You and GMOs
By: Jeffry Farrell, Owner & Founder, Park Cities Yoga
Nothing about technologically enhanced GMO food is on the level. Call me names. Say I’m a luddite, a hypocrite, a bad yogi, a fear monger, or worse, I don’t care.
You can call me anything but I’m not a food fascist. Feel free to eat whatever you want. I’m not judging you or telling you what to eat. I am, however, saying that there are some things you do not want to eat without suffering serious health consequences. Mainly, you do not want to eat GMO foods, genetically modified organisms, and sometimes called transgenic foods.
Why not eat GMOs? Because, just as the science of tobacco smoking in 1900 proclaimed the benefits and joys of tobacco, the fashionistas of transgenic science in 2017 proclaim no harm in consuming GMOs and further proclaim world-saving joys. But what happened with the science of tobacco smoke to be a hazard to human health. You know the tobacco story, right? If not, take time to look into the tale of deceit because the same story is being repeated with GMOs today.
What appears to be benign and even hopeful regarding biotechnology and food is fraudulent and harmful. There’s one big difference—we do not have 64 years to recognize the harm of GMOs. Unlike tobacco smoking whose long term cultural harm was possible to reverse, GMOs are different. Any individual can choose to smoke tobacco or not. When GMOs are released into the environment, their genetic drift and imprint on the environment become permanent. These modified blueprints of nature are not possible to recall or to cleanup. GMOs become permanent broken links in the environmental chains of life. And broken links mean broken chains.
So then, back up. What is a GMO food?
It is a specific type of technologically enhanced food. GMOs are not food additives or colorings or residual toxic pesticides or herbicides, all of which pose their own serious health problems. Transgenic GMOs are plants and animals that have been created in a laboratory from two or more separate species by combining their genetic structures in a way that would never occur in nature. Examples? A flounder and a tomato. A goat and a spider. An eel and a salmon.
A flounder and a tomato could never mate in nature and produce offspring. In the laboratories of Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF and others, such freakish combinations have been occurring since the 1990s. For example, corn, soy, alfalfa, cotton and canola are now more than 90% GMO. That means if these foods are not specifically labeled as non-GMO, then you are eating GMOs, and very likely experiencing some immune-response in your body, some compromise to your health. Corn oil, soy lecithin, cottonseed oil, canola oil are staples of processed foods no matter where you buy them.
When I visited the managers of various grocery stores in Dallas and asked about the predominance of GMO ingredients in their soups and prepared foods, they listened politely and all said something like, “There’s no scientific evidence that GMOs cause any harm, and in fact, the research says they’re actually good for you.” I responded that it was unfortunate they believed this, although it is understandable why. This is what they have been told with information grounded in FDA guidelines. The FDA is the Food and Drug Administration. Their original mission was to protect U.S. consumers, but it is in the FDA guidelines where much of the GMO problem resides.
Everyone needs to know that the FDA has never ever tested a single GMO for the marketplace. The FDA procedure has been to invite submissions from the biotech industry and have the individual companies complete the FDA forms. There are really no questions about GMOs entering the marketplace. That is a mere formality. Why? Because we have former industry leaders directing our FDA. For example, we have had Michael Taylor as the Food Czar of the FDA for the past eight years, the same man who was the lead attorney for Monsanto. Talk about “foxes guarding the hen house.” The incentives of the FDA lean hard toward protecting the industry not toward protecting the public.
Furthermore, beyond the FDA and the biotech industry, independent scientific research of GMOs has found significant harm that includes gastrointestinal disorders, neurological disorders, auto-immune disorders, infertility and cancers. Why is this research not made more publicly known? Because the biotech industry employs the same tactics of suppression and disinformation that the tobacco industry used for more than 64 years.
It is not all gloom and doom for the USA even though GMOs are banned in more than 50 other countries. There are solutions in agricultural methods and distribution. There are solutions for good and healthful foods at good prices. However, it starts with you becoming a good food detective. It starts with svadhyaya, self-study. It starts with you, your family and friends. Yoga practitioners must become leaders within their own families and spheres of personal influence.
Hoka hey, namaste.
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Jeffry Farrell, Owner & Founder of Park Cities Yoga can be found at www.parkcitiesyoga.com