I wrote my first March Against Monsanto blog on the eve of the NYC event dedicated to fighting the dazzling array of disinformation that exists about GMOs and other world evils forced upon us by the agribusiness behemoth Monsanto and its allies. And truthfully, I am still on a high from the event that took place not just in NYC, but cities around the world on May 23rd. The flame has been ignited and I am more determined than ever to be a part of the solution, to shatter the myths, and bring the light of truth to the masses, or at least the appreciated audience reading this blog right now. As the log line of the soon-to-be-released PurePlant Nation documentary says: “The truth is a stubborn thing. It doesn’t go away.”
For those reading this, I may be preaching to the choir, but if you’re new to the subject matter, I warmly welcome you to the conversation. As a brief bit of history, Monsanto is the company most frequently identified among activist groups for the inception of the greatest sins against food culture, consumer choice, agricultural freedom, product labeling, organic, small farmers, the rapidly dwindling bee population, seed monopolies, mono-crops, pesticide residues and GMOs. Quite a laundry list isn’t it. Here’s how it all began . . .
In the ‘60s & early ‘70s, Monsanto specialized as a wartime contractor responsible for creating Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide used for deforestation during the Vietnam War with alarmingly disturbing results including muscular dysfunction, inflammation, birth defects, nervous system disorders and various cancers. Lawsuits over benefits for veterans who were exposed to dioxin, the primary culprit in Agent Orange, still rage on four decades later. In 2013, Monsanto ensured itself special political protection as a biotech company. It was named under a rider in the House Agriculture Appropriations Bill and as such could not be sued by any organization, individual or institution or have a federal ban imposed placed on it preventing it from creating more GMOs. After all, Monsanto doesn’t just make chemicals anymore. . .
Monsanto is also into SEEDS. Sounds lovely, right? Not until you see what it’s really doing. Monsanto first buys all of the independent seed growers then genetically modifies the seeds (GMO) that comprise the majority of our primary crops in the US including soybeans, corn, canola, sugarbeets, alfalfa (which can contaminate even organic farms via wind carriers), tomatoes, fruits & most vegetables that can be modified (potatoes resist modification so are generally GMO free). Monsanto even makes growth hormones for the dairy industry’s cows. The GMO crops are then used not just to feed unsuspecting and uninformed consumers, but become the foundational feed for commercial farmers who produce the majority of this country’s meat and dairy livestock – the products most Americans don’t think about when buying groceries or eating out. And in recent months, the USDA, in their infinite wisdom approved a non-tested GMO Arctic Apple, produced by a Canadian company to be included in unsuspecting fast food customer’s kids meals under the guise that they won’t turn brown. When will the madness end? But wait, there’s more . . .
Since the 1980s Monsanto has also controlled and enforced PATENTS on all seeds for these products through its long history of Gestapo-like tactics forcing sometimes unwitting small farmers to pay through the nose to use these seeds annually instead of allowing what most old-fashioned farming practices advised: harvesting, cleaning and replanting seeds season to season. Buy, patent and genetically modify the majority of our seed sources and you control the population’s food culture.
Monsanto doesn’t stop there. After all, it’s still in the chemical business. In fact, the purpose of having controlled the seeds was to ensure the crops were resistant to their primary profit margin product – pesticides! But as nature predicts, eventually crops (even now genetically modified crops) adapt, learning to thrive despite the infusion of highly toxic crop dustings. That’s why other companies like Syngenta, Bayer, DuPont, BASF and the next big bad wolf, Dow chemicals, jumped on the bandwagon to create other non-resistant pesticides. Monsanto still controls and produces the flip side of the market – the toxic pesticides that we have been using in dangerous amounts for the last decade and a half. Large farms use Roundup or other noxious substances to spray the majority of our crops also supplied to this country’s vast majority of markets and restaurants. You’ve heard of Roundup? Heck it’s available in every Walmart, Target and hardware store across this great nation of ours.
Insidious doesn’t even come close to describing the seemingly unstoppable power and politics behind this monster movement. Monsanto’s pesticide products leave behind residues. Studies on GMOs and it’s neuro-toxin laden counterparts, pesticide residues, are being linked to ADHD, autism, diabetes, celiac and gluten-intolerance, obesity, liver disease, lowered sperm counts, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease. Generally speaking pesticide residues have dangerous effects on hormonal, reproductive, neurological and immune systems in the human body.
The combination of eating non-organic, GMOs has produced a largely unseen, but clearly proven health epidemic the likes of which we haven’t considered since biblical times.
Being a Holistic Mama against Monsanto is like stepping into David’s sandals as he faces Goliath, only now David has facebook, google & twitter! And David isn’t just the holistic mom, he’s the hipster millennial in Brooklyn, the struggling small farming family in the Midwest and the fearless scientist who is willing to share what his grant funders never wished to be revealed.
So there is hope! There is a consciousness rising as evidenced in the content bursting forth like an unencumbered organic seedling. Hope comes in the form of grass roots organizations and independent filmmakers. Monsanto is a hot topic covered in films such as Food, Inc., GMO OMG, and the soon-to-be-released film PlantPure Nation (opening in select theatres July 4th) written and directed by Dr. T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study) and his son, Nelson Campbell.
So what more can we do? Lend our voices, share information and make small but significant changes in our own family’s lives by reducing the amount of toxins we use in our homes and on our food. Join or start (as I did) a local Holistic Moms Network chapter. Support a local CSA (community supported agriculture, think farm co-op). Go see PlantPure Nation when it comes out July 4th. Use social media to spread the word about the national March Against Monsanto in DC this October, or at least read articles, tweets and posts about Monsanto to educate yourself and others.
Want to know more? I love to share, connect and inspire through my social media platform, healing practice and live workshops. For more information visit: ShiraAdler.com and follow on FB, , Google+, Instagram & Pinterest & Twitter!
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