Gambling with your health and well-being for the sake of more profitable hamburgers.
One of the main purposes of genetically modifying food plants such as wheat and corn is to make them resistant to a weed-killer called Roundup, which is sprayed on food crops several times in a season ~ including right before harvesting to dry the crop out. The principal active ingredient of Roundup is a chemical called Glyphosate. Of many lies told about glyphosate is that it was discovered by Monsanto in 1970. In fact this nasty chemical was first patented as a descaling and chelating agent for boilers and pipes by the Stauffer Chemical Co. in 1961. It’s a drain cleaner.
Glyphosate is a poisonous organophosphorus carcinogen.
When I was a boy, learning about farming, I was told about field rotation, (or crop rotation), which is the practice of changing what the farmer grows on any piece of land on a four-year cycle. This prevents such nasty things as soil erosion, soil exhaustion, soil poisoning, and poor soil fertility ~ all of which lead to poor crop yields.
Modern agribusiness doesn’t practice crop rotation, instead it uses monoculture farming. This destructive method of land use requires large amounts of artificial fertilisers and pesticides to make it work, and it leads to an unbalanced and unsustainable ecosystem. Agribusiness in the USA does not work in harmony with the land, instead it beats the land into submission to produce larger and larger amounts of poisonous food and drink.
These are very similar farming practices to those which caused the Great Plains dust bowl of the 1930’s, except modern farming practices are far more intensive and artificial than anything dreamed of by the farmers who helped cause the Great Depression. Today, agriculture is based on very capital-intensive heavy machinery.
If a farmer in a typical high plains farming community decides to eschew intensive chemical-based monoculture and embrace more ecologically sustainable organic agriculture, he / she is likely to be ostracised by the rest of his / her community. Peer pressure is a powerful thing and very difficult to ignore. Most farmers are in denial about the damage they are doing to the soil, the rivers, the sea, and the wider environment. Not to mention the poisons they are putting into your food and drink.
These chemical fertilisers and pesticides can take decades to completely clear from the environment. The half-life of glyphosate in soil and water is much longer than Monsanto would like to admit. Monsanto is a German company.
Some say they would never shop at a farmers market or buy organic produce. And some people don’t believe that intensive farming practices are killing them. All I know is that in 1945 about 45% of American food was grown in people’s back yards.
And, by the way, probiotic drinks are very bad for your health. The live bacteria in probiotic drinks originated in cows.
anything made with grains is bad for you
unless it’s organic, then it’s not so bad
Am I the only one who thinks that releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys to help combat the Zika virus is a terrible idea?
Not quite. Local residents have launched a campaign to stop the release of these mutant bugs on the grounds that this kind of idiocy almost always has catastrophic unintended consequences. It seems a British company, (Oxitec), has programmed a strain of male Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes to only have offspring which will die before they reach breeding age. Seems to me that these British scientists don’t know much about these nasty little critters. One obvious snag is there are just so many of these insects and they have such a fast life cycle. What’s worse is that these GM bugs have not undergone proper testing ~ the Florida Keys release is by way of a very large-scale test.
Another snag is that disease carrying mosquitoes are not just in Florida. If you believe in global warming they are also going to be a problem in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and California. And, just do not even think of going anywhere south of the Mexican border.
The US Food and Drug Administration loves to approve GM organisms which haven’t been thoroughly tested, and without understanding what the long-term effects are going to be. Why is that? Money or hubris?
Female Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, (females are the dangerous, blood-sucking, ones), mate in a swarming cloud of males, and can lay a clutch of 100 or so eggs on a damp surface near stagnant water. The malarial mosquito was just about eliminated worldwide by DDT, (now banned), and completely eliminated in Panama during the building of the canal by eradicating the open, still water, on which the larvae depend. (Spraying water with oil works well…)
The disastrous results of previous animal releases still blight the world. Just ask the Australians what they think of bullfrogs and rabbits. Or the more enlightened New Zealanders what they think about cats. Come to that haven’t the Oxitec people ever seen Jurassic Park?
Three outcomes are likely from this release, none of them good;
- This GM mosquito technique will cost a fortune and won’t work at all.
- The genetically modified Aedes Aegypti will mutate into something else.
- This will work, the Aedes Aegypti will die out and something even nastier will take their place, (the Asian tiger mosquito, for example).
Man has a habit of doing things because they are possible, and not because they are such a good idea. Nature has a habit of finding a way to exploit man’s best intentions.
You don’t need to be Einstein to see that this is all going to end in tears.