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"You may say I'm a dreamer…"

Posted by Arran Stephens on November 8th, 2012 under Arran's Musings, GMO Updates

Imagine a world...where…

...everything has been genetically engineered and patented... Already, the top 10 pesticide companies account for more than 73% of the global seed supply. Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta control over 53%. What makes you think they will stop at anything to own everything?

Imagine... a world where the monopoly employs its own police force beyond the control of government...(it’s here).
Imagine... a world where the monopoly and the State are indistinguishable...Imagine that!
Imagine... a world where genetic diversity diminishes daily, faster than you think, just like the melting polar ice caps.
Imagine... a world where diligent organic family farms are contaminated by GMOs not of their choosing. Organic farmers are the only bulwark against the GMO tide. As an organic farmer and entrepreneur, this has me fighting mad! We never asked for their damned GMOs and we will never capitulate!
Imagine... a world poisoned and barren... what will be our legacy?
Imagine... dead zones in our living oceans caused by human folly.
Imagine... an explosion of obesity, cancer, allergies, heart disease... thanks to toxic chemicals and junk food.
Imagine... a farmer in India committing suicide every 30 minutes.

Let me explain: More than 250,000 cotton farmers have suicided since GE cotton was introduced in India ten short years ago... Someone’s son, father, husband or brother. Imagine the suffering of their families left behind. For hundreds of years, Indian farmers saved seed for the following year’s crop. Using manure and natural inputs for fertilizer, they had no need for toxic chemicals. That changed when Monsanto introduced Bt cotton in India, with herbicide- resistance and pesticide engineered right into the seed. Dealers promised the gullible amazing yields, reduced pesticides and big profits. Farm village after farm village fell for this new and supposedly better method. After all, it was scientific, modern and American, right?

Here’s the catch: GMO cotton seed escalated from 5 rupees per kilo to a whopping 2,500 rupees per kilo. GMO cotton is resistant to only one pest—but not to other rampant pests, and requires increasing applications of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. GMO cotton requires regular irrigation, but in India, cotton crops are rain-dependent. It has been a bitter harvest because GMO seeds don’t grow properly with irregular rainfall and they cannot be grown from year to year, so the traditional system of seed saving is disrupted.

Caught in a cycle of dependency and despair, farmers are forced to go to loan-sharks charging 7% to 10% per month interest so they can buy seed for the next year’s crop. These good people put their thumbprint on a deed, and, failing to repay, lose their traditional homes and are dispossessed. Is it any wonder that these once proud people commit suicide in such huge numbers? What’s their usual method of commiting suicide? By drinking pesticide. Effective, but a horrible way to die.

Some good news:

...a headline from a leading newspaper: 10 Aug 2012 – “After months of dithering, Maharashtra—[India’s largest cotton state]—has finally banned Monsanto.” Their GE eggplant was also banned 2012.

Imagine... More than 500,000 Indian farmers have recently returned to traditional sustainable organic farming. There’s a beautiful documentary film on this called “Bitter Seeds” which I strongly recommend. A former geneticist, Dr. Vandana Shiva has led and inspired this grassroots agrarian reform.

The chemical/seed monopolies dropped $50 million in a highly deceitful fear media blitz to defeat California’s Right to Know—Genetically Engineered Food Act, Proposition 37, to deprive citizens of your basic democratic right to have GMOs labeled.

A study conducted by Joanna Shepherd Bailey, Ph.D., at Emory University School of Law found that, “consumers will likely see no increases in prices as a result of the relabeling required.”

And it’s not just studies that show this – 61 other countries label GE foods; and in Europe, for example, there were no changes in food costs due to labeling of GE foods.

Isn’t it time for us to label GE foods? Time to give people a choice as to whether we want to feed this stuff to our families?

In a mere 20 years, more than 90% of the world’s corn, soy, canola, sugar beets and 100% of commercial Hawaiian papayas are now genetically engineered...Hundreds of other patented GE seeds are in the wings...alfalfa, wheat, sweet corn, squash, you name it. The seed and chemical companies continue to gain power. Huge profits are at stake, which is why they will stop at nothing to defeat the right to know. They know that once you know via a simple label declaration, you will choose non-GMO.

GMOs are patented alien life forms that have had pesticides, bacteria and animal traits spliced into the host seeds. These genetic traits are hidden within the foods we are eating, with no labelling. That’s why they are called Frankenfoods. They may look the same, but they are not the same. There have been NO human or long-term animal safety tests to prove their safety and efficacy. In a recent secret two year study by a Gilles-Eric Séralini, a French scientist, found rats fed a diet of GMO corn and a trace of herbicide developed 2 to 3 times more cancerous tumors than the control group.

Do GMOs really reduce toxic pesticide as the pesticide companies promise? Since GMOs were introduced in 1996 to 2008, toxic herbicide use increased 527,000,000 Ibs! It is simply not possible to conceive that this is not having disastrous impacts upon life on the planet.

Consequences:

...What’re the long-term consequences of gene splicing pesticides, bacterium, glyphosate resistance or an eel gene into a plant seed?

We don’t know, and the pesticide companies don’t want you to know. I urge those who care about facts and statistics to read the peer- reviewed study “GMO MYTHS AND TRUTHS” by independent geneticists, Fagan and Antoniou. It’s available for free on the web. Whether we like it or not, we are guinea pigs in the biggest human experiment in history.

That’s why we must have the right to know what is in our food.

Imagine... A better world. Fit to live in. A world where the water is fit to drink, the air fit to breathe, food that is good, delicious and healthy, grown in a way that doesn’t rape the land, destroy the farmer, or make you sick. A world of love, of caring, of tolerance, peace and respect for all. A worthy legacy for our children’s children’s children.

“You, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. (Thanks, John) I hope some day you’ll join us And the world will be as one.”

BE GOOD, DO GOOD AND BE ONE.

God bless!

Arran Stephens Founder & Garden-Keeper
 

Arran Stephens

As an artist, author, environmentalist, and founder of America’s largest certified organic cereal company, Arran is a voice of experience in the alternative food industry. His values — sustainability, community, and spirituality — have fuelled a pioneering career in business.