Frankenfoods: The Most Important Vote You’ll Never Cast

When I was a kid, — long ago, — we took a summer vacation to Aunt Betty’s in La Crescenta, Calif., just north of Los Angeles.

The first thing I noticed (after the eyeball-searing smog,) was that cousins Dulice and Rob were different from my brother and me, even though we were roughly the same ages. Our cousins acted disconcertingly older. They talked differently, using words like “gnarly” and “groovy,” (honest). And most obviously, they dressed differently.

Dulice, well, tween-age girls in Omaha didn’t look as hot as Dulice did in her tube-tops and short-shorts. Rob wore what he called huarache sandals as he coasted downhill on what he said was a “skateboard.” But I most envied Rob’s “surfer shirts.” These were colorful shirts with wide stripes, usually vertical but on tee shirts, usually horizontal. I had to have one. So we traipsed to the nearby shopping center and I got myself a black-and-white striped tee.

Home in Nebraska, the surfer shirt didn’t have the impact I expected. Remember, there was no internet then, or national, broad-based media to let kids in Omaha know that I was wearing something cool. So, naturally, my Omaha peers chose to see it as geeky. Geeky it remained until surfer shirts and skateboards started showing up at the Crossroads nearly five years later. Yes, believe it or not, unless something somehow made it to the Today Show or Johnny Carson, (like the hula hoop or the twist,) there was about a half-decade delay for trends to reach the Midwest from the Coast.

In some cases, things haven’t changed much. Acupuncture trended in California in the 1980s. It was over 20 years later that acupuncture became a licensed modality in Nebraska. Medical marijuana? You’ll wait a lot longer than five years for Nebraska to catch up to California, Michigan, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and 11 other states in that regard.

As goes the Golden State… On November 6, Nebraskans won’t be voting on the most important issue to face Americans and our offspring. That ballot choice will only be available in the Golden State. It’s called Proposition 37.

Proposition 37 may be the simplest proposal on any ballot in the United States this fall. Voters in California will decide whether consumers have a right to know if they are purchasing food that has been genetically modified. It enables a law requiring foods in supermarkets to say whether they contain GMOs or not. Not really a big deal: We require listing of peanuts and stuff like that. Why not GMOs?

Though supporters of genetically engineered food say it is “natural” and safe, it is anything but. It’s a simple argument, really. GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms, sometimes also referred to as GE for “genetically engineered,” are the result of an unnatural combination on the intracellular level that could never happen without human interference and hubris.

One of the lamest arguments supporters of GMOs make is that mankind has been manipulating species for centuries by forcibly causing animals or plants to procreate. They say GMOs are roughly the same thing. A logical look at that argument reduces it to ludicrousness.

How now, brown cow? Yes, humans have manipulated interbreeding. Simplified examples? We’ve put a brown bull with a white cow and hoped for a brown and white calf. Sometimes it works. Or we intentionally cross-pollinated a white corn plant with yellow corn and hoped for a hybrid that has ears of white and yellow kernels. In each case, the change does indeed occur on the genetic level. But in those cases, we’re facilitating something that could have easily happened in nature, without our deep-science interference.

It’s not unnatural for a brown bull to breed a white cow. It’s natural for white corn to cross-pollinate yellow corn. But with GMOs, science can combine the genes from a mouse with those of a tomato. (Which has happened, by the way.) Tell me how the hell that would happen in nature? Ever see Mickey mount an Early Girl?

Dan Quayle made it so. No, there is nothing “natural” about GMOs. But regardless of that argument, shouldn’t we, as consumers, at least have the right to know if we’re eating them or not? All Prop 37 asks is, “Hey, Big Food Guys, put it on the label, please. Let me decide.”

But Big Food Guys don’t want that. Since nearly all conventional processed food contains some sort of GMO, they’re afraid they’d lose market share. One argument asks if GMOs are good for us, then why not label? And if they aren’t beneficial to human nutrition, why are they in food at all?

The answer is money. Big Food makes a fortune on GMO seeds and the pesticide sales it enables. In order, look at the leading companies who are spending money to oppose Prop 37: Monsanto ($7.1 million), DuPont ($4.9 M), BASF, Bayer & Dow, ($2 M each.) That means Monsanto, DuPont and friends are controlling the food we eat, folks.

Find out more about GMOs. Google <GMOs Dan Quayle>. Meanwhile, surf’s up somewhere.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit HeartlandHealing.com for past articles.

posted at 11:46 am
on Friday, October 19th, 2012

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