Letter: Lectured GMOs good for us

Sounds like the same logic that defended ‘Big Tobacco’ in years past.

To the editor:

Re: Dismissal of valid GMO concerns.

It is reported that a crowd of Kelowna concerned citizens joined others throughout the Okanagan, in what was described as a coordinated world-wide march involving an estimated 38 countries against Monsanto.

In a local newspaper, we are lectured that the protesters are somewhat ignorant and misguided. Health concerns, such as ever rising cancer rates are ignored. We are fed that the real problem is quantity not quality. Quote: “protest such as Kelowna’s can do far more harm than good because they jeopardize the lives of those in the developing world.”

Sounds like the same logic that defended ‘Big Tobacco’ in years past. Somehow the onus is upon the consumer and not Monsanto to prove its food products are safe?

Let’s review the facts within public knowledge:

• Today’s GMOs go well beyond the genetic selection of hybrid breeding, as with durham wheat, etc. in past generations. Today’s GMOs involve a genetic engineering of cellular structure. The end goal involves ‘plasticization’ of foods to avoid organic deteriorate in the usual fashion, resulting in prolonged shelf life.

• Monsanto is a major player in GMO development. They are fast becoming a monopoly player controlling an ever larger portion of once independent farm land. Independent organic seed growers have been systematically eliminated by its patent enforcement police force and big money legal resources.

• Monsanto’s genetic engineering has produced a seed which is not visibly affected by chemical exposure to toxic weed killer-defoliates such as Roundup, otherwise known as Agent Orange. Guess what? Growers that contract for use of this special seed must also contract exclusively with Monsanto for heavy soil doses of these “weed killing-fertilizing chemicals”. Court records in the grain belt states and provinces show a ruthless trail of bankruptcies for any growers deemed to transgress Monsanto’s contract and patent control.

• The result is that we now have a food product grown in a toxic soup of chemicals. Never mind soil and water table contamination, food production has certainly increased in volume.

• I guess we must ignore the fact that Monsanto is the main source of research as to safety of its own product. Our own government is strangely silent. Is this a multi-million dollar industries with powerful political/media control? Heaven forbid that we should question preachings of journalists and professors of philosophy about our need to be more trusting in these matters.

• Food labeling is deemed useless. Why, labeled foods may “demonize the product yet tell us nothing worth knowing.”

Then comes the penultimate “barf line” in the subject editorial: “Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Western World to produce these crops and thereby decrease  starvation.” [http://tiny.cc/k3snyx]

Well, there you have it folks. Concerns for food safety are of little consequence and only serve to interrupt the flow of scientific product to a starving world. Just what are we swallowing here?

Ian R. Sisett

Kelowna