Oh dear, where to begin.
Surprise, surprise, a major retailer has sold out. Or rather, their trying to cover their asses because so many of their products are probably already contaminated. Because big organic (WF-style) is not all that different from regular farming (e.g. they still use pesticides, etc).
So here’s a brief history of food:
Monsato owns it. That’s it.
They are a ginormous conglomerate that wants to genetically modify every crop despite the fact that we do not know the risks of consuming such crops. They’ve ruined the lives and well being of millions of small farmers by forcing prices and subsidies to ridiculous levels so these families are forced to take huge lines of credit and sink into bankruptcy and ruin their land and etc. They’ve ruined the land by pushing for regulation that supports monoculture (one crop grown, usually corn or soy) rather than polyculture (multiple crops, rotated throughout). They’ve ruined the lives of the communities surrounding such farms where the waste from their toxic sprays is contaminating water and soil and thus food.
Well Monsanto and the USDA who they (along with the cattle ranchers association and the like) have in their back pocket aka own because these corporations have tons of $$$$$$ to make sure policy decisions go in their favor.
Yes I sound like a petulant child. You know what, you should too.
Let me re-frame this. Did the bail-out piss you off? Does the tax loophole for corporations piss you off? Good, then we’re on the same team.
What people don’t always seem to realize is this: these are all the same damn issues, manifesting themselves in different ways with different masks and costumes.
So what can you do?
- Step 1: Get angry. You can no longer trust any food company to provide high quality, sustainable food produced in quality working conditions.
- Step 2: Sign the petition. This is the easy and takes two seconds.
- Step 3: Educate yourself. Read stuff by Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman (my new author crush), etc.
- Step 4: Think about your food choices. Stop buying that crap. Sign up for a CSA, grow your own herbs, go to the farmer’s market, shop at your local health food store. Support companies who are a part of the Non-GMO Project (whose work I support despite what the first article says).
I recognize this might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But fact of the matter is, we don’t have a choice anymore. We inherited these issues, along with things like global warming, and its up to us to reverse the course and undo as much damage as possible.
I also realize that I might lose some readers for this post. Its a risk I’m willing to take because unlike other things I feel passionately about (e.g. Passion), this is not something I am flexible on because these are issues that truly and deeply affect each and every person, present and future, in this country, regardless of gender/race/economic class. Its about time we realized that.
As I’ve continued to explore these issues I’ve found more on the story. Please continue educating yourselves with these stories about what this legislation means for you as a consumer of organic goods as well as more on Monsanto’s tactics (3rd article).
The decision was a stunning reversal of a more measured approach that Vilsack appeared to be taking in December, when the USDA talked about considering the impact of the GM crop on other sectors of agriculture. But that was before he faced an uproar by the GM industry and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal for playing nice with organic farmers
The USDA had been considering two potential decisions on this issue – either full deregulation or deregulation with restrictions. The latter would have set rules to protect non-GE crops from contamination.
Once a farmer begins using Monsanto seeds, they are essentially hooked for life. They cannot easily go back to using traditional methods because the cross-contamination of their seeds with those from Monsanto results in an infringement of the patent and trademark laws. Many farmers who have never even used Monsanto seeds have fallen victim to these laws due to the cross-pollination effect of wind, that occurs naturally.