Franken Foods – The Truth behind Biotech

Can you imagine sitting down to dinner tonight, and dining on a big plate of waxmoth or perhaps firefly? If science and biotechnology corporations have their way, this will soon be the norm. We’re talking about Genetic Engineering, Biotech foods — Frankenfoods. At present there are more than four dozen genetically engineered foods being grown or sold in the US, and over 70 million acres of GE crops are presently under cultivation in the US. Most supermarket processed food items now “test positive” for the presence of several types of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. And estimates from the biotechnology industry now state that nearly 100% of all US food and fiber will be genetically engineered within the next 5-10 years. Think it won’t affect you? Just a few of the currently affected foods are soybeans, soy oil, corn, cotton, potatoes, squash, canola oil, cotton seed oil, papaya, tomatoes, and dairy products. At present there is no type of standardization or regulation of these GE crops in the US. And on May 3 of this year, the FDA announced that they will require no pre-market testing on GE foods and crops and instead will engage in “consultations” with food producers. This leaves the American public, animals and environment to be human guinea pigs for very unpredictable and dangerous form of agriculture. And their new voluntary “GE Free” labeling agenda puts the weight of the situation back on those who are trying to protect us from the harmful side effects of GE foods, instead of the multi-million dollar corporations who are using the inherently dangerous GE products. Due to independent studies, and concerns for safety, genetically modified organism (GMO) food labeling is already law in Europe, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia. Without mandatory labeling, there will be no way to trace potentially hazardous allergens back to the source. Currently, approximately 8 percent of all American children show signs of food allergies. For these children, and adults alike, genetically engineered foods are a nightmare. Since humans have never before eaten most of the proteins now being gene-spliced into foods there is no way to know what type of reactions can be expected. With this lack of regulatory restraints, labeling requirements, and scientific protocol, bio-engineers have begun creating hundreds of new GE “Frankenfoods” oblivious to human and environmental hazards, or negative socioeconomic impacts. There must also be a consideration of the danger to the public’s health due to potential mutation of these GE foods. There is currently a potato that is spliced with a gene from the waxmoth to keep it bruise resistant. When inserted, science has also linked another gene, called an antibiotic resistance marker gene (ARM). The purpose of this gene is to help determine if the first gene was successfully spliced into the host organism. Researchers have warned that these ARM genes can combine with disease-causing bacteria or microbes in our environment or in the guts of animals or people who eat GE food, increasing the public health danger of antibiotic resistance or of “super” – infections that cannot be cured with traditional antibiotics, including new strains of salmonella and e-coli. Many of these new crops are genetically engineered to be herbicide-resistant or to produce their own pesticides. Because of this, we are already seeing the emergence of the first “superweeds” as GE crops such as rapeseed (canola) spread their herbicide-resistance traits to related weeds. Lab and field tests indicate that common plant pests such as cotton bollworms, living with GE crops, will soon evolve into “superpests” completely immune to Bt sprays. This will present a serious danger for organic and sustainable farmers whose biological pest management practices will be unable to cope with increasing numbers of superpests and superweeds. Interestingly enough, the leaders in biotechnology are the same leaders of the county’s biggest toxic chemical companiesduPont, Monsanto and AgrEvo. These companies are genetically engineering plants to resist herbicides which they manufacture, so that they can sell additional herbicides to the farmer, who, in turn, can apply more herbicides to his crops to kill weeds. In addition, the genetic engineering and patenting of animals is reducing living beings to the status of manufactured products. The USDA has already announced that scientists have completed genetic “road maps” for cattle and pigs, and are engineering lower fat pigs and genetically engineered beef. There are currently hundreds of GE animals awaiting patent approval from the federal government. This new technology is creating unimaginable transgenic life forms and for the first time in history, transnational biotechnology corporations are becoming the architects and “owners” of life.

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