Political leaders, academic and corporate leaders alike credit bioengineering and related technologies as 21st century achievements that will feed the world and cure diseases. In just a few short years, businesses have popped up in the market place to garner billions in profits from genetically modified foods, pesticides and herbicides and human ears and noses that grow in a small dish under warm lights on a laboratory bench. All of this could be hailed as a collection of remarkable achievements–testaments to the wonders of conventional science, but there are serious problems with the mélange of businesses and scientists that results in “science for profit.” In their rush to make scientific discoveries about the genome, and the capacity to manipulate genes changing the character and makeup of organic plants and animals and convert them into short-term profits, major businesses such as Monsanto, Cargil, Archer Daniels Midland, Wal-Mart, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Kraft, Dean Foods, the Farm Bureau, Dow Chemical, Dupont, Bayer, BASF, and Syngenta are producing deadly products that are now destroying living soil, plants and animals to the detriment of life on the planet.
I realize this sounds hysterical, but the products these businesses make with the help of conventional scientists and sell directly and indirectly into the human food chain have spread far beyond the laboratories. The introduction of genetically modified foods (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) pesticides and herbicides as well as animals are causing greater direct damage to human food security, the ability of the earth to naturally regenerate in the soils and atmosphere and in the waters of rivers, streams and springs. Chemicals that destroy life are being dumped into the unregulated market of countries around the world (particularly 2nd, 3rd and 4th world) countries and increasingly in regulated markets such as the European Union, Canada and the United States, Australia and Japan.
The United States government’s penchant to throw caution to the wind and allow businesses to produce life threatening contaminants into the atmosphere, waterways, soils and food is legion. This country is the source of growing contamination of soils, crops and animals from GMO and GE products resulting in not only increasing unexplained illnesses, environmental degradation and business dependent crops, but the indigenous seeds of plants and stocks of animals used by indigenous peoples to produce food in small eco-niches around the world are losing their food security to giant, unseen businesses.
In México’s indigenous territories, thought to be quite remote from corporate farms using GMO seeds, the diversity of the more than 65 indigenous varieties of maize are now threatened with contamination. Developed over several millennia as a result of the cultural relationship between generations of Maya and Nahuatl peoples, the land and the maize itself these many varieties have sustain peoples faced with drought, high heat and strong winds–changing climates–and they continue today. In other words, the culturally sustainable process of human and plant relationships have produced replantable seeds that are the foundation of life in Mexico. These seeds are also the original genetic stock from which corn throughout the world has been developed.
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