Genetic Roulette Discussion

Posted to Subscribers on 31 January 2013


Dear Subscribers,

There were some emails about the film shortly after my last post. It then went all quiet. Understandably, people were outraged and enraged. For those who are waiting until the last minute, here is the link:

At the moment, the voting link is working as it should work and the deadline for voting is February 3rd.

Now the nudge.

"Roulette" is an appropriate term because the technology as it today exists is capable of harvesting the desired gene but not of splicing it in where wanted. As shown in the film, the genes are literally shot at the target matter and they end up wherever they end up. When you consider the length and complexity of the DNA, it quickly becomes apparent that symptoms could relate to a multitude of different parts of ourselves since the splicing is completely random.

I was surprised that the list of GMO food crops was so short so I checked other sources after countless people "failed" my mini-quiz. I reeled off names of plants to see if people thought the plants might be genetically modified. Of course, everyone was spot on where soy and corn are concerned, but most thought that wheat, potatoes, tomatoes, and many other crops are also being modified. In fact, the list is longer than that shown in the film, and the complications are also greater.

For instance, did we realize that some honey comes from bees who foraged on rapeseed (canola) plants? It is banned in Europe. Mostly, however, the GMO crops find their way into processed foods because so many rely on soy and corn components.

I still remember the first time I heard of canola oil (Canadian oil from rapeseed). It was suddenly in everything, including health foods junk foods, like potato chips. The first time I saw it growing was along roadsides in Germany. The Green Party, very strong in Germany, had analyzed the environmental impact of bio-diesel from rapeseed versus petroleum fuels and came out in favor of petroleum.

It was just shortly thereafter that a beekeeper in Germany told me that the bees were dying. It took years before we recognized colony collapse disorder and began to realize what the ramifications are for loss of our pollinators. However, diabolical as it sounds, this is no doubt precisely what the biotech companies want. Now you know a bit of the how and why I came to post under the name Bioethika!

Here's another list:

Please read it and shiver! Did you have any idea what is in your vitamins?

Wikipedia may appeal to some readers:

No wonder that lately I have been telling people that I prefer pineapple over papaya. I used to like papaya! Heck, I used to like cheese also.

Now, what is my food strategy? First of all, I really am trying to grow as much of my own food as possible and I do have exciting ideas for 2013. Secondly, when I buy food, I try to get unprocessed plant products, like fresh or dried rather than mixed with other ingredients. Secondly, I am now really big on "exotic" foods because the market being what the market is, the target crops will generally be the biggest revenue producers. Thus, if unsure about white rice, try wild rice, red rice, black rice, bamboo rice, do something, anything, to escape the contamination. This strategy is not only a bit safer but it encourages biodiversity. Otherwise, we would have a world of long rows of machine harvested crops, maybe a choice of less than a hundred plant foods. Historically, these growing practices have always been a disaster because huge landscapes become vulnerable to blights and crop failures, not just a few plants here and few there. We really need diversity and plants love companions.

In my own effort to garden more consciously, I started, as most of you may remember, by planting for the bees and other pollinators. This year, I am taking this a step further so as to see if I can actually figure out how to seduce whoever gets to my lacinato kale before I do. Otherwise, I am seriously considering getting some small ducks!

Next, I would like to comment on action movements around the world. As I have been reporting, the anti-GMO sentiment is spreading and passions can be quite intense on both sides of the battle. In Europe, one crop after another and one country after another are banning GMO crops as well as imports. Depending on the part of the world, the bans may be national or local. Recent countries to ban GMO crops include Peru and Kenya:

In the U.S. (really I am not that ethnocentric), the first county to ban GMOs was Mendocino (California) and this strategy of local action is working in many places. It sometimes applies to all GMO crops and sometimes only to one specific one, such as corn. The Russians, for instance, have taken a strong position on corn:

There are passive and aggressive behaviors that can both be effective. Buying organic really supports farmers and life styles that are sustainable. Growing some of your own food from heirloom seeds or really good quality seeds is also proactive. Campaigning on a community level for agricultural sanity is another strategy and someone needs to do this while the others are getting dirt under their fingernails.

Okay, this is as far as I am going today. Watch the film and hopefully we will all find survival strategies that work.

Many blessings,




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