I get quite a few of the seeds I plant in my garden from Baker Creek.
They’ve got a stunning variety of heirloom seeds (1,400 + in their catalogue) and a well earned reputation for quality. One of the big benefits of buying from Baker Creek is that they test every batch of heirloom seeds they sell for contamination from GMOs (genetically modified/engineered organisms).
So, it was a little disheartening to find this note from Jere Gettle, the owner of the company:
During the past 8 years since we started testing each lot of heirloom corn we sell, we have found that about 50% of America’s heirloom corn supply is already contaminated with these unwanted, patented, and possibly dangerous, GMO varieties. We have pledged to not sell any seeds that come back positive for Monsanto’s genes in our test samples. Not only do we not believe in offering GMO tainted seeds, but we would also be faced with possible legal action for selling these unwanted genes.
Essentially, the contamination from GMOs is spreading horizontally through pollination. Not only is this bad because it’s contaminating an entire species of vegetable, it has all of the hallmarks of a classic ‘industry innovation run amok’ situation that has done so much damage to our financial and economic health recently. In that recent situation, financial derivatives — a financial ‘innovation’ that Warren Buffett (the world’s most famous speculator) called “financial weapons of mass destruction” — almost destroyed the global economy.
To understand why GMOs are threat on a par with a global financial meltdown, you need to understand what they are.
GMOs are plants and animals that have been genetically engineered in a laboratory. These plants and animals are so different from what we find in nature, they are considered new organisms. How new? Enough to be granted patent protection from the US government.
That wouldn’t be a problem if these plants and animals were constrained to the laboratory. They aren’t. They were introduced, without any more than a cursory testing period, into the food supply. Over the past decade, they have become so pervasively used in agriculture, that most of the food available at the grocery store includes GMOs.
Here’s why this is dangerous. We don’t know what the effect of eating designed genetic sequences, in large quantities throughout the day, will have on us. Like the global financial system, but more so, our bodies are so complex we don’t really know how they work.
Here’s an example. Until last year, the scientific community believed that a whopping 80% of human DNA was junk. DNA that served no useful purpose. It was even termed “junk DNA.” That idea was proven false this year when it was found that this junk “DNA” is actually essential. It controls of the expression of our genes (when, how, and to what degree they are used throughout our lifetime).
So, since we don’t even know how most of the DNA in our cells actually works, it’s pretty clear that we don’t have a clue what will happen when our daily diet is laced with genetic sequences that have been concocted in a lab. This lack of certainty makes GMO foods the biggest experiment in human health ever conducted, and we’re all the guinea pigs.
Of course, you can opt out of this experiment before it runs amok (definition of amok: a murderous, frenzied rampage).
Become resilient. Grow some of your own heirloom vegetables. Control the process. Buy subscriptions that partner you with local farmers and artisan food producers that adhere to high quality production methods.
Do it before the rush to the GMO exit begins and you’ll be happy you did.
Invent your future! Don’t be its victim.