Typically the protests against GMO are depicted as being on par with Luddites or anti-vaxxers.
While you can find some folks who oppose unlabeled GMO in our food supply for purely bogus sci-fi horror movie reasons, the truth is the bulk of objections are pretty sound, and the more the GMO producers try to silence the objections, the louder they have to become.
And we’re excluding criticism of merely the business side of GMO crops -- the producers’ exclusive claim to all seeds, their usurious leasing rates for new seed crops, etc. That’s awful and well worth hammering them about, but it would be the same for any business using similar high pressure tactics against customers.
No, the problem is this: History has shown that industry is fully capable of selling dangerous and defective products to customers, and not merely products that later prove themselves to be dangerous, such as thalidomide, but products they already know to be dangerous.
Such as tobacco.
Such as cars with vulnerable fuel tanks.
Industry has repeatedly demonstrated even when regulatory agencies were fully authorized and funded that they knowingly hide damaging information from public, scientific, and governmental review, all so their stock holders could make more money.
So when the GMO producers want to hide the fact that some of our food supply contains GMO produce despite the fact they have well established procedures and mechanisms in place to track such crops so that they can bill farmers, then we see red flags being waved everywhere.
Something is not right in this picture, and it isn’t the fact people are ill-informed on GMO crops.
What the GMO producers are saying when they demand there be no labels on GMO crops is that their right to make money supersedes their customers’ right to make informed purchases for any reason.
Maybe you don’t like the taste of something.
Maybe the color or the texture doesn’t appeal to you.
Maybe you want to buy only from local farmers.
Maybe whether it’s organic or GMO, you still say it’s spinach and you still say to hell with it.
The fact is that you the consumer have every right in the world to make a purchase based on your own personal choices, and no one has the right to trick you into buying something you do not wish to purchase.
If the GMO producers were 100% certain there were no long term health risks to GMO crops, why would they be opposed to GMO crops being labeled as such?
Okay, say a certain percentage of the “free market” opposes them and won’t buy foodstuffs with GMO ingredients.
The people who do purchase GMO crops will be buying better quality (it will be better, won’t it?) and cheaper priced (it will be cheaper, right?) food than their neighbors who don’t.
After 10 – 20 – 30 years with no health problems, pretty much everybody on the planet comes around to the fact that GMOs pose no health risk and everybody except for the real health food fanatics are buying them.
I mean, it’s not like they won’t make money between now and then, right?
And the patents will run for gawdawful long periods of time, so they’ll still be reaping the benefits -- literally and financially -- of GMO crops a century from now.
Why don’t they want us to know if there are GMO crops in our food supply?
See, our thinking goes like this: In many cases GMO crops are designed to withstand lavish amounts of pesticides and herbicides, significantly higher than the current acceptable levels. We know the pesticides and herbicides are relatively harmless over a human lifetime at their current dosage; we don't know if multiplying those doses by a factor of two or four or eight times is going to have long term health problems.
We know what Agent Orange did to people with even mere passing exposure to it so you can’t say our concerns are groundless.
What we wonder is if the GMO producers, like the tobacco companies, do not want a paper trail pointing back to it in the event there proves to be a long term health problem in the future. To us, that indicates they are not 100% convinced increased pesticide / herbicide use will be harmless, even though said pesticides / herbicides are supposed to break down in nature and be rendered harmless before the crops enter the human food supply.
It also makes us wonder how well our ecosystem will react to massive extra doses of supposedly harmless compounds entering our water tables, our soil, and our oceans. This is not a groundless fear! We’ve seen the damage fertilizers can do to once pristine fresh water supplies in Florida and other places, not to mention laundry detergents.
What the GMO producers want is this:
- To use deception to force us to buy products we have no trust in
- To hide the trail leading back to them if anything goes wrong