GMO’s Are Not Grassroots!
Not too long ago, we stumbled across a post by someone who claimed to be a farmer’s wife. It’s now been 404ed or lost in the Wayback Machine, or something, but it kind of set our teeth on edge.
At first glance, it looked like the kind of thing that we’re used to seeing, where family farmers advocate for their practices in the face of unfair competition by big agriculture.
What we found, though, is that the writer was promoting genetically modified foods!
The post has been taken down, but the idea is there all over the Internet. You have farmers and their wives and sons and daughters talking about their own practices and trying to “educate” consumers on the facts about GMOs.
The only problem is that while many of these farmers understand how big ag has obfuscated the issue, others of these folks are just wrong!
Now, many of the small, local farmers that we know understand that their market is the natural market, and big ag’s market is the chemical-sprayed, short-term money-grubbing market where you start with glyphosate and move to dicamba and 2,4-D when you need more powerful stuff. This is “slash and burn” agriculture. It’s not in the least sustainable. It turned the principle of natural production of soil on its ear. So why are folks advocating FOR that?
Unfortunately, the farmers who understand the twisted logic behind GMO production are not the most vocal farmers in a lot of cases. Some other relatively small farmers have bought big ag’s line hook, line and sinker that ‘GMOs are the only way to feed the world’ and that they’re really not harmful at all – which is a lie.
Now, let’s go back to the basics – barriers facing lawsuits based on glyphosate. We know that GMO crops are liberally sprayed with this stuff. But farmers don’t want to admit the destructive effects on human health and the environment, so they’re putting out propaganda pieces for the chemical companies, talking about how it’s fine to blanket the land with these toxins.
One thing that they can’t hide is problems for export markets.
For example, here you have reports on GMO contamination that are costing U.S. farmers tons of money in lost exports. Why is that? Because other countries have standards about GMOs. They won’t take herbicide-resistant crops, and they don’t use the blanket spraying methods okayed by the U.S. FDA and USDA. In Europe they understand the basic principles, and no amount of lobbying has been able to brainwash these smaller countries into adopting a blanket-spray approach.
In fact, even in the U.S., you have a de facto admission that spraying herbicides on resistant GMOs is harmful – you have the organic market, which is supposed to maintain chemical-free produce for the American consumer, although we have our doubts as to how well that is enforced. There’s a whole lot of gray area and a lot of that gray area is even manufactured by those who want to cloud the issue.
There’s also a wider debate to be made about GMOs.
Take a look at this Washington Post article by Caitlin Dewey published in 2017 that that covers a book called Food Fight by McKay Jenkins.
Jenkins wants food activists to broaden their view beyond just glyphosate and look at the other harmful effects of industrial agriculture on the world.
First, there’s lack of diversity – we know that mono-cultures are bad, but we look the other way as GMO incentives lead farmers to focus more on cranking GMO corn and soybeans into our food supply…
Take the meatless movement, for instance. Yes, maybe you save a cow, but you end up eating tons of GMO soy and corn syrup.
Jenkins makes the case the GMO’s are helping to fuel the obesity epidemic:
“I do try to eat as much organic produce as possible,” Jenkins writes, “which helps reduce my family’s exposure to the insecticides and herbicides sprayed on industrial food crops, many of which are GMO.”
Now, go back to the farmer’s wife’s blog post and read it again (except that you can’t – it’s been taken down.) Anyway, to role play: this person would say to Jenkins you don’t have to buy that organic stuff, because the herbicides and toxins are fine. We can spray them on the fields all day long, and it doesn’t matter.
Don’t be fooled – the small, local farmer is serving a market that’s laser focused on quality.
Let’s put it this way – small, local family farmers can’t compete with big agriculture in quantity. That’s Cargill’s game – to use GMOs and herbicide-resistant crops to pump out massive amounts of generic mono-culture products. But on the other side of the coin, big ag can’t compete with small local farmers in terms of quality – and that means organic, chemical-free produce, produce that looks and feels natural, produce that may be bred through hybrid but not through GMO means.
You don’t need GMOs if you’re not producing herbicide-resistant crops. You don’t need chemicals if you have a good organic model. That’s what organic means. Working with nature and NOT against it! That’s what small farmers are supposed to do. The complexity is just one more way for corporations to try to gaslight us to make us doubt the convictions that we have. We’ve laid out ample reason just in this article to condemn the use of GMO crops. But big agriculture and those who buy into it will never agree. They will keep promoting unsustainable practices until it’s entirely too late!Consider getting involved with GTKYF Foundation, Inc. and getting on the right side of the struggle for a sustainable food movement.
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