Creating social change

A3361-001Don’t call them “genetically modified” says the FDA.  In a campaign that is very likely driven behind-the-scenes by the marketing arm of biotech industry, the FDA now wants us to use the term “genetically engineered” instead.

Why is this so appalling?  Because the American public is just beginning to wrap their minds around the term “GMO”.  That little combination of three letters is gaining widespread comprehension — “brand recognition” you might say.  Recognition that it is the Death Star of our global food supply.

And now that people are starting to recognize all the horrible health and environmental impacts of GMOs , we’re supposed to change-out the language.

It’s a blatant marketing tactic to confuse the public. Continue Reading

Creating social change

 

questionWithin activism (particularly the GMO debate) it is common to hear one side dissing the other with claims of “bad science.”The truth is, there are “good science” studies on both sides of the GMO argument.  Meanwhile, we activists have some homework to do, so that our statements are founded in “good science” rather than mere opinion.

Here’s how to be an activist based on “good science”:

1) Get a little Geeky.  Learn how to recognize “good science”:  learn how to find peer-reviewed studies.

2) Quote good stuff. When you quote, quote “good science” rather than the words of other activists.  Quote scientific studies rather than internet articles.

3) Footnote like Fury.  Include footnotes or hyperlinks so that others can follow the breadcrumbs back to the sources of your information.

4) Consider the contents.  Don’t go just by the title alone!  Read the study, particularly the conclusion.  Make sure it really discovered what you think it discovered, before you quote it.

5) Tell the Truth:  tell the public that “the jury is still out”, that there are scientific studies on both sides of the argument.  Neither side has been conclusively proven yet.  GMOs have not been proven safe, nor effective.  But honestly, the scientific community has not yet proven GMOs to be completely evil either; they’re still working on it, so meanwhile that evilness is merely your own opinion. 

Now, whether we should go ahead full-scale as a society and bank the future of our entire food supply, the future of our environment, and the health of several generations, on an unproven technology … that is a question of wisdom.

Abundant Harvests - garden info, Creating social change

heirloom bean seedsIn so many ways, GMOs deplete any resilience in our food supply.

GMOs are perhaps the ultimate pinnacle of petroleum-dependent agriculture. These plants are laboratory-engineered specifically to work together with petro-chemicals: herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers. Headed into a world with increasingly less and less fossil resources, deepening the petro-dependence of our food supply is an absolutely disasterous course.

For thousands of years, humanity has fed itself “organically” — only your great-grandmother didn’t have a term for it. That was normal agriculture. This chemical-dependent stuff is very recent, widespread just since WWII. GMOs are the ultimate in UN-organic. The useage of farm chemicals with GMOs has vastly increased; it’s now producing SuperWeeds and SuperBugs which are resistant to chemicals, requiring stronger chemicals in greater and greater quantity.  And the chemical-centric agribusiness process is stripping out our topsoils, polluting our waterways, sickening our farm workers.

The long-term impacts of GMOs on human health are completely untested.  For many years the companies that produced GMOs refused to allow independent studies, and there has been no transparency of scientific findings.  The first independent, longer-term studies are just now beginning to emerge in Europe, and these studies suspect the GM process itself (not just the chemicals) is detrimental to those who consume it.  (YouTube) We can indeed have a better life than this. Continue Reading

Abundant Harvests - garden info, Creating social change

Fear.  It’s that chill that creeps up your spine.  That awful, churning hot knot, deep in the pit of your stomach.  The tremble that makes your hands feel powerless.  The freeze-up, that tempts you to inaction.  But you can’t give in to it.  You still need to DO SOMETHING.

I’m not a very public person by nature.  But right now life — my activist life, and life on the planet in general — demands that I do some very public things.  It’s terrifying.

My husband tells me fear and excitement have some of the same roots.  Maybe.  Sometimes it is excitement, disguised.  But sometimes, like a week ago Wednesday, like today, it is just plain wanting-to-crawl-in-a-hole rather than do what needs to be done. Continue Reading