Is there anyone in the USA who – even modestly – pays attention to what’s going on, hasn’t heard about GMOs – Genetically Modified Organisms?
Big Ag, their lobbyists, politicians and the media have done a bang up job of derailing Vermont’s Comprehensive Mandatory GMO labeling law last year. My Democratic Senator, Claire McCaskill, replied to my dissatisfaction about her vote on the issue with a lame, watered-down and puffed-up response about how they stood up for the people. With her support “Congress took action this summer to enact into law the first mandatory, nationwide labeling requirement for food products containing GMOs. This commonsense solution will provide consumers access to the information they want while giving food producers a clear and uniform standard for labeling.”
She goes on to explain “in recent years” how farmers have adopted GE (a little less obtrusive than the widely known GMO) Genetically Engineered crop varieties. She states that “between 2000 and 2013, use of these crops in the United States increased from 3.6 million acres to 169 million acres.” Their use is expected to continue to increase due to “new scientific advancements.” She wants me to understand that “there have been no conclusive studies showing GE ingredients are harmful to human health” and backs that up with the AMA (American Medical Association) & WHO’s (World Health Organization) near endorsement of GMOs or GEs –the new politically correct acronym. She recognizes how (we pesky) consumers want to know more about the foods we feed our families. Moreover, she adds this new law will not “unfairly stigmatize GMOs.”
Most of us are aware that the “studies” referenced require BIG BUCKS to run and it’s no wonder that not one pharmaceutical, or agricultural giant has stepped up to do such studies. Yet, unusual, previously unidentified diseases continue to plague the people of our country and other countries around the world. Illnesses never before experienced or known, in generations prior to the 1960’s keep surfacing.
I’ve been interested in nutrition for many years and TRY to be more conscientious about the food I eat. Still, Fritos captured my taste buds years ago and has been my go-to for adding to chili. However, now that it’s confirmed (on the label) as are many other food products I’ve been label-reading, that these were made with Genetic Engineering or something to that effect, I’m going for an organic blue corn chip. Even, my favorite Wintergreen Lifesavers are “Produced with Genetic Engineering.” WTH?
Ms. McCaskill also wants me to know the impressive Federal agencies that oversee these GMO crops including:
- The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
“Based on the new law, the USDA is now working on drafting the rules for how GMO labeling will be implemented nationwide” Senator McCaskill assures me.
In my opinion, if these agencies had been doing their jobs, trials and testing of every genetic variant would have been done prior to implementation to safely assure the health of the American people as well as the animals from which we obtain protein sources. Note, her assurance above that no conclusive studies have shown GE ingredients are harmful to human health; there’s no mention of the potential harm being done to the animals from which humans procure meat.
I’m not naive. Testing of every genetic variant would be a monumental task yet these organizations – trusted to safeguard the well-being of individuals in this country- have permitted this gross experimentation on human beings. I suspect the real motivation behind opposition to labeling GMO’s is that we, the people, will realize the extent to which our food supply has been tainted for the past several decades.
In fact, the relationship between BIG AG, BIG FOOD and BIG PHARMA’s former employees is so intertwined with the FDA (and possibly other agencies) it’s as though the term “conflict of interest” has never been defined. According to Merriam-Webster.com the definition of this term is clear:
conflict of interest
con·flict of interest \ˈkän-ˌflikt-\
- 1: a conflict between the private interests and the official or professional responsibilities of a person in a position of trust
- 2: a conflict between competing duties (as in an attorney’s representation of clients with adverse interests) — see also ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct
A quick glance at the American Bar Association’s Model Rules (hyperlink above) confirms that appointing former employees, CEOs, shareholders, etc. from any of these large firms by the FDA et al, IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
Do any of these individuals and organizations remember the meaning of integrity? Shall I go back to the dictionary?