by Lucinda Alcorn
I was driving home from another state when I noticed I was behind a Vermont truck with a bumper sticker that read, “Millions against MONSANTO.” It felt great to see that the truck was from Vermont. As I passed, I thought, Should I put up a fist in strong agreement? Would they realize I was expressing solidarity with their bumper sticker? Instead I put my hand to my heart as I drove past… for myself, for my own agreement and commitment.
I have always believed in a “natural” lifestyle and my “organics” beliefs are strong. They were fortified in 1981.
I live every day with a choice I made that year. I was young, idealistic, and trusting.
I sought out a wonderful spring for fresh clean drinking water in the Northern California Sierras. But unbeknownst to me, I endangered my unborn son and my family. The spring was later shut down due to high levels of herbicides (defoliants) and pesticides used by the timber industry, too late for us. Of course, “they” all said it was safe. My son was part of a study… and the spraying was not safe, nor will it ever be.
To me, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are another example of how our technology has strayed down the wrong path. I think most humans agree healthy food and a healthy environment is of utmost importance.
I believe GMOs should not be developed.
In the very least, they should be labeled. We have the right to know what we are supporting and eating. I join others in asking the FDA to require all GM crops to be evaluated by independent scientific verification before release and to make GMO labeling mandatory.
If the developers believed GMOs were beneficial or if they thought they could profit by labeling them—“GMO” would be in big bold letters on the front of every package. So obviously they do not feel confident they are a healthy alternative and they will lose money if the truth is made public or if the public has a choice.
As quickly as they are able, most natural manufacturers are seeking verification and applying for the Non-GMO Project certification. Their certification logos are throughout our Co-op! The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization and currently offers the only third-party verification for products produced according to best practices for GMO avoidance. Their website informs and lists the high-risk crops, monitored crops, and common ingredients derived from GMO-risk crops.
To form our own intelligent opinions, researching information is important.
I highly suggest exploring these websites and others. They have excellent materials concerning GMOs and if you choose, easy access to write in your support for labeling.
It is important to be informed on the various sides of a controversy.
GMOAnswers.com is a website providing views on the biotechnology side.
It is important to note: the founding members and funding of GMO Answers is by the members of the Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto Company, and Syngenta. Their supporting partners are the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Seed Trade Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, and the National Cotton Council.
When I view this list, I instantly have concern over our food sources.
The genetically modified (GM) crop industry and its supporters have an extensive list of positive claims for the production of GM crops. They are promoting that they are an extension of natural breeding and do not pose different risks from naturally bred crops, are safe to eat and can be more nutritious than naturally-bred crops, are strictly regulated for safety, increase crop yields and reduce pesticide use, and even reduce energy use.
However, a large and growing body of scientific and other authoritative evidence shows that these claims are not true. On the contrary, many scientific reports state a complete list of contrary facts and results. GM crops are laboratory-made, and are not adequately tested or regulated to ensure safety. They can be toxic, allergenic, or less nutritious than their natural counterparts. They have not proven to increase yields, but they have proven to increase pesticide/herbicide use, as well as disease susceptibility in crops. They are harming our soil quality, disrupting ecosystems, and reducing biodiversity. They are as energy-hungry as any other chemically farmed crops.
Why take the risks with GMOs when effective and sustainable solutions to the problems that GM technology claim to address already exist? Conventional plant breeding, in some cases helped by safe modern technologies like gene-mapping and marker-assisted selection, continues to outperform GM in producing high-yield, drought-tolerant, and pest- and disease-resistant crops that can meet our present and future food needs.
Despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, biotechnology has failed. I have to hope that the scientists behind this technology have good intentions. I include GMOs in the extensive list of life-endangering errors. If we could just wake up with integrity and shorten this list, find solutions to these errors, and expand the positive work done by human kind… we might survive in a better world.
Our future generations are at risk! Please vote, write in, and express your opinions!
The Non-GMO Project (www.nongmoproject.org)
Just Label It (www.justlabelit.org)
Right To Know (www.righttoknow.com)
Organic Trade Association (www.ota.com)
GMO News (www.gmo-news.com)
Label GMOs (www.labelgmos.org)
The Cornucopia Institute (www.cornucopia.org)
The next board tabling will be on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. Stop by!