Friday, June 27, 2008

Genetically Modified Foods

Hello all,

This post is about the topic of genetically modified foods which I have very little knowledge of, but am learning more about. The reason why I am writing it is to make you aware of what is going on and how this affects us all. There are two things which are cause for concern.

1) Scientists have become aware that gene expression is a dynamic and variable thing and that it can change in response to environmental factors.

2) The basis for genetically modified foods is "ownership" of seed crops by large Agri-Business concerns like Monsanto.

Ok, let me explain this in more simple terms. First the gene expression thing.

Scientists used to think that genes were a form of biological "hard wiring" so to speak, and that genes in some static sense caused certain things to happen irrespective of other factors. Now they have come to understand that the way your genes interact with things in your environment can actually change gene expression in a way they never thought possible before.

This is both good and bad. It's good in the sense that it means that our genes are not our destiny, at least not entirely. We have a lot of control over our lives despite having genetic tendencies toward things like heart disease, cancer, ect. The bad news is that various things in our environment like toxins, certain foods, viruses, and bacteria, can alter gene expression in our bodies to a much larger degree than we were previously aware.

We now know that the genes added to foods to produce GMO or genetically modified organisms can have many unanticipated consequences. They can in response to environment factors like heat, cold, bacteria, viruses, chemicals, ect. be altered in their expression in ways which we cannot possibly know. Chemical companies like Monsanto are putting genes in seeds that come from other organisms. This is the genetic equivalent of playing with fire! These genetically modified foods have not been tested for safety, because it is assumed the genes inplanted in them pose no threat to human health.

This amounts to the one of the boldest genetic experiments in human history with absolutely no assurance that the consequences are even predictable let alone safe. Why is this being done? The answer is money! Companies like Monsanto want to "own food," so that every farmer who wants to plant crops will have to buy their patented seed! They are even developing seeds that will grow into crops which cannot be replanted. Every time a farmer wants to replant these GMO crops, he would have to buy seed from the company. The seeds cannot be reused as they have been for countless generations throughout human history.

Corporations like Monsanto want the entire human race to have to go to them "hat in hand" to be able to produce food to feed humanity. They want control over the worlds food supply, and they are doing it with genetically modified crops which they can legally claim to "own" the rights to via their GMO "patents." This development should be of concern to everyone who cares about the world that their children and grandchildren will inherit and live in.

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