Wednesday, November 6, 2013

To GMO or not to GMO ? that is the question...

 As the battle around GMO based foods heats up here in Jackson county, now is a good time to summarize and reiterate our stance on the subject.  So here are my own top thoughts on the matter of GMO based foods.

Lets lay down some known facts to frame the discussion:

1. The unintentional spread of pollen from GMO crops can not be prevented. 
2. GMO crops have not, to date, produced higher yields than non-gmo crops
3. The safety of GMO foods has not been proven, and has not even been thoroughly studied. 
4. The primary purpose for genetic modification is to allow the use of higher, or built in, pesticides and herbicides, leaving higher traces of poison in the foods that reach the supermarket and tables. 
5. the primary supporters of GMO agriculture is the companies that produce them, and the government officials they bribe and support. 
6. GMO crops are more susceptible to failure from unexpected weather patterns, putting our food supply at risk. (which partially explains #2)
7.  GMO varieties eventually cause permanent extinction of non-gmo varieties (because of #1)

the bottom line here is that the only entities that benefit from GMO crops is, in fact, the producer of the GMO crop itself and the producers of the chemical poisons used on the GMO crop as herbicides and Pesticides. Well, i suppose there is one other benefactor... the politicians that get paid to promote and support GMO crops.  Everyone else looses. 

One of the little known facts about GMO that I'd like to point to is this...  The foundational system of these crops is flawed, in a bad way.  All throughout history, farmers have kept their own seed from crop to crop, generation to generation. With each successive planting and harvest, the genetics of the plants slowly improve because of the "survival of the fittest".  The plants are adapting to the particular ground, the weather patterns, the farming style,  the environment, etc of that particular farm. The plant improves every year even without the farmer doing anything except keeping a percentage of seed each year to plant the next years crop. that is how nature works. 

until... gmos enter. With gmo's it is a requirements that the seeds come from a central producer each year... the company that produces the genetic trait.  It is the same seeds, planted all across the country, every year. that means that each year the crops are starting from scratch again. There is no chance for improvement, no adaptation to local weather, ground, or farming styles. The genetics are tightly controlled by a single entity, the corporation producing the gmo seeds. Regardless of the benefit of hte genetic trait itself... the seeds loose all of the other advantages of local adaptation, so to gain one positive trait, it loosed a dozen others.  It is a net loss. 

This is why genetically modified crops have not, to date, produced higher nor cheaper yields. What they gain in a particular trait they loose in many others and from year to year, the lack of other positive traits reduces yield more than the single beneficial trait increases it. 

As if that wasn't enough, there is yet another insidious but hidden fault in the foundation. Since the genetic trait is owned by a single entity, and all the seeds are identical.. all across the nation...  anything unexpected that happens in the weather or growing conditions will and has doomed crops all across the nation to fail. They are all susceptible to the same problems! Again, in times past, every farmer , every area, has a slightly different seed, adapted to its local environment. So if an unexpected weather patter arises, only a portion of the nations crops are susceptible, the rest are immune. that is insurance.. the bulk of the food supply is safe. With GMO's, the food supply is at great risk to seemingly minor weather patterns. 

So there you have two important foundational reasons that the use of GMO crops is bad for our nation... and puts our food supply at risk. Even when you set aide the safety argument, and the political argument, and the uncontrollable contamination argument... even if the genetic trait IS beneficial, even if you disregard the resulting production of super weeds and super bugs... with all that put aside, genetic modification in and of itself is flawed foundationally for the above two reason and should be stopped. 

In my humble opinion, this is not just a question for Jackson county, it is a matter of national security.  IF the worst happened, and our crops were all switched to GMO either intentionally or unintentionally,  we are at risk for national food shortages due to simple weather pattern changes Or bio terror attacks from our enemies. 

To GMO or NOT ?  its simple... NOT. not here, not anywhere.. because the loss is greater than the gain. 

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