Can we talk about Monsanto for a minute?
Everything you eat is a genetically modified organism. From the cows we have selectively line bred from wild ungulate, the chickens which there’s probably no accurate timeline for when humans removed from nature and began to bend to our uses as food producers, the pigs which we whittled from great ugly boars to be the various shapes and varieties of domesticated hog we’re familiar with, from the porcetta to the pet pigs. The sweet corn you eat is a human-created hybrid of a hard kernel corn that the native north americans had, with a softer kerneled corn that the europeans brought with them. Wild bananas are filled with seeds and barely nutritious. Wild apples have such incredible biodiversity it’d be a stretch to say even 1% of their wild types are human-food-compatible.
So do I believe that genetically modified food is bad for humans? Of course not. Drought resistance is a genetic modification we’ve made to food, pest resistance. Even food color, texture, ship-ability, all things we have chosen as humans as genetic traits we favor, cultivate and keep.
So now Lets talk about Glysophosphate. Glysophosphate is marketed in North America (and elsewhere) as Roundup. Which is a powerful, wide spectrum herbicide, used to unselectively destroy plants wherever applied, to clear land, to eliminate pest species and drive back invasive plants. Now lets talk about penicillin, azithromycin, erythromycin — powerful, wide spectrum antibiotics, used to unselectively destroy bacteria and other microbiological life wherever applied, to break down bacteriological overruns, detrimental biological outbreaks and drive back invading disease so our natural immune system can complete its job of healing. Both of these are powerful tools and have BOTH immensely increased the quality of life for millions if not billions of humans.
HOWEVER… If you talked to a doctor about making an azithromycin resistant form of bacteria, they would realize, beyond a shadow of doubt, that while we may learn something from the process of making this bacteria, that allowing that enhanced, resistant form of the disease into the natural world would necessarily come back to bite us in the ass. Period. You make something resistant to your most powerful tools and it will resist those tools whether in the lab or in nature, and the stressor of creating that resistance has also created dozens of other unknowable potential genetic expressions in the bacteria.
But that is exactly what Monsanto has done with its roundup ready crops. They’ve built plants that are hard to kill with the best tool we have to kill plants. And those plants have already hybridized with wild/non RR plants in the wild, transferring their roundup resistance, along with whatever other modifications were made, intentionally or unintentionally, from the laboratory right to the soil of the earth. The reaction of Monsanto to these hybridisations is yet _another_ indicator of how sick the ideals behind this creation are — they have sued the farmers whose plants are in fields adjacent to RR-plants, saying that those hybrids are Monsanto intellectual property and they should be compensated for them.
This is what I’m worried about. This is what needs regulating. This is what needs labels and investigative journalism. Fucking apple-fish-corn cars and Organic avocados and locavore kale can all go fucking die, because if we accidentally end up with a form of durum wheat that is round up resistant, has no nutritive value for humans because of other genetic changes, and can breed true in the wild? We’re gonna have dark days ahead. If we end up with BT-apples that are releasing nicotine analogues or other esthers we barely understand into our kids before they’re hitting puberty, we’re going to learn more about developmental disease than we ever have before. And the whole way, those that are the most impacted will be sued and harrassed and lose their worlds, and those who have the power to change thiswill be ignorant and distant and greedy and we will all pay for it.
This is what I hate about Monsanto.