Guest Column: Join us in the March Against Mansanto in Tahoe City
May 22, 2014
There's been a lot of news lately about GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and attempts to have them labeled. Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Dow Chemical and others have been in the food biotech business since the early 90s.
Monsanto holds the patent to a particularly disturbing seed line. The seeds are called "Roundup Ready" seeds and currently those seeds are in over 85 percent of the corn, soy and canola and other crops produced here in America.
Monsanto uses laboratories to alter the DNA structure of seeds adding pesticide or herbicide directly to the genetic composite of the plant. The crops that are grown from these pesticide and herbicide infused seeds pass on the same chemicals through their end product.
GMOs originally hailed as a way increase crop yields has turned out to be negligent at best. The insects and weeds that were to be resistant to these poisons have grown more resistant which requires the farmer to use more and more pesticide.
We the consumer now have our produce delivered with not only pesticides and herbicides built into it, but also on it. Within and on. Monsanto has improved its bottom line exponentially as the farmer who buys Monsanto's patented seeds must now use more and more Roundup to irradiate the continually more resistant insects and weeds.
The end result is produce laced with poisons coming to our dinner tables.
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Over 60 countries, including Russia, Japan and Austrailia have either banned GMO's entirely or demanded accurate labeling. GMO labeling has been required in almost every European country since 1997. France recently passed a law outlawing all GMO production within its borders.
Attempts to get our legislators in Washington to label our food have met with little success. The cronyism of Monsanto and our elected officials is blatantly cozy. Michael Taylor, former vice president of Monsanto, is the current deputy director of the FDA.
There is a bill currently making its presence known in Congress known as "The Dark Act: Deny Americans the Right-to-Know." It would effectively forbid states to demand food labeling with a fraudulent misconception allowing GMO altered foods to be called "natural."
It was written by corporations including Monsanto and the GMA (The Grocers and Manufacturers Association) — the same people that infused over 50 million dollars to defeat Prop. 37 here in California that would have required GMO food labeling.
If these GMO foods are safe and healthy, why would Monsanto spend millions of dollars to defeat their labeling? To save consumers money? Not likely. Feeling manipulated yet?
Recent long term studies by MIT and other prestigious universities show Roundup-ready crops and their herbicidal over-spraying are multiplying the incidences of Hodgkin's Lymphoma, lower sperm counts, liver disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and numerous cancers in humans.
There is a "March Against Monsanto" planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, May 24, at the "Wye" in Tahoe City. Please join us on May 24. Bring your banners, posters and signs. Bring your children, your neighbors and your parents. If we don't demand accurate labeling of our food, Monsanto's DNA altered chemical crops might be our only choice.
Learn more about other marches against Monsanto at march-against-monsanto.com.
Doug Bratt is a Truckee resident.
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