I love reading books that make you want to write down every word. I may have only read the introduction, but so far this is definitely one of those books: Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds by Claire Hope Cummings.
I can’t wait to finish it, and to recommend it to everyone.
“Taken together, the world’s seeds maintain the plant systems that keep the planet breathing. Every breath we take has been exhaled by a plant which turned it into oxygen for us. Seeds have always been our silent partners in maintaining life on earth.”
“[W]hoever controls the future of seeds controls the future of life on earth.”
The following is the paragraph that I really want to share, except I’m changing the format for better web-viewing:
“There are five solid reasons that genetic engineering is not right for agriculture.
One: it’s bad science. It was developed on the basis of flawed assumptions which have since been discredited by the scientific community.
Two: it’s bad biology. It was deployed without regard for its potential for genetic contamination and its risks to human health.
Three: it’s bad social policy. It puts control over seeds and the fundamentals of our food and farms into the hands of a few corporations who have their own, not our, best interests in mind.
Four: it’s bad economics. After billions of dollars and thirty years, only a few products have been commercialized, and they offer nothing new. No one asked for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and given a choice, consumers would reject them.
Five: it’s bad farming. GMOs don’t address the real issues plaguing agriculture; they’re designed to substitute for or increase the use of proprietary weed and pest control chemicals. Patented and genetically altered seeds perpetuate the very worst problems of the industrial food system, and they are undermining the autonomy of the farmers who use them.”
And finally, a great explanation of the whole situation regarding seeds, biotechnology interests, and the public:
“Seeds are the common heritage of all humanity, and yet they are being stolen right from underneath our noses. If someone came into your kitchen and took all the food off the shelves and out of the refrigerator, you’d notice. If someone came into your farm and stole the seeds you were about to plant, you’d notice. But the theft of the world’s genetic heritage has not been so overt. It’s been done by changing the biological and legal character of plants, so that while the food and seeds remain where they were, ownership of them has shifted.”
I literally want to post every paragraph, but alas that is just not going to happen. Please, go read the book for yourself if you have any interest in knowledge of your food.
If you prefer watching over reading, I highly recommend the following documentaries: “David vs Monsanto”, “The Future of Food”, and “Born of the Sun”. These are just a start and are mostly about seeds and GMOs, but there are many wonderful documentaries out there detailing a plethora of issues related to food.