By Richard D. Iyall
Before Columbus stumbled upon this continent, now called the Americas, the indigenous peoples here lived in great harmony with nature. The people here respected other people and other forms of life.
The European immigrants that came here after Columbus’ first visit brought disrespect for the people here and for other forms of life. They brought the intent of conquest over the people, the land, the natural resources and the other forms of life. They utilized genocidal actions in their quest to dominate everything, including killing off thousands of bison, or buffalo, in an attempt to eliminate them as a food source for those they considered their enemies. Propagating racism, religious persecution and the mind-set of Manifest Destiny, they used force, violence, warfare and other dishonorable tactics to further their dominance.
As they achieved many of their goals, they transformed much life into things and people that they could control for their own benefit, without regard for the consequences to their targets. They developed a centralized political and monetary system that would help them gain control. They mechanized food production, developing processed foods that would fit their goals of longer shelf life, transportability and mass production, with governmental subsidies for farmers who grew crops that they wished to support. They developed television and other electrical forms of communication, incorporating subliminal messages and other methods to help them gain control of peoples’ minds.
They killed people who were leaders against their monopolistic, imperialistic regime; then had such crimes covered up by their cohorts, or colored in mainstream media to be acceptable behavior. As the invaders gained control, they allowed people of other races to be a part of their cabal, as long as they didn’t make waves. They developed an education system that supported their goals of centralized control and indoctrination, as well as religions that would be an opiate for the people.
Out of this domineering, centralized mind-set came companies such as Monsanto, which developed chemicals for warfare and patented products like Roundup, which has added a tremendous amount of tonnage of chemicals to the landscape of the continent and other parts of the planet. Monsanto has developed patented genetically engineered food products that pressure farmers to continue to buy seeds from them year after year, to avoid lawsuits by the giant corporation.
The genetic engineering that they perform is not natural. It is a forced arbitrary introduction of a foreign substance into live cells. One of the primary goals of the genetic engineering of food products is to develop plants that can tolerate a higher quantity of herbicides, specifically the active ingredient glyphosate, which is found in Roundup. It is like rape of a natural form of life, forced onto the life form, contaminating it, so that it will never produce natural life again. Monsanto sells vast amounts of such contaminated seeds to farmers around the world, claiming legal control over the potential reproduction of plants that may grow to maturity and produce their own seeds.
Here in California, a midwife and organic farmer named Pamm Larry had an inspirational passion to do something about the situation regarding genetically engineered foods, also known as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. She started a political movement to put an initiative on the ballot to get such GMO food products to be labeled, so that consumers here could know when they are buying such unnatural substances. It produced a groundswell of grassroots activism, resulting in the initiative being placed on the Nov. 6, 2012, ballot, known as Prop 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.
Filmmaker Micha X. Peled produced a documentary film called Bitter Seeds. It was made in response to the catastrophic developments in India, where farmers had been caught up in the dead-end position of buying GM seeds. Being faced with losing their lands and their ways of life, after the crops failed to live up to expectations, requiring greater quantities of herbicides and other problems, farmers there have committed suicide at alarming rates, in the neighborhood of 250,000 farmers.
Peled and his film helped people open their eyes to the truth about GMOs. He appeared at Fresno State’s Cineculture screening of the film. The writer was instrumental in the screening of the film at Fresno City College, also, in September 2012. Although Prop 37 was defeated, by a margin of about 2%, it was a grand beginning to a movement that has grown immensely to help people learn about GMOs despite the vast resources of companies such as Monsanto and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has had distinct ties to Monsanto.
The state of Washington has put an initiative on its Nov. 6, 2013, ballot, called I-522, which would require the labeling of genetically engineered foods in that state. At this writing, it has a good chance of passage despite the millions of dollars of donations by corporate giants such as Monsanto, which are trying to defeat it.
Author Jeffrey Smith, who has been informing people of the dangers and concerns of genetically engineered foods for 17 years, believes that we are at the most critical tipping point in consumer rejection of GMOs in U.S. history, at least within those 17 years. This follows the enlightenment of many people regarding GMOs due to the actions regarding Prop 37.
In an interview conducted by Dr. Joseph Mercola in July 2013, Smith stated that in 1999, “the biotech industry boldly predicted that within five years 95% of all commercial seeds in the world would be genetically modified and patented…They did not anticipate the gag order of a scientist being lifted three weeks later in Europe. A firestorm of media reported on his results of a GMO-feeding study. Over 700 articles were written within a single month in the U.K.”
Smith further stated that “in 10 weeks, the tipping point of consumer rejection was achieved in Europe…heralded not by the European Commission banning GMOs, but by Unilever banning GMOs, then Nestle, and then virtually everyone in Europe because they realized that using GM ingredients had become a marketing liability.”
To elaborate on what Smith means about our tipping point here in the United States, he stated that “the signs last year, Doc, were that of all the categories of health and wellness claims—gluten-free, etc.—the one category that grew in sales more than anything else was non-GMO or GMO-free. In fact, when Whole Foods’ president was interviewed by USA Today, he said that when a product becomes verified as non-GMO, it increases sales by 15 to 30%. This shows an enormous desire and demand for non-GMO products.”
Smith referred to the www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com database, which he stated has 10,000 products that are verified as non-GMO and is expanding daily.
In Fresno, there was a March Against Monsanto at Woodward Park on Oct. 6. It was organized by Raquel Duke and featured Dr. Guy McPherson from Arizona and Fresno’s own Judy Nelson, who was the Prop 37 Fresno area volunteer leader. Smith’s film Genetic Roulette was shown. He has a book out by the same title.
On Oct. 12, there was a global activist phenomenon called March Against Monsanto. On the Web site of a nonprofit organization that Smith founded in 2003, called the Institute for Responsible Technology, it states that “thousands took to streets across the world’s cities on Saturday to protest the use of GMO products, with Giant Monsanto being the main target. Over 50 countries have been taking part in the march for world food day, and across 47 different US states.” The Web site claims to be “the most comprehensive source of GMO health risk information on the web” (www.responsibiletechnology.org).
On Oct. 14, Smith appeared on the nationally syndicated radio program Coast-to-Coast AM with George Noory. Smith reported on the global actions of March Against Monsanto and his observations of the perceived tipping point of consumer rejection of GMO products.
With the ever-expanding knowledge of the potential health risks to humans, to bees which pollinate plants, and of the vast amount of potential harm to the environment by the diabolical procedures of genetic engineering, we can win this battle. We can vote for life by buying organic foods.
Since the biotech industry persuaded enough people to cause Prop 37 in California to fail by a slim margin, it is not easy for the average consumer here to know which foods contain GMOs and which do not, unless they buy organic or non-GMO-certified foods. A great majority of soy, corn, sugar beet and cotton plants in this country are genetically engineered.
Due to the biotech industry’s massive influence over the FDA, they have been able to avoid most long-term studies on the subject. Studies that they performed on their own products were limited to 90 days, which hardly provides enough time to adequately evaluate the long-term effects of such tampering with nature.
But as the light of truth shines on this issue, more and more people will take the natural steps necessary to save this planet from the deadly effects of genetic engineering. Let us all allow our love within to grow, overcoming the greed of the cabal and the ignorance of so many people, as we redirect this planet toward sustainable activities, including decentralized food production and the rejection of genetic engineering of food products. It’s only natural.
Richard D. Iyall is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, which is now federally recognized, but still awaiting its first trust land in the State of Washington, where he was born. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.