From GENE LOGSDON
I say I am against GM foods and even consented to be in that documentary making its rounds (“GMO-OMG”) declaring my opposition even though I hate the public stage. Then I turn around and write something supportive of genetically modified chestnut trees. I have to try to explain myself. I have read all your good responses last time about GM foods and looked at the links you all suggested and in fact have spent the greater part of my writing career examining and reporting on food safety. I am sure of only one thing. No one will ever solve the debate over which foods are safe and which are not. It is a fruitless (pardon pun) endeavor. The most dangerous foods in the world are alcoholic beverages and we embrace and glorify them.
I am against GM foods wherever I can see that they are being glorified mostly to allow big business conglomerates and big farm conglomerates to take more land away from the rest of us or drive up the price beyond what we can afford to buy. I don’t care if their GM foods are healthy or unhealthy. I just about throw up whenever I hear a big international company piously say they are trying to genetically modify foods to combat worldwide food shortages or climate change. Bull. They are trying to make more money and the most ironic thing about this is that they are turning even big industrial grain producers into wealthy serfs. It costs a small fortune to grow corn their way and this year, with corn prices down, farmers— rich farmers — are being turned into mewling beggars, trying to figure out which government insurance subsidy will save them from financial disaster.
I am against GM foods when I think they are indirectly making it harder and harder for smaller food farmers (which now includes farmers with a thousand acres) to own land. I believe that the perpetrators of that kind of “food” are destroying democracy which, as Thomas Jefferson famously said, can’t survive without a hefty population of small land owners.
What is most insidious about this new onslaught of plutocracy is that I don’t know any way to protect myself from it. Because these manufactured food plants spread by pollen through the air, I am subject to genetic muddle whether I want it or not. I will be planting muddle possibly without even knowing it unless I use laboratory examination. And heaven help me if their factory plants volunteer on my land. I can be accused of stealing them. Nor dare I replant them. I must buy new every year. That is an example of power and might trying to patent all of nature. This is an example of how the last fortress of independence, a person on his or her own land, producing his or her own sustenance, is being (unwittingly I hope) taken away from us. People have always had the freedom, in the United States, of living as they wished on their own land, so long as they obeyed the laws. If this GM crop food innovation continues, we independent s.o.bs. are helpless. We will grow and eat what power and wealth tell and sell us to grow and eat. Or else.
Many efforts to use genetically modified plants or medicines (the number is probably unlimited) do not involve endangering democracy or free trade. If a genetically modified organism can be produced this way that will cure my cancer, I am all for it.