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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 147


Thoughts: The next endangered species?

This blog thanks to Diana Mitchell who shined her light on this article and shared it with me and now I am sharing it with you...(www.thecampaign.org)

What are they doing to our food?

Over the past few years, an unprecedented large-scale experiment has been taking place with the world's food supply. Quietly and with very little media attention, giant "biotechnology" corporations have rapidly introduced genetically engineered foods into our food supply.

What are genetically engineered foods?
Genetic engineering creates entirely new types of plants by altering the genetic "blue print" of these crops. By cutting, joining and transferring genes between unrelated species, engineers develop plants with unique qualities.

At a first glance, it appears to be a "miracle of science". Agribusiness promise crops that are more resistant to freezing temperatires and stay on the vine longer for improved flavour. They promise fruits and vegetables grown with less dependence on chemical presticides. And by inactivating the enzymes that are responsible for rotting, they promise produce that will remain fresh longer without spoilage. However, if we take a closer look, we find that these promises came with hazardous side effects.

What are the dangers of genetically engineered foods?

It is a half-truth at best to say that genetically altered foods will require less pesticides. Many crops, in fact, will be sprayed with more pesticides, not less. A lot of plants cannot tolerate pesticides, so farmers don't use them on those crops. But new genetically engineered foods such Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybeans can directly sprayed with the herbicide Roundup. Researchers estimate that nearly 50 percent of the nation's soybeans are now genetically engineered!

Are genetically engineered foods threatening human health and the environment?

In the mad rush to profit from new technology, sometimes corners are cut, and long-term consequences are poorly understood. It turns out that the Monarch butterfly, a favourite of children everywhere, may be endangered by genetically engineered corn.

Recent laboratory tests conducted by a team of Cornell University researchers resulted in the deaths of nearly half the Monarch caterpillars that ate milkweed leaves dusted with pollen from a new brand of genetically engineered corn. The caterpillars died within four days of eating genetically contaminated pollen. No caterpillars that ate normal leaves without genetically altered pollen died.

This genetically altered corn, unfortunately, already has been planted on some 20 million acres of American farmlands since it's introduction a few years ago. In the spring, Monarch butterflies travel 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada passing through America's Corn Belt in the Midwest. Mating along the way, the Monarchs produce millions of caterpillars that feast on milkweed leaves, which frequently are covered with corn pollen blown by the wind from nearby cornfields.

Nineteen butterfly and moth species currently are on the EPA's endangered species list. Some of them also may be at the risk if they eat plants laced with genetically engineered corn pollen.

Challenges: If the butterflies are dying because of this, imagine what it is doing to us human beings? I can't imagine anything good. What other unkown environmental and health troubles might it cause as well? And it's crazy when I write "What are they doing to our food?" because it's like well who is the 'they' and the 'they' that are doing this are doing it to their own food, why would they do this? Unless they have their own organic farm and eat free of genetically engineered foods? The corporations promoting these foods claim they are safe. The United States goverment says they do not need to be label. But public opinion polls reveal that the vast majority of Americans want labeling.

Triumphs: Genetically engineered foods are being labelled increasinly worlwide. The European Union countries and Australia have passed legislation requiring labeling. It appears Japan and other countries will also require labeling. In a January, 1999 Time magazine poll, 81 percent of the respondents indicated they want genetically engineered foods labeled. If you and your loved ones

What I Ate Today:

Breakfast: Beetroot, carrot, celery, ginger juice.

Lunch: Sprouts (chickpeas, alfalfa, bean sprouts) with walnuts and an avocado.

Dinner: Indian, yellow rice with lentils and curry powder with dahl (cooked black lentils)

Dessert: No dessert.

Snacks: Walnuts.

Recipe: Recipe for Dahl is on blog Day 103

Exercise: Working on set "The Man In The Maze" ;) www.themaninthemaze.net

219 days to go!!!

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