May 25, 2013
If you eat you might want to read this. If you don’t you’re unusual enough to have nothing to worry about. But for those of you who enjoy healthful, sustaining morsels now and then —did you know that what you eat is determined more and more by interests that have nothing to do with the physiological benefits of eating, not the least of which is staying alive.
In fact, if you looked into the practices of agribusiness you’d think that the fundamental purpose of eating is not to live but to provide profits to monstrosities like Monsanto. Profit mills like Monsanto are not in the business of caring. They’re in business to make more money regardless of your health —not to mention your liberty or pursuit of happiness.
Since 1901, before Monsanto began tampering with the genetic makeup of food crops, it was just a toxic chemical company. By the 1930 it had become “…responsible for some of the most damaging chemicals in our history – polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCB’s, and dioxin.” —Truthout may 22, 2013.
It takes a certain mindset to be in the business of blithely manufacturing deadly poisons without paying acute moral attention to their effects. There’s an arrogance in it, a kind of devil-may-care, so-what, stuff-happens attitude.
There are other examples of such corp-think —the tobacco industry for example. In fact, Marlboro’s business model is to create addicts —to hook ten-year-olds to boost sales. That it eventually kills them does not enter the equation.
Monsanto is no different. It has lately shown a will to control world food sources by patenting its manipulations of natural substances it had no part in creating. Monsanto now manufactures genetically modified organisms (GMOs) —seed stocks, such as corn which have the potential of corrupting our food supply and processes within our own bodies.
If past is prologue we can expect a potentially lethal cornucopia of genetic food toxins to pour from Monsanto’s think tanks into the breadbaskets of nations. For instance, its deadly products include:
1. Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal)
—responsible for long-term nervous system damage, immune system damage, and irreversible genetic damage known to be caused by aspartame’s metabolite, formaldehyde (a close relative of mine, a lifelong addict of diet Coke, now has pronounced head tremors. Coincidence? Maybe, but not likely.
2. Roundup —a weed-killer which (despite industry claims otherwise) is used in significantly high amounts in genetically-engineered frankenfoods to assure you’ll be feasting on the residues of Monsanto’s toxic herbicide.
4. PCBs —cited by the EPA as a cause of cancer
Monsanto! A well-spring of carcinogens abundant enough to keep the oncology industry going until tumors themselves are running the world —mutants creating more mutants full-bore and enjoying downtimes beside cooling pools of Roundup sipping PCB cocktails .
It’s a crime really, but Monsanto’s puppets in government (apparently including the president) are so in cahoots with corporate cons they’ve made certain crimes legal. They must think they’re immune from the likely aftermath. But it’s a fool who contaminates his food supply for profit or political contributions.
It’s insidious, but here’s the way profit-obsessed agribusiness thinks:
One of Monsanto’s cash cows, the previously mentioned Roundup, generated 27% of the corporation’s 2011 take. Roundup is also has a generic name: glyphosate, a herbicide. Monsanto engineers have genetically modified seeds to be “Roundup Ready” —they’re immune to Roundup. Having such resistant seeds then assures Monsanto great profits because farmers are incentivized to spray their crops with Monsanto’s glyphosate. Home run: Roundup is now “…the most widely used herbicide in the history of the world.”
“A new review of hundreds of scientific studies surrounding glyphosate … sheds light on its effects within the human body. The paper describes how all of these effects could work together, and with other variables, trigger health problems in humans, including debilitating diseases like gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease.”
The review specifies that Roundup residues are found in the main foods of he Western diet, comprised primarily of sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Everything we eat is pretty much loaded with these in one form or another.
But Monsanto is dangerous to our health and wellbeing beyond the effects of Roundup and the potential reverberation in the natural world of manufactured genetics—in the latter case we simply don’t have a clue as to how these manipulated genes set loose in the environment will affect not only what goes on in plant cells, but in our own.
But that’s just a part of Monsanto’s profit-driven malevolence. You’d do well to read this article by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers at truth-out.org for a more in-depth look.
But how can Monsanto so easily peddle its poison and have so much power over food production in the US and the world?
It’s no mystery: like so much else that makes our government unresponsive to the dictates of good sense and the life-needs of people it boils down to money in politics.
A move by Se. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to overturn the recently passed “Monsanto Protection Act” (so stupidly signed by Barack Obama) was squashed by Republican senators, one of which, Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), had slipped the Monsanto protection provision into a March spending resolution. Blunt has received $95,750 in political donations from Monsanto.
If you’re reading this today May 25th you have a chance to join protests against Monsanto scheduled in 36 countries . But look for future events to make your concerns known. For those of us here in Massachusetts especially, give Elizabeth Warren a piece of your mind. Warren, who has had my support, sadly voted to protect Monsanto with her vote.
It’s unlikely we’ll stop eating in protest, but we can buy locally-grown organic foods instead. That and our commitment to challenge politicians who choose the welfare of corporations over that of people are our only protections against corporations like Monsanto. We’re left with our food choices, our votes and our collective voices.
As (historically) usual, either we join together or we fall apart.
by Jim Culleny, 5/25/13
for The West County Independent