GMO food — boon or bane?

Sustainability means living so that future generations have enough to live on. As it happens, a billion people today don’t have enough to eat. Advocates of biotechnology say that we can’t feed the hungry of the world without using genetically modified foods that are engineered to withstand droughts and other unfavorable growing conditions. This is hotly disputed by other people. At any rate, the GMOs we hear most about in this country are engineered to withstand pesticides – so that more pesticides can be applied to the fields they grow in. did you know that a large percentage of pesticides end up in soil, waterways, and our bodies?

The GMO science is complex, but if the products are safe to eat, perhaps the manufacturers should just label them. They have so far refused. Until April 22, you can add your name to a California petition to require labeling of GMO foods. That’s it – just label it so we know what we’re choosing to eat.



We need citizen action because of the famous “revolving door” – government officials can get lucrative jobs after their public service, or even before. Monsanto is one of the biggest chemical companies and fights hard to push its products. Is it a coincidence that so many Monsanto executives have gone into government – or vice versa? See this astounding chart. A few examples: William Ruckelshaus was the first Chief Administrator of the EPA – and one of his other resume items is Member of the Monsanto Board of Directors. Carol Tucker-Foreman was a Monsanto lobbyist and became a consumer advocate in the Clinton White House. Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State, worked at the Rose Law Firm, Monsanto’s counsel. Clarence Thomas, on the Supreme Court, worked for Monsanto as an attorney. The list of these people, representing both political parties, is very long.

In the meantime, you can choose organic food, which is not allowed to have GMO, and check out the Non GMO Shopping Guide for additional tips. It’s regrettable that an article about food has to deal with politics — but that’s where the future of sustainable food is taking place.


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