What are you eating?

OP-Ed
By Joseph Ingoldsby.

Want to know if that cracker you are eating was made with Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) grains? Or if the processed cheese you spread on the cracker was made from medicated cows eating GMO grains? Right now, with a powerful agricultural and chemical lobby and a cowering United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.), you will never know. Bon appétit! Care for a pound of farm raised salmon? Scientists tell us that it takes 5 kilograms of ground wild oceanic fish ground and processed into high protein pellets to produce 1 kilogram of farmed salmon. Dioxin and PCB contamination levels are high in farmed fish. Food dyes in the feed give the aquaculture salmon their salmon color.

Modern agriculture has become monoculture of crops that are often bred for disease and pest resistance as well as convenience, not nutrition. The USDA is currently reviewing multiple herbicide resistant GMO seeds engineered to kill “superweeds” which have become resistant to Roundup™ now used with Roundup ready GMO seeds. Agent orange ingredient 2-4-D is one of the herbicides within the proposed multiple herbicide- resistant seeds being engineered by Dow Chemical™ under the name of Enlist™. Monoculture has reduced crop genetic diversity by 75%. There are 10,000 plant species used for food in human history. Yet today only 20 crops provide 90% of dietary protein and energy with corn, wheat and rice dominating most diets. Global seed companies are patenting numbers of the world’s seeds to control their future use, which will be disastrous to the world’s food production needs in a changing climate. The Green Revolution has become the Gene Revolution driven by patent rights.

Consumers have the right know what’s in what we eat. Today, we have no idea unless we purchase from local organic farmers or trustworthy distributors. Labeling our food products will help the consumer make the decision, not the corporation. Massachusetts Legislators must consider the implications of GMO food products to our health, local economy, and environment as they review labeling laws. Maine and Connecticut proposed bills to label GMO products in their states contingent upon other states following their example. In Connecticut the labeling law requires a critical mass of four New England states with a combined population of over 20 million people to be enacted. Massachusetts could become part of a New England block of states to advance food-labeling laws for the health and well being of Massachusetts’ citizens. Let consumers decide what they want to eat. We have the right to know. Food is a human right, not a derivative.

Published author, Joseph Ingoldsby writes on environmental issues and policy, sustainability, and science. Joseph Ingoldsby is a recent graduate of the U Mass Dartmouth- Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development certificate programs.   http://josephemmanuelingoldsby.com

About eSS&SC

The South Shore and South Coast has been home to hunting, gathering, fishing, farming––and great eating––for over 10,000 years. We are committed to identifying, devouring, and sharing all that Southeastern Massachusetts has to offer today and preserving local options for future generations.
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