M is for Monsanto, modified foods and mischief

Monsanto, a large agricultural entity in the US, apparently needs protection, for the US Congress has passed, back in the spring of 2013, what has been dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act, which, critics claim, “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future”. The bill has been recently reauthorized in the House, but not the Senate. (Meanwhile, while supporting corporate welfare, the House GOP axes food assistance for millions of Americans.)

So what’s the issue with GMOs? It is believed that GMOs are not safe. “They have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.” Also, Many scientists are calling for further study of a genetically modified bacteria which is used to create aspartame. Moreover, some fear that the use of the Monsanto product RoundUp will cause birth defects.

The desire among many, short of banning these products, is for GMOs to be labeled, but GMO manufacturers are even resistant to that, unless they are voluntary. Worst-case scenario, once the FDA finalizes its GMO labeling guidance, industry uses the FDA guidance to preempt state laws requiring mandatory labeling of GMOs. “Currently, states have the right to enact GMO labeling laws precisely because the FDA has not formally ruled on GMO labeling.”

It’s interesting that a whole lot of the world wants them banned. Activists in Chile are fighting Monsanto’s bid to patent food crops. Also, more than 1000 acres found to have been planted with genetically altered maize crops have been destroyed in Hungary. “The country has boldly banned GMO seed. Peru has passed a ban for at least ten years on GM foods, along with Italy, Greece, Spain and Austria with their own bans, as well as many other countries.” Here is a list of countries & regions with GE food/crop bans.

According to The World According to Monsanto, which charts “documentary filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin’s three-year journey across four continents to uncover the disturbing practices of multinational agribusiness corporation Monsanto, it uses “alarming legal and political tactics to maintain this monopoly [that] are the subject of worldwide concern, with baleful consequences for the world’s small-scale farmers.” This parody piece from The Daily Show illuminates how litigious Monsanto is when farmers try NOT to use their patented seeds which need to be purchased every year, contrary to agricultural practice of reusing seeds that go back millennia. And the US Supreme Court has supported Monsanto in 2013.

In the Philippines, GMO corn farmers are losing their land and going into debt, thanks to bait-and-switch pricing tactics.

There will a March Against Monsanto event on Saturday, October 12 around the world. The information is now on Facebook, after previously having been removed.

Some other links:
14-year-old girl stands up to Monsanto shill
The list of Monsanto-owned companies you may have seen on the Internet is probably wrong, such as this one, though it may be a fair reflection of companies using Monsanto products and techniques. Conversely, this list I believe to be correct.
Five GMO myths busted.
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. of Newport Natural Health – GMOs: Are Your Cupboards Filled with Frankenfoods?
Occupy Monsanto website.

ABC Wednesday – Round 13

24 thoughts on “M is for Monsanto, modified foods and mischief”

  1. This GMO business is very complicated and I believe that scientist can make us believe anything.personally I prefer the natural food. I can understand that so many countries have banned the genetically modified food.
    Wil, ABCW Team


  2. I’m all in favor of labeling GMO foods. I would prefer the choice to purchase them….or not. There’s just not enough concrete evidence of the safety of these foods for me to be comfortable putting them in my body. It seems like most of the guidelines for “organic,” “natural” etc. are so convoluted, no one can really know what’s in and not in food.


  3. Great post Roger. I saw a movie called Strange Culture with Tilda Swinton which is sort of related that I liked. It is a documentary with actors re-enacting much of it. Carver, ABC Wed. Team


  4. I imagine we have the same problem in Canada, but I don’t ever see any labels that something has been genetically modified. However, we do tend to get quite a few recalls on meat that has been found to be infected by certain bacteria.

    abcw team


  5. Definitely food for thought. Labeling should be mandatory. My boys were born during the Thalidomide years. I would have been a prime candidate for its use, but fortunately my doctor didn’t prescribe it.


  6. I found it appalling when I read that certain dyes are allowed in US food, but not in Europe. I think many health problems can be traced to genetically altered food and so many additives and preservatives.


  7. I choose not to consume GMO foods if I can help it. I use locally grown, organic produce whenever I can and choose GMO free organic Oats, flour and pastas.
    It is not that hard to do and only a tiny bit more in cost but I am paying that bit more in order not to ingest poison, I am OK with that!
    I finally figured out that if I simply buy really good dry pasta from Italy it is GMO free because Italy and the rest of the EU ban GMOs, the bonus is I get to enjoy a much better level of pasta!
    Mainstream grocery products are modified in ways that human beings are not supposed to consume, too much refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and soy fillers.
    The solution is simple , shop the edges of the store & buy fresh food that you cook yourself.


  8. Valencia in the Philippines and the affected corn fields – I remember sneaking out there with buddies during those boarding school days.


  9. The older I become, the more labels I read. But I’ve been told, that even on the labels certain things are left out. A more sure way is to grow one’s own food (which would be hard to do for citydwellers).


  10. I would like to see GMO foods labeled. Everything else is labeled, even products that no one would ever put in their mouths are labeled ‘do not eat’
    They tell us the most altered crops are soy beans and corn. If you read labels you know those two are used in hundreds of foods. Scary!!
    Lea’s Menagerie


  11. Lots of info to digest!!I’ve been concerned about Monsanto for quite a while. Aspartame scares me the most I’ve switched to Agave Nectar for most sweeteners. I try to buy from local farmers too.


  12. Very interesting and informative. You are always on the cutting edge with your articles, and give us a good narrative. Then the other commenters really make it interesting. Thanks.

    BTW I liked your “Magnificent Moll” comment!!


  13. An excellent informative post! It is scary what it happening to our food. It is like Russian roulette – you never know if what you put in your mouth will actually harm you.


  14. It’s such a sad state that things that should be healthy for us are now questionable at best. I am all for scientific progress, but why on earth mess with something that works. I had never even heard of this. Of course, living in Indonesia for a little while, I have been out of the loop. Thanks for this information.


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