GMO’s: The How and When
The introduction of genetically modified (GMO’s) into our food source takes place over many years but has its most invasive insertions from the late 1980’s through the early 2000’s which coincides with one of the most aggressive periods of de-regulation in US history.
It can be argued that GMO’s have been entering our food system forever and this is true in the most basic understanding but we are not speaking of soft (or generational modifications) but of the “hard cooked” modifications of stripping the DNA of one species and fusing it to that of another. This is the type of GM (genetic modification) which can have unforeseen consequences due in large part to the restrictive time frame over which the changes take place, not years or decades but in minutes.
Almost amusingly, while the European countries where strengthening regulations concerning GMO’s the US Congress was being iodated with billions of dollars in lobbyist money from the bio-engineering and seed production industries. The result of Congressional sessions from this time period (mid 90’s- early 2000’s) with regards to the safeguarding of the US citizenry and its food stuffs was mass deregulation of the industry. Even the most basic consumer protection laws, such as adding GMO content labeling to food products was not passed.
During this same period (late 80’s-) another event new to the US was taking place, mass loss of private family farms. Upwards of 78% of family farms went under throughout this time (remember farm-aid) leaving the remainder to grow in limited respect but the true winners were the banks and their investors. The farmers were often still on “their” land but now more often than not as a tenant farmer working for some group of investors hundreds or thousands of miles away who have never seen the land and care little for it outside of the profit or right-off it can provide.
Review time: The when is fairly easy to pinpoint, beginning approximately 1988 and extending through 2013 a fairly unabated period of Congressional deregulation takes place fueled by billions in corporate lobby money. In addition at the same time we see the destruction of the family farm and see the rise of mass corporate agriculture funded by the banks and Congressional tax incentives on behalf of large investors. This same process of deregulation and corporate owned agro allowed industry leaders such as Monsanto to mass plant industrial farms with GMO seed for both human and livestock consumption. Too add insult to injury the majority of remaining family farms were forced to buy their seed crops from the same industries responsible the GMO seed production.
We Need To Demand Proper Labeling on our food as well as proper time based testing of any “new” products introduced into our food chain, to do anything less is at least foolhardy and at most irresponsible to ourselves, our children and all future generations.
GMO’s are like any other technology, with due and proper respect and regulation they can be of great benefit to society but operated with little regard for anything but profit and no thought for the people, the planet or the future; GMO’s do have the potential to make Chernobyl or Fukushima (great tsunami) look like small brush fires. The potential is there but so is the danger, it is up to us to be diligent and insist on proper and due protection.
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