Friday, February 15, 2008

Genetics politicized

No Compromise asked me to post on this article (slight language warning partway down) concerning the connections between the Clinton family, agribusiness, and unfair aspects of genetic engineering. In accord with my policy of avoiding ad-hominems, I will concentrate on the ethics of the situation, not the people. Below is the gist of the article's main content, an open letter from a former Hillary supporter.

  • According to News Hour, the large corporation Monsanto deceived uneducated Indian farmers into purchasing genetically engineered (Bt) seeds while not providing for access to the proper conditions (namely, "expensive fertilizer and pesticides (Monsanto, again) and irrigation"). The resulting debt was compounded by Monsanto having patented the genes in question.
  • The Clintons' connection to this company was through the Rose Law Firm, where Bill had hiring clout. Corruption was also involved (elaborated upon in the letter).
  • Through hiring practices, Monsanto personnel came to hold posts in the FDA (not a good sign!).
  • Concerning a bovine growth hormone (rBGH, reportedly associated with "bovine illness and death"), ethical missteps included lack of both warnings and milk labels, intimidation of non-complying farmers, and dubious changes in organic-food standards (see reason 6 in the letter).
  • Besides similar missteps in foodstuffs like cottonseed oil, grains, meats, poultry, and milk, the letter notes issues with feeding growth hormones to cows that wouldn't show external signs of mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephaly, or BSE) until after the "useful lifespan" of the animal, thus resulting in unwittingly spreading the pathogen that causes it to the general population.
  • Here is one telling paragraph (quotes in the original):
Terminator genes, developed by DP&L, a Rose Firm client, prevent seeds from “working” after only one season. Farmers “must” repurchase (patents and suing not certain enough control, it seems). Those “killing” genes pose the apocalyptic risk of breaking out into nature. Natural seeds could fail, too. Nature could fail.
  • Remaining problems the letter mentions: child labor (compounded with long-term exposure to pesticides) and numerous diseases associated with effects of ingested growth hormones (breast cancer, kidney toxicity, and liver toxicity, among others).

5 comments:

MK said...

Perhaps it's a good thing Hillary is in trouble, but then Obama has his global poverty tax he'd like to foist upon America.

No Compromises said...

But what do you think of all of this?

I had to read this three times to understand the implication that this woman running for president and who claims to be doing it for the chhhiilllddrreennn, is in fact part of a company who is creating monster food that will hurt us!

I think this is outrageous and scary and
given the fact that since the gov't keeps getting involved with stealing more of our money it's going to be ever increasingly difficult to purchase clean food and then once we are sick we get gov't health care. If I didn't know better i would think this is all a ploy to make gobs of money while killing people under the evil doctrine of the population zero mindset!
I'm not sure how that works out logically, but it is still quite scary that we are all buying groceries created out of fake food and no one is really questioning the malnutrition Americans have and the amounts of cancer, look at the fact that MRSA is on the climb? Could it be that the food we are eating is so fake that our bodies could fight MRSA off, but because they food is so contaminated that it helps the MRSA?

I'm not a scientist but I can look at things and think about dots being connected and I do wonder that with the onset of super bugs, and super pneumonia and the like one has to wonder if it's not the food helping to create those bugs!

Thanks for writing this. It did help me understand better what's going on. I'm going to start eating organic meets and cheeses. I do have to wonder though that just because the label says organic if that wouldn't include organically raised fake food. Does that make sense?

Hannah J said...

MK, too true. One hopes the delegates know what they're getting into.

NC, yes--Hillary's views are, shall we say, oxymoronic. "Could it be that the food we are eating is so fake that our bodies could fight MRSA off, but because they food is so contaminated that it helps the MRSA?"

Perhaps. However, from what I know, it's overuse of antibiotics in *human* infections (S. aureus doesn't affect many other organisms, I think) that causes the resistance. A weakened immune system does compound the problem. My microbiology teacher once offered this bit of advice: if your children, when young, are already in the habit of eating dirt, the equivalent of a teaspoon or so per day is actually beneficial. By exposing them to small amounts of diverse microbes over time, their immune system will get the healthy exercise it needs.

Foodwise? I'll eat ordinary food from the grocery store, pray over it before eating, and work on my own garden if there's room.

No Compromises said...

the global tax passed the house.

Hannah J said...

"the global tax passed the house."

ICK! Hide your $$ stocking...