civilization, they are taking a complete gamble with the long-term effects. What we do know is that these GE crops are toxic. A GE L-tryptophan (a naturally occurring amino acid) actually killed 37 people and affected 5,000 others before it was recalled by the FDA. In Britain, Dr. Arpad Pusztai discovered that GE potatoes were poisonous to rats, damaging vital organs and the immune system. He has since been fired, apparently for talking to the media. In '94 the FDA approved Monsanto's Bovine Growth Hormone, a hormone that makes cows produce more milk. It has since been proven that rBGH, or rather the active hormone it contains, Insulin-like Growth Factor I (IGF-1) literally causes cancer. According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition, women with higher levels of IGF-1 are seven times more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer. Higher levels of IGF-1 have also been known to cause an increase in colon and prostate cancer. Next time you buy milk, I'd suggest looking for the rBGH free label. (Isn't it funny that despite all of this evidence, the FDA has been attacking my small scale Amish farmer for selling raw milk?). However, I'd suggest buying your milk from a small scale, local, organic farm (raw or not). I say this considering the the FDA approved unlabeled milk from cows that were treated with rBGH.

GE crops have been linked to higher rates of toxicity, allergies, resistance to antibiotics and a decreased nutritional value, among several other things. The four most genetically engineered crops are: soy, canola, corn and cotton (I won't get into it, but you can look up the mass suicides in India due to GE cotton seeds from Monsanto). It's funny that so many people consume more soy, corn and wheat products because they think it's more environmentally friendly, but these GE crops (so many of which are "Roundup resistant") are destroying the topsoil. Improper agriculture techniques are wreaking havoc on the earth and are an environmental hazard. Spraying Roundup on the soil will only destroy it.

Monsanto is trying to dominate the food industry. They have a patent on their seeds, which allows them to sue and put farmers out of business when Monsanto seeds are blown by the wind from nearby farms onto their own. They can't do anything about it. From The World According to Monsanto, "If they control seed, they control food, they know it – it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world." At this point you might be asking yourself how Monsanto can get away with this (aside from their insane amount of money). The answer is known as a "revolving door." The first example is Michael Taylor, who worked as an attorney for Monsanto before being appointed the position of deputy commissioner of the FDA. It gets worse:
"Current members of the board of directors of Monsanto are: Frank V. AtLee III, the former President of American Cyanamid and former chairman of Cynamid International, John W. Bachmann, Hugh Grant, the chairman of Monsanto, Arthur H. Harper, Gwendolyn S. King, president of McDonald’s USA, Sharon R. Long, C. Steven McMillan, the former chairman and CEO of Sara Lee Corporation, William U. Parfet, George H. Poste, Robert J. Stevens, the current chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation.[25]
Former Monsanto employees currently hold positions in US government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Environmental Protection Agency‎ (EPA) and the Supreme Court. These include Clarence Thomas, Michael R. Taylor, Ann Veneman, Linda Fisher, Michael Friedman, William D. Ruckelshaus, and Mickey Kantor.[26] Linda Fisher has been back and forth between positions at Monsanto and the EPA."

This post doesn't even begin to cover everything Monsanto has done and is doing. I encourage you to research them for yourself. And above all, I am begging you to not buy GM crops. Please give up soy, canola and corn. Please buy locally. You vote every. single. time. you buy food. Monsanto is destroying people's health and the environment. If we go on farming like this, there will be no land left to farm. The FDA obviously is not going to do anything about this, except endorse Monsanto and their bullshit claims. It is up to the public to make a difference and not give in to this system.

This post is part of Monday Mania!

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