GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) Avoidance – or Not. The Choice is Yours.

Many years ago tobacco companies denied that their product was a cause of many illnesses and were not addictive. This denial tactic was used as a delaying tactic so that they continue racking in the huge profits that their industry provided them and their shareholders. Besides denying the connection between tobacco and illnesses these corporations also brought expert witnesses to the debate confused the issue for the average citizen. These tobacco companies were smart and diversified their holding with the huge profits they made from the tobacco portion of their corporation.  Kind of like a mob boss buying a legitimate business to launder their other ill gotten gains and look somewhat respectable.

These corporations made very good profits on the addiction of their products and took the profits and bought businesses but that is another story (see this website if you want to see some of the diversification that these companies have done over the past few decades). At  this point I just want to draw attention to the tactics that these corporations used to delay the day they forced to admit that they knew their product was addictive and harmful. This opened up the path for lawsuits to be filed against them but for every day they delayed that day they made millions of dollars. Cigarette manufacturers are doing fine these day  – they did not disappear.

These tactics have been used by many other industries over the year – climate change deniers, promoters of Genetically Modified Organisms/Genetically Engineered foods, pharmaceutical companies, pesticide companies, the nuclear power industry, etc. Deny connections, confuse the information by creating an atmosphere that there is still debate and uncertainty in the ‘scientific’ world that there is any connection, that everything is fine. The longer they can continue to produce their products the more money they can create.

It is similar to a corporation that is producing a product and the process to create this product has some toxic waste which is expensive to dispose of and if the manufacturer included the cost of proper disposal of this toxic waste then their product would be priced out of the market. They then look at the numbers – is it more profitable to pay off some resulting law suits or damages and to continue business as usual versus eliminating or properly dispose of the toxic substance.  claim bankruptcy when push comes to shove,

In the 1990s several companies found that they could insert genes in to the DNA of a plant or animal and provide it with certain traits. The corporations promoted the development of this technology as a way to protect crops from pests and reduce loss caused by pest damage, reduce use of agricultural chemicals, increase yields, reduced costs to farmers – it all sounded really positive all the way around.

One of the major players in this industry is Monsanto. This was a corporation that developed/manufactured several products that, in my opinion, were not good for the health of the planet and people – agent orange, PCBs, and ‘Roundup’ (a Glyphosate based pesticide). Send Monsanto and our governments a message this May 25 and participate in the March Against Monsanto.

March_Against_Monsanto

Major corporations are fighting VERY hard against labelling of products that contain GMO ingredients. In California these corporation spent over $45 Million US to defeat the grassroots proposal to give consumer the right to know what is in their food. In other US jurisdictions this same battle is happening. I think we should deny these corporations what they desire the most – power, control and money. Here is a list of those companies and many of the products they offer. Please kick them out of your house. Choose healthier options for yourself and your family.

What is so bizarre is that these same corporations have to label foods that have GMO ingredients when they are on the shelves of China and in Europe they have to use non-GMO ingredients. Why don’t Canadians have this same rights? Why did the government of Canada protect its citizens as the governments of Europe did?

Resources:

Action –

  • write to your government (Member of Parliament – just enter your postal code),
  • ask for GMO free items at your local grocer – threaten them that if they don’t improve you will take your business elsewhere (this is the scariest thing for a business owner – though majority of people don’t shop where you can talk to the owners – managers are the closest position to that responsibility)
  • Join us on May 25th for March Against Monsanto
  • Participate in NO GMOnday
  • Write letters to your newspaper and online discussion groups
  • Get angry – I know it is uncomfortable to do this but we have to be heard and when we are angry we get loud
  • send some money to those groups that are working to bring about labelling of products that have GMO ingredients and/or opposing GMO crops/technology
  • AND deny them your money.

GMO Alfalfa will not go away until they are truly banned or the corporations get approved. The same is true for GMO Wheat. We must work together to stop this creeping of these products being put into our foods. I think I read some where that there are over 40 more GMO crops looking to get to market and I am sure many more are being developed in the labs of these corporations.

Sometimes the GMO crops may never reach Canada – like GMO bananas in India (to increase the iron content to address iron deficiency in women and youth. Crops like this are Trojan horses. They can hold them up like the Golden Rice and say see our crops can help alleviate some problem in the world. 1) these are extremely small percentage of the total GMO crops of the world. 2) it is less expensive to provide supplements some other way. Vandana Shiva in India has been an outspoken opponent to this technology. See her short video or the article she wrote. No GMO Bananas!

Power of money. Stop giving it to them. You know that when a child is exhibiting behaviour we don’t like we tell them to stop and if it continue we deny them some privilege. We must do the same to corporations that are doing things we don’t like. If these corporations are denying consumers (you and me) the right to know what is in their food then we should deny them our money.

You might be able to have the resources to purchase healthier choices for your family and you feel good about that but it abandons all those others that either don’t have the financial means to avoid GMO in their foods or they don’t have the knowledge that you have. We should not abandon that portion of our society – an injustice done to one is an injustice done to all!

The majority of the products at Earth’s General Store are Certified Organic and/or NON-GMO Project verified thus ensuring that those products were not produced from GMO ingredients. Some things get through our screening process and all non certified Organic or NON-GMO Project Verified items are suspect. If you see something in the store that you think might contain GMO ingredients then let us know and we will research it. If I find out it has GMO ingredients then I will label it as such so that people know that it contains GMO and use the opportunity as a teaching/learning moment and/or drop the item from our offering.

Remember – Don’t give them your money. Don’t reward them for doing something bad to the world. Money is the influencer – when enough of us deny them our money it not only talks it SHOUTS!

We need to move beyond just going to the farmer’s market, buying recycled toilet paper, buying Fair Trade products and a whole plethora of other worthwhile choices. We need to move beyond our own individual lives and be the movement to bring about a real change. Those small choices do make a positive difference in the world but they do not make great effect in the time frame that we need. We must join together, raise our voices, GET ANGRY, demand change – we must Be the Change!

If you are in Edmonton please come to the March Against Monsanto on May 25th, 2013.

– Posted May 12th, 2013

PS = Earth’s General Store is not perfect. It does have some GMO products on the shelves – unknowingly and some items are suspect but we are working hard to reduce these numbers and with your help we will clean it all up. Be vigilant!

Many years ago tobacco companies denied that their product was a cause of many illnesses and were not addictive. This denial tactic was used as a delaying tactic so that they continue racking in the huge profits that their industry provided them and their shareholders. Besides denying the connection between tobacco and illnesses these corporations also brought expert witnesses to the debate confused the issue for the average citizen. These tobacco companies were smart and diversified their holding with the huge profits they made from the tobacco portion of their corporation.  Kind of like a mob boss buying a legitimate business to launder their other ill gotten gains and look somewhat respectable.

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