COMMUNITY FORUM: TAKE BACK YOUR FOOD
Today you can go into almost any local supermarket and find at least a few items labeled “organic.” Some call it hippie jargon and deem it unnecessary; others claim it is much too expensive. But think about it this way: before the use of pesticides accelerated in the 1940s, and before the silent introduction of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) into our food supply in the 1990s, “organic food” was simply called “food.”
And it came from farms, not factories.
Most of what the average American eats these days is saturated with chemicals and genetically altered in some way. And what’s worse is most don’t know it. We have entered a dark age of Frankenfoods, when companies like Monsanto—infamous producers of the atrocious chemical Agent Orange—are allowed to be in control of a huge portion of America’s food supply. It is estimated that at least 70 percent of the food in grocery stores contain GMOs, and 25 percent of all corn in the U.S. is genetically modified. I don’t know about you, but
I would at least like to know whether or not the corn I am eating has been spliced with the genes of insects. Yes, that actually happens.
In the scientific community, a number of recent peer-reviewed studies are providing solid evidence of the dangers of these altered food products. Genetically modified seeds and foods have required an increase in pesticide use, resulting in dramatic increases in health risks like cancer, neurobehavioral conditions, and disruption and damage to the endocrine and gastrointestinal systems. GMOs have also been proven to contaminate our soils, our water supply, and other non-GMO crops.
So who’s protecting the American people? It certainly isn’t our government.
A good portion of Monsanto insiders are now leaders in organizations such as the FDA, USDA, and EPA. For instance, there’s Michael Taylor—current FDA deputy commissioner for foods and former Monsanto vice president for public policy and chief lobbyist. Tim Boyd of the Weston A. Price Foundation writes: “Putting Taylor in charge of the FDA is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.” I would have to agree.
Over 60 countries in the world—almost half the world’s population—require the labeling of GMOs, and that includes China.
A poll taken in 2012 revealed that 90 percent of Americans also want these products labeled. Organizations like MA Right To Know GMOs, Just Label It, and the Non-GMO Project have led the way in spreading awareness and making positive changes. Inspired by their efforts and last month’s March Against Monsanto, a new group called Green Citizen Lobbying (brainchild of Ellen Fine of the LEAH Collective) was formed. Located in the greater Boston area, the group is devoted to further spread awareness and take action to protect the health of our families and our environment.
Not everybody wants to join an activist group in order to make a difference. I get that. There are plenty of other things you can do to help. To start, you can call or write your local representatives and senators. You can also attend a public hearing that will introduce five different GMO labeling bills at the MA State House in Boston on June 11.
To take it further, you have the ability to boycott companies who use GMOs with your hard-earned cash.
Even simply talking about these issues with other people and sharing your knowledge is a step in the right direction. Whatever you decide to do, please join the movement to take back our food supply.
Our futures, our children’s futures, and the future of our planet depend on it.