Sunday, October 24, 2010

Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey M. Smith

The book Seeds of Deception, by Jeffrey M. Smith shows the high level of corruption in the food industry in recent years. Back in the year 2003, the United States government was looking for ways to end hunger in the states and around the world. The way they chose to go about this was through reliable and easily grown genetically modified foods. This route has little to no scientific evidence, and what evidence their is is not good. But the Government went on with it anyway and gave the reigns to a company called Monsanto to get the project going. Monsanto's goal was to have all crops be genetically modified and come from their company, and the government backed this plan. The United States started exporting GM(what most call genetically modified foods) crops to Europe and other countries, who have refused to take it because of the future problems it may cause. Even some starving African nations will not eat these crops. Animals given two plates of food, one being normal and one being GM, always chose the normal foods. Scientists have tried to publish findings that show the foods can cause severe damage in the body, but are threatened with losing their job and massive lawsuits by companies that find out what they are about to release. Scientists like Arpad Pusztai, who discovered GM potatoes caused life threatening damage to organs and the immune systems of rats, was fired from his research institute and the institute is rumored to have thrown out or distort his findings. Some of the findings that have gotten out show the seeds, which have pesticide resistant chemicals in them, actually transfer the chemicals into the body of those who eat them. As a result, the body can no longer kill dangerous chemicals such as the pesticides when they consume the food, and they are free to roam around the body and cause damage. Since the introduction of the GM crops onto the market, allergies of soy, corn, peanuts, and almost every plant we eat have gone up over 100%. While most think they are not the victims of this, think again. Almost every processed food on the shelf in America today has some sort of GM product in it. Canola, vegetable, cottonseed, sunflower, corn, and any other oil in foods or on the shelves of stores is almost guaranteed to be the product of a GM crop unless bought from and organic store, and even then one can not be certain. Now some are wondering why our government is not starting to crack down on the GM products like my other countries have started to, and the ones to blame are Monsanto, the FDA, and us Americans for not standing up against it. Corruption in the FDA plays a major role. Michael Taylor was the Vice President and later an attorney for the company Monsanto when they were suing anybody possible for bashing their products. Currently, Taylor became a high member in the FDA after being appointed to this position by Barrack Obama, and has started to create policies lowering the regulations on GM foods, also getting rid of information that was not supporting it. It is hard for one not to see what is going on. The company has so much power and lawsuits cause so much fear that Fox News canceled an entire new series on GM foods, Publishing companies have canceled books, and a magazine company shredded 25,000 magazines instead of sending them out because of a story inside bashing GM foods. The doctoring of foods does not just stick to crops though, a steroid is given to many cows to increase milk production, GM salmon is now close to being approved by the FDA, and many others. The book Seeds of Deception causes one to think and take a look at what they are consuming, and also wonder why our own government and FDA are allowing these products that are causing many problems to dominate the market.
1. Do you think the government or food companies should have the power to have people eat foods that are harmful to their bodies with now warnings or anything on the products?
2. In a video that comes with the book, the company Monsanto gave illiterate farmers in India their seeds to grow and had them sign a contract along with it. On the bags were instructions which the company knew they could not read on specific ways to grow the GM crops. When their crops did not produce enough, farms were seized. The farms which did have crops grow were sued and then seized because they reused the seeds and did not return them to Monsanto and buy new ones. Both of those things were in the contract farmers were forced to sign when they were given crops promised to double their profits. Now in what has know as the "GM Genocide" an estimated 125,000 plus farmers in India have committed suicide as a result of lawsuits and having their lands taken away in these scams. Why do you think countries still accept GM foods after stories like this? How does our government support this company and other like it?
3. GM salmon is up for approval in the FDA right now. The salmon has DNA from other fish infused with its own, and the company producing it says it is as safe to eat as farmed salmon, which is not even close to being safe. Many believe that the FDA will approve it and not put labels on the salmon so people will not know what they are eating and what damage it could be doing. What do you believe the FDA should do? Why does the FDA not have the health of people in our country as their first priority?


Justin B. 11-12 said...

Now as someone going into biotechnology I am familiar with the Monsanto seed company and their products like Round Up Ready Corn so let me just say that this is a familiar issue for me. Also, I do believe Monsanto is acting irresponsibly but they are a business and their first goal is to make as much money as possible (just like colleges) and I do agree that there needs to be actions taken against them.

Also, America is the home of the "frivolous lawsuit" and that is why everyone is running scared (and rightly so, if I had a choice to either keep my house and job if I dropped my complaints, I'm dropping my complaints) and that is how the system is in America right now.

Now as for question 3, it is extremely clear why the FDA may not have the best interests of the public at heart and that answer is (as it almost always is) money. If whatever company is making the GM salmon does not get their product approved in the US they will not be selling it here, not be making money here, and thus not paying the government massive amounts of taxes here. (And everyone wants more jobs in the US anyway right? or wait do they just want more jobs that they view as "right?")

Also, before you can make an informed conclusion regarding the findings that GM food is extremely bad etc., you must actually read the study for details the author of the book left out to lend strength to his argument. For instance, how much potatoes did those rats have to be fed before they caused really serious problems? If it's similar to high fructose corn syrup, where to be at risk for the negative effects mentioned in all of the sensational news articles you have to consume gallons of the stuff in a short period of time or a normal amount over more than the usual human lifetime then I don't think there is much to worry about until I have read the actual study.

As for question 2, not all GM seed comes from Monsanto, the countries just won't buy from Monsanto anymore. And not all biotech companies are as "evil" as Monsanto. It is dangerous to characterize a group based on the actions of 1 individual and should be avoided.

And finally question 1, I do think there should be notices on the label that it is genetically enhanced, not necessarily a warning that this will for sure damage you seriously as I've been eating GM food for 17 years and I'm not dead or crippled yet. I don't think it would have much of an effect though as these foods would still be vastly cheaper then their "natural" (are they lying to us too? I wouldn't be surprised) counterparts and in these difficult times people are looking to save as much money as possible.

Money, Money, Money....Money as the song goes

SeanK56 said...

I know theres more but Monsanto is the main one discussed in the book for all they have done. The affects over time are things like cancer, which I consider serious. Cancer, allergies, and other serious diseases have risen drastically since GM foods have been introduced, and there are cultures who have neither until processed foods are brought to them.

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

Dearest Sean,
I love this topic because I recently screened a documentary called Food Inc. where this same company was mentioned, but not slandered because of the immense legal team they keep on retainer. But my comment space isn't supposed to be about my obsession with documentaries.
It saddens me that our government today chooses to side with multi-billion dollar companies, rather than care for the general well-being of the citizens whom they represent. One of government's main jobs is to do whatever is necessary to maintain the wellbeing of its citizens. If this fairly simple task cannot be completed by our government, than it is obvious that something is wrong. The Government needs to quell Monsanto's firm grasp on their farmer's freedoms. Hopefully when the next economic crisis occurs, Monsanto will be the first company to go down.

SeanK56 said...

Agreed. while some of these companies are truely trying to help humanity and make foods more available for people who are starving, some are in it for profit and getting that money any way they can and like you said it is sad when our government will not do anything because of the money issue again.

SeanK56 said...

I am deffinatly watching that documentary soon also haha.

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

it is an awesome movie