Over at Patrick's Bifurcated Carrots Blog Patrick recently posted the following:
Obama Set for Major GMO Promotion
December 4, 2008 · Filed Under Environment, Food and Drink, Getting Political, Seeds · 3 Comments
Jeffrey Smith (a well known opponent of GMOs in food) recently wrote this article for the Huffington Post, detailing recent appointments of GMO supporters on the Obama team.
All is not gloom and doom however. Obama has said he wants “stringent tests for environmental and health effects” and “stronger regulatory oversight guided by the best available scientific advice.” He also said he supports mandatory labelling of GMOs.
If Obama can transform the GM industry into one that sells products regulated and tested in a meaningful way with respect to their safety and environmental impact, and consumers can make informed decisions about what they buy and have the possibility to choose non-GMO products if they want, he will have my full support.
Now our task as consumers and bloggers will be to hold the Obama adminstration accountable to implementing these ideas in a meaningful way.
Now, I have to point out my issues with such support by the Obama team of any GMO acceptance and testing.
If this were the case (and I'm sure it is, take a look and do some research on members of his cabinet) just who exactly will provide the stringent testing of such GMO material? Is it going to be the companies involved in producing the material, will it be a GMO advocate? What exactly will they test for? The problem with testing GMO material is what exactly are we looking for specifically when we have no idea whatsoever of how two different sets of DNA may interact in an unnatrual environment.
My secondary issue. Let's pretend for a moment that we do live in a perfect world where we could do such specific testing and get an idea of what to expect, what then about the patenting of such technology in crops which are out crossers and could diffuse their genetic material into our open pollinated crops, giving the chem. companies all they need in order to obtain and own our crops. My opinion is the push for GMO material often has a lot more to do with this pirating of OP seed crops than it really has to do with any humanitarian act of good will towards the world. The very first seed coup d'etat on behalf of the big corporations and their owners.