Frankenfood Revisted – Anti-GMO March this Saturday

Alex Symington

By Alex Symington…

On Saturday, May 23, 2015 people in Key West and cities and towns all across the US and many other countries are marching against Monsanto, the maker of such lovely concoctions as DDT, Agent Orange, Round-up and genetically engineered “Frankenfood”. The Key West march will start at Mallory Square at 4:00 PM. [FACEBOOK event]

The following essay was originally published in The Blue Paper November 1, 2013. Absolutely NOTHING has changed. Scratch that. It has gotten worse.


I was talking with a friend the other day and it struck me that our conversation would have been unnecessary just a few decades ago. It reminded me of the joke, “Eat Organic Food, or as our grandparents called it, ‘Food’!” We were discussing how to avoid Genetically Modified foods and the difficulty of that goal, given that the United States government has embraced this “industry” and all its lobbyist’s generous campaign contributions. “Industry” is an apt title for food produced with the same loving care and respect for consumers as that of a cardboard box factory.

The biggest player in this perversion of food is the Monsanto Corporation that manufactures a unique witch’s brew of plastics, poisons, pesticides, herbicides and genetically engineered seed. Despite Monsanto’s promises of increased yield, drought tolerance and enhanced nutrition, just the opposite has happened. Pesticide/herbicide tolerant GMO corn, soy and other crops have increased indiscriminate use of these toxic chemicals, Monsanto’s of course, by drenching what we eat with poisons and at the same time creating herbicide resistant weeds, requiring more and more toxic poison usage. This is yet one more example of man attempting and failing miserably to outsmart Mother Nature.

One would think with our track record of environmental disasters, created by our mucking about with the natural order of things that have been in existence for millions of years, we would have learned by now. In our Mayfly-like span of time on the planet we as a species have done some pretty thoughtless things. For example, in the post-war-atom-bomb-all-things-are-possible-with-technology mind set of the US, DDT was considered the miracle cure for defeating crop-eating insects and increasing crop yield and was put to use all over the world. Thanks to pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson with her book Silent Spring, published way back in 1962, DDT was exposed for the terror of nature it was. Much like in today’s government, the powerful well financed Chemical Industry was well represented, but she went up against it and opened the eyes of America to the dangers of pesticides and the harm they do to ALL biology. As a direct consequence of her exposure of the danger of unregulated corporate environmental polluters, President Richard M. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. Carson said the word “pesticide” was misleading and that Biocide was more accurate.

This obsessive compulsion to outwit the natural world seems to be a constant with our Western culture. I don’t mean to stray from the GMO topic too much, but our cultural make up does affect our perception of data. It would seem the biblical Judeo/Christian “Dominion over all things” dovetails nicely with the corporate control of everything under the sun, including the basics of food, water “and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” King James Bible, Genesis 1:26. How convenient.

Eighty-eight percent of corn, the number one crop in the US, and ninety three percent of soy are genetically modified to resist herbicides/pesticides or have a genetically built in pesticide. If you ingest practically ANY processed food you are eating GMOs because almost every processed food has GMO corn syrup or some GMO corn derivative. So by genetically engineering produce, companies like Monsanto can patent and control seed sales, which translates to legal control of food. Farmers have to buy their corn or soy seed from Monsanto every planting cycle because the traditional practice of keeping a portion of the crop for seed is illegal because of the patent. The farmer doesn’t stand a chance against this Corporate Goliath. Even farmers not using Monsanto seed have been brought to court because neighboring farms using the GMO seeds cross pollinate and in effect alter the defendant farmer’s crop, thereby unintentionally growing the GMO plants on his or her farm.

If screwing the farmer and the environment wasn’t enough, Monsanto is busy countering mounting evidence that EATING bio-engineered food is detrimental to our health. Common sense would dictate that eating corn that has been genetically designed to kill insects by melting their stomachs if they ingest that corn probably isn’t good for our stomachs. There is increasingly more data on connections between GMOs and Crohn’s Disease, Autism, bleeding ulcers, bleeding intestines, cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from Round-up’s herbicide N-phosphonomethylglycine, AKA Glyphosate…Doesn’t that sound yummy? I would appreciate it if I had a greater selection of non-GMO food at the market, wouldn’t you?

The GMO controversy has been solved in several European countries by simply not allowing them, period. Many other countries in South America, the Middle East and Asia have banned or restricted GMO foods, but unfortunately the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project (link below) was created to give consumers the informed choice they deserve and several states in the U.S. have independently done the same. Unfortunately, our “representatives” in our federal government have found, yet another, cash cow in the form of Monsanto lobbyists and are busy at work creating legislation to promote GMO products and pre-emptively protect Monsanto from possible legal action.

Our Secretary of Agriculture since 2009, Tom Vilsack, is an ex-governor of Iowa, the biggest producer of corn and soy in the US and an avid supporter of Monsanto and GMOs, Big Corn and other powerful players in the food industry. Having an old friend of Monsanto in charge of watching out for American consumers is much like having oil company executives in charge of regulating the oil industry. Look how well that went in the case of the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout.

