I was only three minutes in to the movie “Genetic Roulette” and I was already disgusted. What large companies — particularly Monsanto in this film — do with genetically modified food is questionable at best and quite possibly life-threatening at worst.
When I started watching, I was honestly expecting a bunch of screeching greenies insisting that we were all about to die. Instead what I got was a bunch of knowledgeable scientists who clearly laid out how GMO crops work, what the biggest concerns are, and what little evidence we have right now that does seem to implicate GMOs with a wide array of human disease.
The basic gist of “Genetic Roulette” is there are pesticides that are built into plants now and these pesticides are all over the food chain as cows eat GMO corn and then we eat the GMO-fueled cows (or pigs, chickens, whatever). Traces of GMO pesticides have been found, for instance, in our kidneys and in breast milk. There also seems to be a correlation between the introduction of GMO food into our food supply and an increase of gut health issues such as Crohn’s Disease and even diabetes.
To me the biggest issue is there isn’t a lot of research. The FDA doesn’t require all that much to approve a new GMO food and whatever information is supplied always comes from the food manufacturer so it’s not exactly “unbiased.” There are alarm bells that this stuff is dangerous with side effects happening right now that we don’t even know about, but no one is even studying it to find out. How can that be? Why doesn’t the U.S. government care about what is getting dumped into the bodies of its citizens?
The scientists lined up to say that if you go up against Monsanto it basically means the end of your career. Several scientists talked about how they or a colleague had spoken up and lost jobs.
There are currently 20 states considering initiatives to label GMOs. Currently all of Europe, China, and India either require labeling of GMOs or ban their sale entirely. My state, Massachusetts, currently has five bills that have been put forward that next month will be whittled down into one common bill.
I think the genie is out of the bottle here, thanks mostly to last year’s California Prop 37 ballot initiative. It failed to win, but did finally send a strong message to Big Agra that this isn’t okay. The most important point the movie makes is that the easiest way to change Big Agra’s behavior is to stop buying this stuff. If it doesn’t make money, they won’t make it.
So watch the movie, learn a bit more about GMOs, and then start voting with your wallet. (It’s only a $2.99 rental, just go here.) Yes I eat as much organic food as I can, which eliminates GMOs right there, but I know that’s not possible for everyone. The one sure way to know you’re not getting GMOs is to buy organic. And kudos to Whole Foods for pledging to eliminate them from their shelves by 2018 (and hopefully sooner).