Cawston woman frightened by information heard during meeting about genetically-modified food

By on December 4, 2013

Dear Editor:

Last Thursday evening I attended a Speaker’s Tour on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The speakers were Dr. Thierry Vrain and Dr. Shiv Chopra.

Dr. Vrain is a retired soil biologist and genetic scientist with Agriculture Canada, and Dr. Chopra was a microbiologist with Health Canada who was pressured to approve the Bovine Growth Hormone. When he refused he was fired in 2004.

I’m always surprised when I hear people confusing genetic engineering with hybridization and breeding.

We hybridize plants with each other to make a bigger flower, or a new colour, or resistance to disease. We breed animals together for certain traits.

This is done within the laws of nature. But genetic manipulation is just that – taking the genes from one species and inserting it into another.

Spiders were not intended to breed with goats. Jellyfish won’t breed with pigs.

And tomatoes don’t mate with fish. Even human genes have been tried with rice, corn and tobacco.

This is runaway technology with no holds barred.

Some information I picked up from the talks scared me.

There are now 420 million acres of genetically engineered crops being grown at this time, mainly to allow plants to accept the herbicide Roundup.

This was done to reduce the use of pesticides but it was a dismal failure.

The use of pesticides increased by over 600 million pounds since 1996 and now the weeds have become resistant and more and more Roundup is necessary.

It was also touted that yields would increase.

Another failure as yields are higher where no GMO crops are grown.

We lost our flax and canola markets in Europe because of GMOs, yet we’re still toying with allowing it in our apples, alfalfa, and fish (to name a few).

There are numerous studies that are alarming but squashed by the big players who conduct their own “studies” and tell us that no one has gotten sick from GMO food.

However, since GMOs have been on the market there is a spike in celiac and Crohns disease, autism, Alzheimer’s, depression, obesity, infertility, gastro-intestinal disorders and kidney and liver damage.

We are all eating GMO food in one form or another and it’s difficult to avoid if we eat (and we all do) corn (sweet, starch, oil), soy, canola (in almost all salad dressings), sugar (beets – cane sugar is ok so far), grain (because of all the pesticides used), papaya, and maybe pineapple.

If we could convince our governments to ban five things, all the food we eat would be organic:

1. Hormones. These are used to bring all the animals in a particular facility into heat at once and is a carcinogen.

2. Antibiotics, Bovine growth hormone causes more mastitis, which requires more antibiotics.

3. Slaughterhouse waste (the creepiest). This includes the floor scrapings from slaughterhouses (bones, blood, skin, feathers and even road kill), which is rendered down and fed to animals, even milk cows.

4. GMOs.

5. Pesticides.

But we may as well stand in front of a train.

One statement sent a chill down my spine: “We are destroying the whole ecological system from the inside.”

The room was full of concerned people but we noticed few politicians.

We were pleased to see RDOS members George Bush and Alan Patton there (both farmers) and, of course, Arlene Arlow who helped organize the event along with Alex Atamanenko, our MP, who was not in attendance himself but was represented by his able assistant Lilly Zekanovic.

Zekanovic told us that Atamanenko’s proposed Bill C-257 – Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Modified Foods – is still alive.

This tour has been met with standing room audiences only wherever it has been presented as more and more people are becoming aware of this issue.

Oh by the way, here’s another revelation. Stokes Seeds has been bought by Monsanto.

Donna Stocker

Cawston, B.C.


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