Genetically modified farming takes toll

Today, the monarch butterfly faces a perfect storm of devastation. And while the politicians argue about the health effects of genetically modified foods on humans, this toxic chemical is causing a real disaster on the planet by wiping out this precious species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting a one-year status review as a preliminary step to placing the monarch on the endangered species list. But this protection is a double-edged sword. If it makes it onto the list, the monarch butterfly will become, like so many other good things in our modern society, subject to bureaucratic, legal oversight.

Plus, this situation provides ever more disturbing evidence of the flawed agricultural system in this country. Today, medical scientists link exposure to Roundup with increased risk of numerous chronic diseases–including cancer.  But it’s very hard to point fingers because we encounter so many different chemicals on a daily basis. And judges demand proof that each and every toxic chemical, individually and independently, caused a disease. Of course, it’s almost impossible to parse out the effects of one, single chemical when we encounter a “toxic soup” of chemicals every day.

Of course, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowed this environmental disaster to unfold under its very big nose.

If the bureaucrats at the EPA really cared about protecting the environment and its citizens, they would protect our planet from these toxic herbicides and GM crops. Instead, they spend our money and their time trying to prevent citizens from collecting rainwater.

But you can help protect the monarch and protect yourself against GM foods by following these 10 steps:

  1. Plant a garden in your backyard. And make sure to include milkweed.
  2. Avoid prepackaged, processed foods. If the package doesn’t say it’s “GMO Free,” you can probably assume it does contain genetically modified corn or soy.
  3. Strive to eat natural, whole foods, which you can find at the perimeter of the grocery store.
  4. When you buy produce at the market, make sure it’s organic. Or better yet, grow your own.
  5. Drink only properly filtered or pure-source water.
  6. Don’t use Roundup or pesticides in your gardens, yards and fields.
  7. Petition schools and hospitals to serve only organic foods made with no GM ingredients.
  8. Lobby local authorities to stop using pesticides on public school grounds, parks and roadways.
  9. If you live outside North or South America, speak up about continuing to keep herbicide-tolerant and “Roundup Ready” GM crops out of your country.
  10. Support state labeling laws so we know when foods contain GM ingredients.

(Rhode Island recently joined Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont to require labeling of all GM foods. Petition your state legislators too.)

The monarch butterfly is like the proverbial “canary in a coal mine” sending a clear warning to correct course for the sake of our future, the future of our children, and the future of our planet. We must take action on the clear and present danger to the complex natural web of life that holds us all.