It's Called "Pharming" And It's Phrightening!

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 09/17/2008 - 10:38am.

Biofuels are often blamed for 85% of corn price increases since 2002. Even Congress is growing weary of the corn/ethanol inflation.  Why were we on this road in the first place?  It would seem an easy road to avoid, considering over 140% more energy-mostly high value oil and natural gas, is expended to produce a gallon of corn ethanol than is in the ethanol itself.  In 2007, 20% of the U.S. corn crop was converted into 6 billion gallons of ethanol-to replace only 1% of U.S. oil consumption.

President Bush 43 - known for his insight into our energy problems (We need an energy bill that encourages consumption), on April 29, 2008 told reporters at the Rose Garden "the solution now is to make ethanol out of switchgrasses or wood chips."  Later in that same speech he said, "...it's in our national interest that our farmers grow energy."  Really?  I thought that's what our food supply was supposed to provide-energy for our bodies to survive.

Switchgrass and growing energy is not a solution to our energy and global warming problems.  They worsen Global Warming and are a Trojan Horse for Genetic Modified Organisms (GMOs), promising not only whole new markets for biotech products, but the irreversible entrenchment of genetically modified crops throughout the world.

When GMOs were first introduced into agriculture, farmers and consumer groups questioned the lack of basic protections. Since then, GMO contamination has spread from the cornfields in the Midwest to the birthplace of corn in the remote mountains of Mexico. Farmers have not been able to protect themselves from this genetic trespass. Instead of holding GMO manufacturers liable, the courts are upholding the patent rights of seed companies and making the farmers pay!

The latest proposals are to produce biofuels from more cellulose-rich plants like switchgrass rather than food crops. This may seem like a solution to the food v. fuel conflict inherent in ethanol production, because people will not directly starve when we fill up our gas tanks (of course they probably wouldn't starve if we subsidized alternative fuels, mass transit or just demanded automakers produce cars that get 50+ miles per gallon). However the energy it takes to unlock the energy in cellulosic ethanol is far greater than the energy it produces, making it a net energy loser, but a winner for genetically modified organisms or GMOs because the cellulosic plants will be grown from these high tech seeds, which independent sources have warned of emerging human health and environmental problems.

With the advent of biofuels, however, Monsanto and other biotech companies have found a market that is more insulated from public rejection because none of these crops are directly destined for our food supply--only our gas tank.

The problem is that once Genetically Modified or GM seeds are planted in the field, there is no way to prevent GMO fuel crops from contaminating their food-crop cousins.  Because these crops are wind-pollinated, cases of genetic contamination are commonplace. In the past two years alone, there were at least 73 publicly documented cases of genetic contamination. Once GM agrofuels have entered the agricultural gates, they will soon escape into the wild, contaminating food crops across the globe.

It gets worse, no commercial fuel crop that is under consideration or that is already approved in the U.S. has had the benefit of long-term unbiased testing.  Independent sources have warned about the
•    nutritional deficits in food made from GMO crops
•    problems of genes wandering when GMO crops cross with other plants
•    setting recombinant viruses on the loose
•    growing problems of resistance and tolerance

Why are a select group of people, probably in St. Louis (home of Monsanto), going to all this trouble to make sure we have an agronomically flat, untested GMO world that leaves our food systems vulnerable to climate change, pest and disease outbreaks?  According to Henry Kissinger, every president's friend,  "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people."

Even though national polls show that over 90% of U.S. consumer's want GMO food labeled, government regulators still refuse to consider it. Meanwhile, soybeans that resist weed killers and corn that poisons the insects that eat it, are already in our food supply. These experimental crops contain pharmaceutical proteins, industrial chemicals, and even human genes.

This powerful new use of biotechnology is called "pharming" and it poses a very real threat to our personal and environmental health-and phrankly, I, for one, am phed up!

What about you? I urge you to Contact your U.S. House Representative and ask him/her to co-sponsor Representative Dennis Kucinich's bill, "The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act", when it gets introduced before Congress. Or even better, why not tell members of Congress and the Senate to support and co-sponsor legislation that would restrict the open-air growing of biotech crops that contain pharmaceutical drugs and industrial chemicals.

Robert Singer - September 16, 2008 - source OpedNews

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 09/17/2008 - 10:38am.