I recently visited a modern, co-operative living community with an old friend. My friend’s brother-in-law–a Harvard-trained scientist–actually had long ago started a successful beekeeping operation there. But after the last two seasons, all his bees died out.
Interestingly, several years ago a commercial farm just down the road from his co-op started growing genetically modified (GM) crops. The beekeeper/scientist believes his bees got “confused” by all the unnatural pollen emanating from the adjacent GM crops. (Now my friend moved to the Congo and his brother-in-law is moving to southern Thailand.)
Of course, two-thirds of our food crops rely on honeybees for natural pollination. But, as I reported earlier this month, honeybees are dying out in record numbers. And it appears genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are adding to the “perfect storm” destroying our honeybees.
But GMOs aren’t just bad for honeybees. They’re bad for you and me.
Powerful companies like Monsanto are behind the whole GMO craze. Monsanto actually started out making Roundup, the chemical pesticide big industrial farms spray on their crops. But Monsanto also wound up making genetically modified seeds that can withstand Roundup’s chemical onslaught. So farmers can spray all the Roundup they want, get rid of the “pests” (and innocent bystanders), and still produce a large, “healthy” crop.
While this science experiment has been an enormous success for Monsanto’s bottom line, it may end up destroying natural and organic agriculture, bee colonies, and all plant life on planet earth.
Back in 2007, candidate Barack Obama made a campaign promise to require labeling of all products on the market that contain GMOs. But after six years in office, President Obama has failed to live up to this pledge. And he has betrayed organic advocates from the beginning.
Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the prominent Center for Food Safety, stated Obama is “worse” than his predecessors were when it comes to protecting the organic food industry.
In fact, Obama has rubber-stamped every GMO application that came across his desk. He deregulated genetically engineered alfalfa (cattle feed). So farmers can grow genetically altered alfalfa without restriction. This practice has made it harder than ever for farmers to grow organic alfalfa, which is essential for the organic dairy and meat industries.
But it’s not just the President’s shortcoming. The entire federal government dithers about GMOs.
I am still “hoping” for real “change” in Washington when it comes to organic concerns after the next election. So I try to pay attention to what prominent candidates for the next election cycle are saying and doing.
For example, Hillary Clinton recently spoke at the Biotechnology Industry Organization conference. She enthusiastically endorsed GMOs. In fact, her speech may have been another one of those $200K gigs that helped reverse her “dead broke” financial status.
Hillary claims, “there is a gap between what the facts are [about GMOs] and what perceptions are.” But the biggest gap is between organic farming and GMO farming–since the two cannot co-exist.
Of course, Hillary doesn’t have a great history of supporting consumer choice and natural approaches to natural good health.
In fact, Hillary led the charge for the Clinton-Gore backed healthcare “reform” fiasco 20 years ago. We attempted to meet with her about including natural approaches to health and healing for true healthcare reform. She and her supporters did not have the slightest interest.
Instead, she locked out consumers and health care providers. And invited the insurance industry to decide what health care would look like. Twenty years later, that’s exactly what we got. With no hope for real change in a healthcare system dictated by the insurance industry with more give-aways for big pharma.
Maybe Al Gore needs to tell his old political partners the “inconvenient truth” that GMOs present one of the biggest environmental catastrophes of all time. Hopefully he gets the message to them in time for the next election.
In the meantime, some states–like Vermont–are actually trying to get ahead of this food crisis by passing labeling laws so consumers will know which foods contain GMOs.
But right now, organic foods are the only foods you can be absolutely certain don’t contain GMOs. (At least current Federal law still sets this standard.) And many organic food manufacturers proudly put this label on their packages.
This knowledge allows consumers to make informed choices–and to vote with their pocketbooks, since the majority did not get the results they were promised with their votes (twice).
- “ On Organic Food, “Obama is Worse than Bush,” Living Maxwell (www.livingmaxell.com) 5/9/2011