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Monday, February 1, 2010

FRANKENFOOD! (OR, how TV sometimes anticipates real life)

I LOVE all of the CSI’s, mainly because I love to watch smart people solving puzzles. These three shows are really good at that (and the back stories about the people involved are interesting as well). Unfortunately, sometimes the shows anticipate real-life problems. Like the CSI: MIAMI show, BAD SEED.

I missed it the first time it was on since it came on in the middle of a football game that WonderWifeTheEngineer wanted to watch, and I’m sorry that I did. It was a very scary show, made even more frightening by my reading the latest information about GM crops that dropped into my e-mail the next morning.

GM, as I’m reasonably sure that everybody knows at this point, stands for Genetically Modified. Most people call it FrankenFood and refuse to eat it. There was an absolutely huge scandal a few years ago when it was discovered that Taco Bell was using GM corn in their tortillas. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/09/24/gm-corn-part-one.aspx)

According to the article, there is some concern that a protein found in the altered corn could cause an allergic reaction in some consumers, which is why the FDA had not approved of its use in humans. Y’see, this corn was only approved for cattle feed. So, OF COURSE, instead of it being directly fed to the consumer in the form of corn products, we got to eat it in beef. Wow. Wasn’t that terrific. According to U.S. government scientists, the GM corn, named "StarLink", is safe for cattle, pigs and other farm animals.

Uh-huh. It’s safe for our food animals to eat it. SURE it is. Of course, nobody did any sort of research into whether those food animals were safe for human consumption, either. An independent laboratory, Genetic ID Inc., concluded in three sets of tests that the samples contained StarLink corn. The boxes of taco shells sold under the Taco Bell brand were produced by Kraft Foods Inc., a unit of Philip Morris Co. Inc.

Dr. Mercola (http://www.mercola.com/) stated back in 2000 on his web site: “In addition to being worried about the corn, what do you think happens to the livestock being feed the GM foods? Although I do feel that animal protein is an important part of the human diet, I am a firm believer in treating livestock properly, which certainly does not include feeding them genetically-modified "FrankenFoods". This is another great reason to buy organic whenever possible and to try to only patronize companies that pledge to stay GM-free.”

So, this is important why?

As Monsanto prepares to unleash its latest Genetically-Modified (GM) corn supercrop, the International Journal of Biological Sciences has revealed the true cost of these crops.

The study focused on three GM corn crops - Mon 863, Mon 801 and NK 603 - and found that they caused statistically significant rates of kidney and liver malfunction, as well as some heart, adrenal, spleen and blood damage in rats. These crops have been approved for consumption in the U.S. and many countries in Europe without proper research into their affect on human health.

GM technology inserts non-food genes into the DNA of food, sometimes making the crop more resilient to herbicides and other times, causing them to produce toxic proteins that act as pesticides themselves. This process changes the structure of the food drastically and presents humans with substances that have never been a part of the human or animal diet.

Several countries in Europe, such as Germany and France, have already banned GM crops, including Mon 801. But the U.S. FDA has done us a potentially dangerous and disastrous disservice by simply taking Monsanto's word that these genetically modified crops are safe and not doing any testing! This 90-day study was just the beginning, and these GM crops must be studied further instead of being immediately available for human consumption.

And this has what to do with a TV show?

Here’s the plot of BAD SEED:

When a pale and unconscious ER patient named Lauren, dies from complete organ failure, Alexx Woods believes she was murdered with an unknown poison. Ethan, her boyfriend who said he had planned to propose to her, becomes the main suspect. Horatio and the team test everything in her apartment for any sort of poison. When the boyfriend collapses during Delko's questioning, they discover Lauren was poisoned by a deadly strain of E. coli. The team investigates the restaurant where Ethan and Lauren last ate but are directed to the farm where the produce comes from, as E. coli starts with the grower. Ryan, Jesse and Walter get resistance from the farm but manage to test the crops and come up with nothing. They investigate other methods the strain could have infected the crops and discover everything is controlled by a larger corporation, Bixby Organic Foods. They secretly go back and test the irrigation system and discover the water tests positive for E. coli as it goes right through a manure-covered cattle field. They discover the corn that's feeding the cows is a perfect breeding ground for E. coli but when Alexx tells them that Ethan doesn't have an E. coli infection they have to dig deeper as to what the source is. Bixby was growing genetically engineered corn to make it easier to digest and Ethan had eaten some of that corn, showing symptoms of botulism and succumbing to it. Horatio confronts the CEO of Bixby but he claims a few deaths are worth feeding an entire nation.

This is the attitude of Monsanto and all of the other ginormous chemical and agricultural combines. Of course, that they all will be getting even richer as a result of these “FrankenFoods”, so-called, is just a SIDE issue. They really really REALLY care about us and gosh, if a few people died of allergic reactions to their genetic manipulations of our food surces, well, so what? That’s just that many FEWER people to clutter up the earth, after all!

And this, gangers, is why we ALL have to watch what we eat and where it comes from.

1 comment:

  1. Celiacs get the direct, life long, immediate costs of GM food. It was the genetic changes in wheat, barley and rye crops that is widely believed to cause Celiac Disease.

    As a Celiac, I have to watch everything I eat closely. I have also developed a skin intolerance to wheat in beauty products, which makes everyday living even more interesting!

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