A broader look at the depreciating earth since GMO’s
By Elenia Kolokotronis
Since the world has become aware and more interested in the birth of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) we, as the human race have done one of three things about what we know of it:
- Become fanatical and only eat or source certified organic produce
- Try to determine if we care enough about it and what it spells for our health (or not).
The main focus most have on GMO’s is either that it is killing us very slowly or that it is saving the human race. I do however have another take on why I struggle to accept being force fed a genetically modified anything. And here is why;
Until recently speaking to a farmer who I chance met in a queue at a supermarket I never thought of it as my main focus is on the human health benefits and disadvantages of GMO consumption. The conversation went as follows:
Farmer: Will you put that in your salad (referring to the punnet of edible flowers I was holding);
Me: Yes, for extra wow factor and colour;
Farmer: We used to have those growing wild all over our farm and now how much are they (we both squeeze at the price on the plastic container nestled in the palm of hand…
And so the conversation continued as our queue snaked on. By the time we were both called to the tellers I had know some very valuable information about my new farmer friend and more importantly that I was not looking at the GMO debate spherically. In the approximate ten minutes I learnt that the farmer farmed maize and that until ten plus years ago his father had re-planted the entire farm with GM seeds. The incessant advertisers, marketers and “pushers” of the biotechnology giant who engineer them were constantly “in the area” selling these master seeds. Resistant to drought, insects and so forth. As our conversation continued he mentioned that the yellow tip “bloom” that is the resultant flower of a weed that grows at the base of the maize plant and that used to bring the bees ceased. As did the bees. As did the earth worms when a few years after that the farmer and his father had to start spraying the plants with a toxic pesticide that would not kill the robotic plant, but would proceed to kill much of what was beneath the soil.
This then took me to further delve into another more silent, but perhaps just as dangerous after effect that anything GMO brings – the story of why it was born. Apparently out of necessity to feed the growing population in drought, limited space availability etcetera, etcetera and so forth (yawn).
My first understanding was if one of the biotechnology giants were worth over $35 billion, would it matter if it was true regarding the space and drought made up story? They talk and advocate how unfortunately organic farming has a massive foot print, yet did they forget that producing synthetic fertilizers consumes massive amounts of petroleum? And more importantly, really? Will the starving masses die if the world shifted to organic farming? Perhaps. But again I ask – if the world has been farming genetically modified for a large number of years why are we still starving? Why, in this day and age are people the world over going hungry? Could it not possibly be not that our farming methods have been or want to be changed to fill the coffers of the biotech’s? Could it not be that perhaps (perhaps) we need to start looking, investing and educating our human race with regards to sexual education, conducive sterilisation per family bracket, environmental and lifestyle sciences. We have become so very liberal and so many rights flying left ,right and centre that as I am sure is happening right now with regards to my mention of sterilisation – we feel it okay for a mother living on the streets to birth her fourth, fifth, sixth child. Because she has a right to have as many children as she likes. That I will not argue. But after that? When the children need basic simple needs? Food, shelter, education, safety, water? May I then argue? I think so.
The same applies to if organic farming can successfully overtake GM farming. Again yes I think so. And more so and then some.
I believe that in time – and this will count against organic farmers at first as the ground, the soil, the eco system and biodiversity will need time – years – to recover from the abuse of the chemicals and GM plant matter in the soil, but if we look at proper up to date (as in up to date in the last three years and not from ten to fifteen years ago) we see that proper organic farming of the same crops of those of conventional GM yields were only 15% off the total amount. When the same study was conducted with organic wheat and tomatoes the there was no yield difference. Meaning they fed the same amount of prospective people as the conventional GM produce would. And it was done with no harm to nature or humans. So again ask do we really believe, know enough, have solid concrete evidence that organic farming is ruled out for this earth? For me absolutely not. We, as a race just need to stop accepting what is being fed to us (literally and figuratively) and start deciding what we think and believe for ourselves. Did any of the biotech giants or farmers or supermarkets ask me if I wanted a genetically modified apple? No. They certainly did not.
Back to my farmer in the queue at the supermarket. As I push my trolley out through the automated doors and he carries his two packet just behind me I say to him does he know I am not a fan of GMO’s. He laughs and says neither is he. But what is there to do about it.
In my capacity? This is what I am doing about it.