Santa Cruz County Citizens have spoken and County Supervisors listened as they unanimously approved a moratorium on growing genetically engineered crops in Santa Cruz County. The county now joins Marin and Mendicino in outlawing the plants.
The Board received over 100 letters, e-mails, and phone calls in support of the GE Moratorium which “makes it unlawful for any person to propagate, cultivate, raise, or grow any genetically engineered crop and declares that any act in violation of this prohibition constitutes a public nuisance.”
Why Genetic Engineering is an Issue
Life has evolved on our planet for billions of years. Humans now have the technology to undo nature’s wisdom and destroy the very blueprint of life. Genetic Engineering (GE) poses a serious threat to the health and safety of the human species and the entire planet. It may be one of the single most important issues we face due to the potential for massive long-term damage.
Inherently Dangerous Technology
The methods used to insert foreign DNA into plants and animals are imprecise and prone to error. The inserted DNA is unstable and migrates to other species. When DNA is corrupted the genetic code may no longer be able to produce or sustain a healthy being. The effects are unpredictable and irreversible. While we have the technology to tamper with DNA we do not have the technology to detect or treat the diseases which are caused by GE.
GE Kills. Damage has been and is being caused by genetic engineering:
A normally harmless dietary supplement called L-tryptophan killed an estimated 125 people and caused horrible disease in thousands of others in the late 1980’s. The toxic supplement was produced by genetically engineered bacteria. The illness continues to haunt the victims as the disease progresses. After 15 years, the specific cause of the disease has yet to be determined and no cure has been found.
The only real safety testing done on GE crops has shown that they are highly dangerous.
When StarLink® corn was mixed with non-GE corn thousands of people fell ill and over 300 products had to be recalled and 100s of millions of bushels of corn had to be pulled from the supply chain. The contamination persists in the food supply and may be permanent according to the StarLink® manufacturer.
DNA from illegal industrial corn has contaminated native species of corn in Oaxaca, Mexico, one of the few remaining genetic repositories for corn. The contamination compromises the bio-integrity of one the world’s most important food crops.
The transgenes from GE crops are contaminating a wide variety of non-GE plants – the contamination cannot be undone.
Food allergies have increased dramatically in countries when GE foods are introduced.
The method of engineering plants that produce their own pesticides is extremely dangerous because the bacteria used is closely related to anthrax bacteria. As the DNA jumps from one bacteria to another it can pick up additional harmful DNA and carry it to the next species. Two men in Texas died from a relatively harmless bacteria that had taken on the DNA of anthrax bacteria.
Antibiotic resistence in bacteria is an unavoidable consequence of current GE methods.
Some farm animals fed GE corn are becoming sterile, producing birth defects and coming down with new and untreatable diseases.
No Oversight or Safety Testing
The United States and Canada are two of the few industrialized countries that don’t require labeling of GE food. The United States requires no safety testing of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and there is no real oversight. This is because the agri-tech industry early-on corrupted and gained near total control of the agencies responsible for regulating them.
The largest companies conducting agricultural genetic engineering and releasing genetically modified organisms have a long history of lying and criminal activity. Agri-tech giant Monsanto is the same chemical company that manufactured DDT, Agent Orange, Dioxin and PCBs and insisted that they were safe. Monsanto’s products have caused massive death, disease and suffering around the world. In 2002 the state of Alabama found Monsanto guilty of “wantonness, suppression of the truth, nuisance, trespass and outrage” for continually dumping PCBs near their plant in Anniston when they knew that death, disease and massive environmental contamination would be the result. Monsanto has stated that it’s goal is to control 100% of the world’s food supply through genetic engineering. They have already invested billions in acheiving the goal.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Biotech industry spent $143 million dollars lobbying between 1998 and 2002. As a result these companies have gained tremendous control over the government agencies that are supposed to regulate them and government has simply become an extension of the corporate interests.
A Truly Sinister Scheme
Current patent laws give ownership of an entire organism to the DNA patent holder if their patented DNA exists in the organism, regardless of how it got there. As GE transgenes migrate from one plant to another the ownership of the plants is automatically transferred at the same time.
A case in Canada was upheld all the way to the supreme court when a canola farmer’s crop was contaminated with Monsanto patented DNA and established the illegitimate but legal supremacy of corporate ownership of life forms.
It is estimated that 100% of canola now has patented DNA. Corn and soy are substantially contaminated and the contamination is increasing rapidly. Rice and wheat are the next major food crops to be contaminated and owned by agri-techs.
The Potential Consequences
If events are allowed to unfold as they currently are it is inevitable that large criminal corporations will gain control over most of the world’s food supply. Given that the methods to genetically engineer crops are crude and unpredicatable it is also inevitable that the food itself will cause death and untreatable disease not only in humans but also in pets, farm animals and wild animals.
The DNA from GMOs is migrating through the soil and radically altering soil biology. Microbes and insects are being genetically modified in ways that have never existed before in nature. Since all life is interconnected, modifying even the smallest part of the Earth’s ecosystem can impact the entire ecosystem.
The fact is that life itself is at stake. We owe it to future generations to ensure that we do everything possible to prevent further contamination of genetic code.
What Has to be Done
Due to the power of the agri-tech industry and the corruption of mass media, academia and government, it is up to individuals and NGOs to bring this issue out into the open. It is not too late to educate people. If enough people are made aware of the issue they can make informed individual decisions and bring pressure to bear upon government.
In order to prevent the worst from occuring it is essential that:
Genetic engineering must not be allowed to be conducted without effective regulation and oversight.
No additional genetically engineered organisms should be allowed outside the lab without sufficient independent safety testing.
No genetically modified ingredients should be allowed in food without proper labeling.
Actions must be taken on a county and state/provincial level where a certain measure of democracy still exists, while simultaneously pressuring the federal government to enact effective legislation.
An effective international educational campaign must be undertaken immediately.
For more info. visit www.badseed.info