According to an ABC poll 93 percent, nearly everyone, says the federal government should require labels on food stating whether it’s been genetically modified, or “bio-engineered” (this poll used both phrases). Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare, but even with poll numbers like that our “representatives” are still balking at passing labeling laws, more evidence that Washington is owned and operated by corporate lobbyists. To add insult to injury congress’s food service provider uses all organic and natural foods in their cafeteria! At this point I would normally ask everyone to contact their reps in DC to let them know your thoughts on GMOs, but we’ve all heard the joke that everyone in Congress should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers, so we would know who they truly represent. It would be funny if it weren’t true.


The foremost issue at hand is the people’s simple desire to have foods labeled, GMO or Non-GMO, to allow the consumer to make informed purchasing decisions. Monsanto’s army of law makers and lawyers are spending millions of dollars trying to prevent that simple common sense labeling. If GMO foods are so wonderful, as claimed by Monsanto, why are they working so hard to hide their identity in the foods that contain them?

I know marching is about as much fun as jury duty, but it is a rewarding civic experience that means you are an active member and participant in our democracy. I hope to see you there!


Facebook Comments

7 thoughts on “Frankenfood Revisted – Anti-GMO March this Saturday

  1. so how exactly, again, does your last sentence advance your, and your buddy Shaquille’s, absolute belief in the voting process and its effectiveness?

    you just made the case that we are now a fascist state. just wondering how your concept that we are also a representative democracy fits in with that.

    1. lol I couldn’t contain it. I’ve been saying fascist state for a couple of decades now to grey’ed over eyes who retort ‘but we have a choice’. yep sure do have a ‘choice’ we do! its a d\emocracy ya know cause its got 2 parties the demopublicans and the republicrats. 😉 cheers

  2. I would also hope the march takes into account the latest home grown ‘gmo’ experiment! that is the release of multi-millions of gmo mosquitoes in key haven.

    this proposed ‘lab rat’ experiment will be ongoing each month over a 2 year time period by a uk company called oxitec with roots to Monsanto and all ‘overseen’ and in ‘partnership’ by our bastion of protection of the human species our very own mosquito control board whom we taxpayers financially support to take what they are calling ‘pro-active’ responses against dengue fever which we have had no cases of the past 5 years and only minimally showed up briefly in 2009-10 time frame.

    for this so called earth shattering dengue experience the mosquito board in a show of ‘we know what is best so move along nothing to see here’ elitism countering a 75% NO petition by the subjects of this experiment namely the residents of key haven who have been thrown into the lab rat category by our very own mosquito control board forges ahead with their plans instead of demanding a full blown environmental impact statement from oxitec before any contemplated action. no they toss off their responsibilities onto the fda so they can then ‘cya’ if the fda approves without the full impact statement.

    makes one feel all warm and fuzzy all over more then anywhere else don’t it?

    hopefully some marchers will carry the gmo mosquito NO banner next Saturday too.

  3. Alex,

    I always enjoy and get a lot out of your articles. Thank you.

    My comment is not directed at your ‘guest column’, however it’s related.

    Whom is the ruling scientific authority on surveying, measuring and determining the facts upon which we base our decisions, regarding the growth and treatment of food and farm products?

    Blessings & Respect…

    1. John, let’s avoid the black hole of bullet points and “my scientist is smarter that your scientist” arguments. I will simply stand my ground on the importance of being an informed consumer and the common sense need for labeling. Common sense is apparently not so common these days. 🙂

      1. yes, yes… no point in discussing bullet points, or as some might call them, facts…. no, no, better to sit in your “cone of silence” and play pretend i’m-a-liberal-progressive-new-age-guru while you sift through The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal.

        well, as they say: arrogance and self awareness seldom share mentioning in the same sentence. I guess we can add hypocrisy to that as well.

        still no answer on the fascism-democracy question?

  4. Dear Alex,

    You exhibit courage, wisdom, passion and solutions in all of your articles. You know yourself and you’re not afraid to risk reprisals for the realizations and beliefs that you’ve acquired.

    Regularly bearing your heart before the world, undeterred by the hostility cast upon you, your brilliance and beauty resonates within the consciousness of many.

    Unfortunately for us all, I’ve witnessed the perversion, defilement and unraveling of the last tool that might have been able to build consensus and draw reasonable people of the world together, as we address the realities of our creation.

    Some corrupted scientists, along with their politicized and twisted studies, have driven wedges between those seeking the truth. They’ve parlayed their deceptiveness and lies into vast reservoirs of power, wealth and prestige.

    These depraved men and women of science have prostituted themselves before the alter of the almighty dollar. Selling out to the highest bidder, they’ve relegated the world to their ‘junk science’.

    Alex, my aforementioned comments do not challenge the veracity of your ideas and insights; along with the perspectives that you’ve so beautifully and brilliantly proffered through your many articles.

    It is far more serious than that.

    Alex, I admire, respect and love the individual that you’ve become. Along with the God of my understanding, your encouragement and positive feedback provides me with the strength to carry on.

    Love, Blessings & Respect…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.