|GMO Seed Corn, Photo by Oculator|
From the photo description: "Better Living through Genetic Modification"
"An empty seed bag blew into the yard from passing farm machinery. This year's corn crop; next year's high-fructose corn syrup. I hope it doesn't do a gene swap with poison ivy! The tag boasts of three patented genes that the corn contains that make it resistant to herbicides. So: farmers can spray harsh chemicals on the corn without killing it, and thus yield more of it to make our cornflakes."
WHAT are THEY doing to my food?? I thought I had it mostly all figured out when I recently posted about the contaminated animal manure sludge being spread on our agricultural fields as one probable cause of the E. Coli outbreaks in Europe. Turns out it still might be that, plus something even more insidious... e. coli in their genes.
GMO foods now control the majority of the grocery shelves, and although I try to stay informed, somehow I totally overlooked (or forgot) the fact that Monsanto and others use E. Coli in gene splicing in order to manufacture GMO's.
Now, I really do know not all strains of E. Coli are bad... my intestines would not function to convert ingested food to energy and/or bodily functions if I didn't have a resident host of beneficial E. Coli in my system.
However, when companies splice in not only E. Coli genes, but also antibiotic suppressor genes... who is to really know what that might create or evolve into, without years of independent testing before subjecting humans as test objects? Could replicating seeds that are E. Coli gene-spliced be the bottom line (the source) to the recent European E. Coli outbreak that reached the US during the first week of June, 2011?
Here's how gene splicing works:
1) A piece of DNA from the target cell is removed
2) A strand of E. coli bacteria DNA is inserted in it's place. Cells are naturally resistant to gene splicing, (it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out), so you actually need to "infect" the food cell with a bacteria in order for the gene splicing to take place
3) Because cells will try to eliminate bacteria, there is also a DNA strand of an antibiotic suppressor inserted. Pharmacists are cringing at this thought, especially since we are already in danger of becoming immune to many antibiotics! Injecting an "anti" antibiotic into our food can NOT lead to anything good!
4) Finally a piece of genetic code for the "round-up ready" trait is inserted. Methods of insertion include using a "gene gun" which injects all this DNA junk with little pieces of gold to help destroy the cell membranes.
5) The end product that is manufactured often is covered with tumors because of the bacterial infection that ensues.
6) Yay, now we have "food" that won't die when you put deadly chemicals and pesticides all over it in the field. Congratulations! Can't wait for dinner! (Read as sarcasm, please!) Source
Just 3 companies now control 85% of all the seeds world-wide. The only way to be sure of safe seeds is to grow open-pollinated or heirloom vegetables and hope there are no GMO fields nearby that can cross-contaminate your crops... then save your seeds. The growing number of seeds spliced with the Terminator Gene is frightening, although they are supposedly not used in the marketplace yet. The last I read on Terminator Technology was over a year ago, and the US Government then owned more than half of all the patents. WHY?
|Berkely Student Food Coop, Photo by Jason Riedy|
Seed Keeping has been an intrinsic part of life for thousands of years. Without the seed, there is no food.
"The gift of the seed is the ultimate gift - it is the gift of life, of heritage, of knowledge and of continuity. Saving seeds is saving biodiversity, saving knowledge of the seed and it's uses, saving cultures and conserving life."
- Dr. Vandana Shiva