Modify This

The horror stories don’t seem to be slowing the march of genetically modified products. Farmers have lost their crops to godzilla corn with rather scary results. Mega agro sued the farmers for stealing the product after pollen blew onto their property. All of this is brought to you by Monsanto, et al.

As I understand it, the problems with GM crops are legion: No one knows what the long-term impact of eating such products will be. Seeds from an existing crop cannot be saved for the next year, costing farmers a fortune. Mega-agro sends spies to check on the folks they’ve strong-armed into using their products. Mega-agro is in total control, shutting out small farmers who provide tastier, healthier products.

So it was with a great deal of dismay that I received an email from my friend Smiley (yes, that’s her real name ) who supplies awesome veggies to local markets. I contribute a small share to her effort with shredded paper and other compost. The Northeast Organic Farming Association has sent out an alert that the Obama administration is about to allow Monsanto to plant genetically engineered alfalfa during the upcoming growing season. I did not realize that alfalfa was such a huge and important crop. It feeds people (sprouts) but more importantly it provides a major portion of the feed for livestock, including dairy cows. It supplies vegetable growers with much needed nutrients in the form of mulch. I don’t want some bug-resistant, pesticide-resistant, genetically neutered product in my system, and I seriously doubt that most people who had a choice would either, if they knew. I understand the arguments about maximizing the amount of food available, but a great many people in a great many places have improved the food supply without franken-wheat and corn and rice.

It seems amazing that the government continues to allow mega-agro to exploit genetic modification. Then again, we’re talking big business here. Money rules.


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