The Biotech Facade
By Beth H. Harrison
When genetically engineered (GE) food was commercially introduced in 1994, it was touted as a solution to some of the world's food problems. However, the promised advantages have never been realized. GE crops do not benefit consumers, do not feed the world, do not help the environment, and are not rigorously regulated despite myths propagated by the multi-billion dollar biotechnology industry and its many front groups.
Food prices are soaring, people continue to go hungry, and the use of pesticides with GE crops is escalating. The Center for Food Safety coined GE crops "biotech snake oil: a quack cure for hunger" and said the tremendous hype surrounding biotechnology has obscured the facts.
In 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture admitted "currently available [genetically modified] GM crops do not increase yield potential." In 2004 a UN report acknowledged that "GM crops can have reduced yields" and in April 2008 another published UN report, the work of more than 400 international scientists, concluded that genetically engineered crops "will not play a substantial role in addressing the key problems of climate change, biodiversity loss, hunger, and poverty."
More critically, GE food has never been proven safe for human consumption. Independent scientific evidence has shown that human health effects of eating GE food can include toxic and allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, immune suppression, and other serious illnesses.
Aided and abetted by the U.S. government, biotech corporations benefit, yet we bear the health risks. The biotech industry often claims that the safety of GE products has been certified through a rigorous approval process but as far as U.S. regulatory agencies are concerned, if a biotech company says its products are safe, that is enough for approval.
Our food is being genetically altered so that a few multinational (and chemical) corporations can gain control over farmers and the global food supply. These same corporations, responsible for Agent Orange, PCBs, and DDT, have repeatedly done business at the expense of public health. And for more than a decade, they have been reprogramming, patenting, and owning an alarming amount of the world´s food supply””without public debate.
With so many pressing issues that affect us today, nothing is more personal than the food we eat. Even though there has been a media blackout effort regarding GE food and its risks, particularly in the United States, we are seeing a shift. A growing global movement is rejecting GE food and is returning to sustainable and organic food.
This is a profound time of responsibility not to rely on industry-influenced governmental agencies to protect us. The time to embrace conscious living and to move beyond corporate-political spin is now. We can make a difference.
Learn which foods have been genetically engineered and make other choices. Call food manufacturers and tell them you don´t want it. Get informed and tell your friends and family about GE food and the risks. We have to act today to protect our health, our environment, and future generations.
Change will only occur with an awakening of the people.
By Beth H. Harrison, PhD, author of four-time award-winning Shedding Light on Genetically Engineered Food, exploring why and how you have been kept in the dark about GE foods and the risks, why these foods continue to go unlabeled, and what foods to avoid and how to take action.
Reprinted by permission
Presented by Bill Haymin, 2008