Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 20

All day a heaviness has been lingering over me. I’m not sure if it’s related to weather or hormones, but the clouds hang low. Following suit, tonight we watched a movie called “The World According to Monsanto” which scared the bejesus out of me.
The concept is familiar, but I often find myself shutting off when information like this comes into my life because I feel like I can’t handle it- like I am helpless. This makes me frustrated though, because overwhelm leads to inaction, and then nothing gets done. And in this case (and many others), if nothing gets done, what will become of us? With Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) foods already occupying space in 70% of the foods we sell at US grocery stores after only 15 years since their creation, what will it be like in another 15?
If Monsanto is allowed to claim food containing their patented genes as their own, and the natural crossing of GE genes into other cultivated (non-GE) crops is happening according to nature, will Monsanto soon lay claim to all of our food supply?
Legally, everyone growing their patented foods owes them royalties. Monsanto forbids anyone growing these crops to save seed. And as nature would have it, it’s feasible that soon there will be Monsanto genes in nearly all of our crops. Thus, even if we grow and harvest our own food without ever buying GE seeds, will we forever owe Monsanto royalties? (Is Monsanto then attempting to be our king in a feudal system?)
Will we be linked to the monetary system out of necessity then? This also speaks nothing of the potential (and likely) negative effects of consuming GE crops. Will our foods be forever contaminated?
Didn’t nature choose her own DNA well before Monsanto changed them and then claimed them as their own? It is like a dream, thinking of this. It seems too awful to be true, and yet it is. It continues at an alarming rate, and I don’t know what to do, or how to help. I don’t know how to be effective. Will educating the public help? Would making different personal food choices help? Would leaving the country in an attempt to get away help? Monsanto is busily working to take over the seed stock outside the US too… in Paraguay, in Mexico, in India… and elsewhere too, either legally or by underhanded methods. And once their genes are in what plants we believed to be our own free stock, they then legally belong to Monsanto. When will it stop? And what is the best/most effective thing for us to do right now, in this moment?

1 comment:

  1. Hannah, I am reading a wonderful book right now by a plant geneticist, Carol Deppe. (A previous book of hers is a how-to manual for breeding your own veggie varieties.) The book is called, "The Resilient Gardener." It probably covers some of the things you have already learned and are learning now, but her emphasis is on reclaiming the knowledge, wisdom, and abilities needed to work WITH the land and cultivate food crops, ecosystems, and human communities that are resilient. She has worked with Seed Savers to bring back many disease-resistant and drought-resistant varieties of corn and beans, for example. The whole book blends realism with gentle humor and encourages the consideration of possibilities. There IS hope--and there is also action!