THOSE PESKY GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS
Genome scientists have discovered that the sharing of genetic information isn’t only passed down from parent to offspring in each particular species. Through a process called gene transfer, genetic information passes between different species. This is how all life on earth evolves, as a community. Cooperation is at the heart of survival.
Think about it: one species can gain the “learned experiences” of another species through gene transfer. We are indeed all connected. Darwin was wrong. It’s not a matter of the survival of the fittest individuals but the survival of the fittest groups across the entire planet.
Nature is smart. This sharing of information is practical. It greatly improves the chances for the survival of the biosphere. Hey, it’s no accident that the earth has been around for billions of years.
So this brings us to the problem of genetically modified organisms. The dangers and risks of genetic engineering are obvious. Meddling with genes in isolation—without considering the endless connected variables—is a modern Pandora’s Box. Genetically modified organisms can alter the whole biosphere in unpredictable and destructive ways. J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote: “Those who break a thing to find out what it is have left the path of wisdom.”
Altering the genes of an apple doesn’t end with that apple because nothing exists in isolation. Everything affects something else and results in consequences. For example, a study* proves that when people eat genetically modified foods, the artificially manufactured genes transfer into and change the character of the “good” bacteria in the intestine. And beneficial bacteria are essential for our very existence. Long-term effects of eating genetically modified foods remain unknown.
[*Source: Netherwood, T., S. M. Martín-Orúe, et al. (2004). “Assessing the survival of transgenic plant DNA in the human gastrointestinal tract.” Nature Biotechnology 22(2):
THE REAL ECO-TERRORIST
Monsanto seeks to control the world food supply. It’s a scenario of destruction. As a society we must stand up to monopolies that value financial profit more than life.
A few highlights from the history of Monsanto:
• Lied about the safety of DDT and Agent Orange*
• Poisoned tens of thousands of citizens in Anniston, Alabama
• Caused hundreds of farmers in India to commit suicide
• Dumped lethal chemical waste that contaminated homes in South Wales, UK
• Gave us 80% of existing GMOs
• Destroyed—and continues to destroy—the land with toxic chemicals
*Agent Orange was the deadly herbicide unleashed in the jungles of Vietnam during the war. This cancer-causing toxin is still used today in Oregon by the U.S. government for prepping clear-cuts in national forests and on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) properties. In 1979 and 1980 the dwellers of Applegate Valley banded together to successfully protest and resist encroachment. Aerial spraying was thwarted, as well as some slated killing of trees. In defending the valley, the community demonstrated the effective strategy of direct action.
THE NECESSITY OF SHIFTING TO A BIOCENTRIC PERSPECTIVE OF THE WORLD
No one can own the sun, the moon, and the stars. The well-being of the earth is threatened by profiteers who seek to patent seeds, animals, and life. Humans cannot improve on billions of years of evolution by tinkering in a lab. Nature cannot be conquered.
EXCELLENT CRASH COURSE
Dr. Shiva is a dedicated anti-GMO activist who makes complex scientific issues easy for the general public to understand. She is a champion of protecting the earth’s healthy biodiversity.
THE PROBLEM WITH PATENTS
A great introduction to the dangerous problems of GMOs. Transnational corporations want to control the food we eat. Unlabeled GMO products are steadily infiltrating grocery store shelves. This documentary explores the negative impact of GMOs: the risks to human health, the injustice suffered by farmers who try to resist the domination of corporations, and the jeopardy to the entire biosphere.