It does not appear that that battle over the safety of Genetically-modified foods (GMOs) will end anytime soon. Food industry heavyweights are actually suing the state of Vermont trying to get their new GMO labeling law scuttled before it is even set to be enacted on 2016.
There’s a good reason the interests that profit from GMO foods are fighting the new law so hard. They think it will scare consumers away from buying their food. That’s probably a valid concern, but our right to know what we are eating trumps the food industry’s right to make billions selling us stuff that may not be safe to eat.
The food industry’s response is predictable, as is the response of those self-appointed internet science “experts” who write articles proclaiming that there is no evidence that GMOs present a danger while painting anyone who questions the safety of GMOs as an alarmist, lunatic or shill.
I’d like to take a look at GMO foods from a different angle, and leave the whole safety issue aside for a while. Let’s imagine that GMOs are completely safe and that they don’t present any danger whatsoever. This is the stance that all the GMO companies have taken, so let’s indulge them, shall we?
So why is it that the food industry fights tooth and nail against food labeling laws that would force them to disclose that there are GMO ingredients in the products that line supermarket shelves?
Money. As is always the case, it always comes down to money. And lots of it. The more time I spend on this planet, the more I begin to believe that money really is the root of all evil.
By now, just about everyone who is not living in a cave has heard about GMO foods. So far, that does not seem to have deterred the average consumer when it come to loading their shopping carts with processed foods that are made with GMO ingredients. So far so good for the food industry.
What scares them is the idea that food packaging that actually lists GMO food ingredients and discloses that they are GMO will scare consumers, and might make more of them reject GMO foods.
Big companies like Monsanto and Bayer have a lot invested in GMO foods, and to big corporations like that, money is their God. A lot of people might not realize that these companies are patenting the GMO seeds they sell to farmers. With these patents, special rules apply, such as forbidding the farmers to reuse seeds from the GMO crops they grow â€“ presuming that seed-saving is even possible with GMO seeds.
Yes, it’s not good (or profitable enough) to simply sell a farmer the seeds he needs to grow his crop and leave it at that. The GMO seed companies use Orwellian tactics to exercise complete control over how it is used, meaning, of course, that the farmer has to buy all of his seeds from the GMO seed company each and every year if he wants to use their super-duper, whiz-bang, gee-whiz, high-tech seeds.
Let’s take a closer look at how Monsanto’s greed drove them to create a new strain of corn that gives them a lock on both what a farmer grows and how he grows it. The company’s “Round-Up Ready” corn has been modified to make it immune to the popular herbicide Round-Up. That allows farmers to apply the herbicide to their crops rather indiscriminately to kill off weeds without killing the corn.
You have to admit, that’s a pretty nifty trick. Want to know what makes it even niftier? Round-Up is Monsanto’s product. How cool is that for them? Not only do they make money off the seeds they sell, they also make a bundle on the back end since farmers pretty much have to use Round-Up to treat their “Round-Up” ready crops. Genius!
How about the claims that GMO food will increase food production so dramatically that they will one day help to stop hunger in the world? Well, why don’t you GMO proponents get back to me in about 50 years and we’ll see if those “Feed The Children” ads are still running on TV, or on your holographic projection system or whatever people are watching if the human race does not somehow manage to exterminate itself by then.
Big greedy, soulless corporations will always try to put the best face on their efforts to pump up their insanely vast fortunes to levels that even they probably find hard to believe. The consequences are usually irrelevant as long as it has no measurable effect on the bottom line.
Even when we ignore the issue of GMO safety, it’s still quite easy to see that the corporations that create GMO food ingredients have no interest in ending hunger or creating better or more healthy food for the masses. Their interests begin and end with profit, and I couldn’t mean that any more literally.
Take a look at something like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It has been quietly added to a vast number of foods as a replacement for sugar or as an additional sweetener for years. Now even mainstream science is admitting that HFCS presents a very real health risk and increases the risk of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and liver disease.
Does anyone believe that these massive corporations with billions and billions of dollars to spend on research didn’t know that HFCS was potentially harmful over the last three decades or so it has been used so heavily? If so, I hear there’s some prime oceanfront property in Arizona that might interest you.
My point here is that these big companies know exactly what they are doing, and whether or not GMO food is a danger. They simply don’t care. What they care about is how much they can profit from it. And if you haven’t figured that out by now, there really isn’t a whole lot anyone can do to make you see the light.