GMO debate raises God question

By Ashley Bunton -

I think it’s important to note that science does not have all of the answers. When the issue of genetically modified foods is brought up, nobody can definitively say that GMO foods are safe.

Genetic modification of food crops took off in the early 1990s. No doubt everybody was consumed with the happenings of the Clinton marriage scandal to pay too much attention to what the 103rd Congress was doing. The scandal was a perfect cover for Congress to dismantle environmental protection laws that kept poisons at bay; the Hudson Bay and Love Canal were at the forefront of the environmental movement in the 1970s that placed those protections on air, water and land into our communities to keep our children and elderly safe and healthy.

Yet there were some working in Congress who thought those protections were too much. Not too much for our children, but too much for industry. Cabinet members and presidential advisors were also corporate employees and lobbyists for major chemical and manufacturing companies. The promise of eradicating environmental laws in the 1990s was that it would be a good thing for jobs and would help to improve the economy.

Yet look at where we are today. Twenty years after environmental laws were gutted and de-funded to what little protections they offer to us today, our economy is at its worse since the depression of the Dust Bowl era. If cutting environmental regulations helped the economy and improved businesses and jobs, then why have the economy and jobs gotten worse over the last 20 years? Today nearly 100 million Americans are without jobs. Compared to the 21 million jobs created in the 90s, there was a zero net job creation throughout the 2000s. And not only is the economy worse off now, but our children are worse off, the incidences of autism and breast cancer increased by 5,000 percent in the 50 years since the introduction of massive amounts of industrial and agricultural chemicals, and their by-products were dumped into our food systems and waterways.

Genetically modified foods were designed and without much study they were mass produced and shoved into the economy. One argument that is made for their need is that GMOs produce higher volumes of food that is drought and disease-resistant, and this is necessary for being able to provide food to the world of starving people. However, prior to war and the spread of democratic capitalism that overthrew sovereign nations’ governments, the world wasn’t full of starving people. Our society creates starving people, warfare that decimates entire countries creates starving people, and communities everywhere struggle to retain any power over their food supply.

But what we all know, instinctively, is that plants have always produced their own mechanisms of defense against insects, disease and other plants that try to invade their space. How would they be here otherwise? The natural pest control agents that were discovered in the genetics of plants were studied by scientists and then similar, synthetic chemicals were developed to mimic the plant’s natural chemical agents. When we talk about chemicals, we have naturally occurring chemicals and we have synthetic chemicals, which are thought up, artificial, made in laboratories. Of the more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals we have dumped into our food and water, about 200 have been studied. Not only are massive amounts of chemicals barely studied, but are rarely tested for, so we have no idea what their effects are.

For millions of years plants have survived and adapted to different states of the earth’s climate through producing their own natural pest control agents. But low and behold, our government created synthetic chemicals during warfare and then decided that those chemicals should be used on our food crops too. There are still, in some places throughout the Rust Belt, castaway barrels that once contained the likes of DDT, Dieldrin and Aldrin, some of the most highly dangerous and toxic synthetic chemicals that will persist in our environment forever and only increase in potency over time. The birds are dead and the farmers killed them. Not only do those chemicals persist in the environment forever, but we still experience fall-out from them, because chemicals like DDT are not banned in other countries.

Throughout much of human history they have relied on their own instincts and abilities to produce their food. Great accomplishments in manufacturing made it easier to mass produce food. Later, and now with both parents in a family working, purchasing food became quicker and easier than growing and processing food in their own communities. In the 1990s scientists modified the genetics of plants to be resistant to the chemicals that are sprayed and applied on them, and then also genetically modified the plants so that the dangerous chemicals are now inside the genetics of the plants themselves and released from there.

And while our government proclaims that scientists have done studies that show genetic modification in food is safe for consumption, these scientists often work for the chemical corporations themselves. What is more absurd is that the government claims this, yet scientists still don’t even know, to this day, what gravity is. Nor do scientists know what the spirit molecule is, the divine that is the chief organizing officer of our existence. Some people call it God. Others call it the unknown. Whatever we call it, we know it exists. That we know it exists comes from the fact that a baby comes out of genes and molecules. But genes and molecules — how do they know how to organize into a child? There have never been instructions found inside our genetics that show how it knows how to organize itself into a body.

There’s a lot of things science hasn’t figured out that we take for granted, like gravity and, basically, our whole existence. So without this knowledge, how do we know that we can genetically modify food without destroying something else or causing a shift in something that we yet do not know about? Why choose to take life for granted?

To me, genetic modification of food crops could very well be the mark of the beast. But because the food corporations and our government refuse to apply the GMO labels on GMO food products, I have to look at the labels in the store for the ones that say non-GMO or made from non-GMO ingredients. The food corporations are afraid of putting GMO labels on their food.

People can spend all of their time trying to convince me that the hot dogs made from pigs who were fed genetically modified corn and soy are safe for me to eat, or that the genetically modified corn in the corn syrup that is used in soda is safe for me to drink. Yet I disagree. We simply don’t know what will happen when we mess with the organizing power contained within organisms by supplanting artificial intelligence and chemicals into genetics. There’s no way to know, because no matter how many studies are done, without understanding what God is, or what the unknown organizing powers of life may be, there is no rational way to play with the genetics of life and say it’s safe while at the same time dismantling our environmental regulations.

That’s like putting the cart before the horse. Who does that?

By Ashley Bunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton