DNA – Do Not Alter?


President Bush has chosen to use his veto pen again on the stem cell issue where politics, ethics and science collide. Opponents of the latest stem cell measure insisted that the use of embryonic stem cells was wrong on moral grounds.

 Then why oh why is america hell bent on poisoning our food? Richard Lewontin, professor of genetics at Harvard University, on genetic engineering: "We have such a miserably poor understanding of how the organism develops from its DNA that I would be surprised if we do not get a rude shock sooner rather than later."    Confused – so am I !


Genetically modified food

The introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops has been a disaster. The science of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another was supposed to be a giant leap forward, but instead they pose a serious threat to biodiversity and our own health. In addition, the real reason for their development has not been to end world hunger but to increase the stranglehold multinational biotech companies already have on food production. Genetically modified crops can enter the food chain and threaten biodiveristy"

We are told that GM crops will help feed the world’s poor but according to the United Nations, we already produce more than enough food to satisfy everyone. And even though consumers, in Britain and Europe, have rejected GM foods outright, the biotech companies and the governments that support them are still trying to force their inventions on us, purely for commercial gain. But the long term effects of GM crops have not been properly researched and, by cross-pollinating with non-GM crops and wild plants, they replicate themselves and contaminate the environment with genetic pollution that is impossible to clean up. The simple truth is, we do not need GM technology. Using sustainable and organic farming methods will allow us to repair the damage done by industrial farming, reducing the excessive use of fertiliser, herbicides and other man-made chemicals, and making GM crops redundant.

Genetic research can deliver enormous scientific advances, both in medicine and in our understanding of the natural world. But when that research is applied to alter the genetic make-up of living organisms, it has the potential to cause enormous damage to human health and the environment. By manipulating the genetic make-up of plants and animals, genes from one species can be artificially inserted into another, unrelated one. This is supposed to give genetically modified (GM) organisms new abilities – such as maize that produces its own pesticide – which will be disease and drought resistant as well as being able to provide more food for the world’s poor. On the other hand however, the use of herbicides has increased and a wealth of contamination scandals (in which non-GM crops become polluted with GM material) have erupted. On top of that, farmers who were supposed to reap the benefits of GM technology are instead facing financial ruin and starvation.

Corporate interests

The multinational biotech companies such as Monsanto and Bayer Cropscience, who develop GM crops, own the rights to the varieties they develop, increasing their stranglehold on global agriculture and allowing them to generate vast profits. They make even more money by making their crops resistant to just one brand of herbicide – their own.

As a result, the production of our food is governed by economic models rather than natural ones, and bodies such as the World Trade Organisation, the European Commission and several national governments are keen to force GM products on the global market. An international agreement called the ‘Biosafety Protocol‘ aims to regulate the use and movement of genetically modified organisms, but again biotech companies and governments sympathetic to their interests are attempting to disable it, making the familiar argument that environmental protection is a barrier to international trade. The Russian Parliament’s Security Committee has drafted a bill banning production and sale of genetically modified food.

Contamination scandals

Once GM crops are planted, cross-pollination means other crops often become contaminated and GM material ends up in the food chain. Contamination scandals are now commonplace, often originating from farm trials in which the GM crops are unapproved for human consumption. GM organisms are also serious threat to biodiversity. Designed to grow faster and stronger, they out-compete native varieties and, again, cross-pollination (which its supporters insisted was impossible) could result in their genetic material spreading far and wide, potentially altering entire species. Once they make it out into the wild, there is no way to recall them and we will have to live with the consequences. The human enzymes put into rice are responsible for causing most kinds of human cancer.

The message is that its acceptable,to american minds, and american business and their supporters, to alter the cell structure of plants. We can have apparently healthy daffodills but not healthy off spring. Tinker with a potato to rid it of blight but NOT alter the cell structure of a human embryo thus eradicating hereditry or birth defects in our children.

 No more cancer, no spina bifida, no parkinson’s disease, no altzimer’s – no disease . . . .

NO –  Just healthy spuds for our sick and dying.

Always assuming that global warming does nt kill us first.




11 thoughts on “DNA – Do Not Alter?

  1. Oh … don\’t get me started …
    Our intellectually challenged president thinks it\’s wrong to \’sacrifice one life\’ (doesn\’t matter that these embryos will be destroyed ANYWAY) to save another life.  He has no problem sending soldiers to die … not to mention the thousands of Iraqi citizens to … what is their reason again?  Can you say \’HYPOCRIT\’?  Besides … if you cure a lot of these diseases how will the health care and pharmaceutical industries bleed us all dry.
    As for GM food, I honestly don\’t know anything about it.  I don\’t live in a cave … I watch news programs and read the news and have not seen anything about it other than what you\’ve written.  Unless, of course, I\’ve seen it and forgotten it which wouldn\’t be impossible but I doubt I would read something similar to what you\’ve just written and forget it.   (Oh great … thanks A LOT … one more thing to get irate about!)
    I agree with Kate … it is all rather scary and confusing.   When the world\’s leaders lose sight of the safety of the human race in favor of the pursuit of the all mighty dollar (yen, pound, whatever), I fear we are all doomed.

  2. There are 800 million hungry people in the world; 34,000 children starve to death every day. There are those who consider this a tragedy, and then there are the biotech companies and their countless PR firms, who seem to consider it a flawless hook for product branding. It is an insult of the highest and most grotesque order to turn those who live from day to day into the centerpiece of an elaborate lie.  …the companies who make [GE foods], and the flacks who hawk their falsehoods, offer us a new definition of depravity, a new standard to plunge for in our race to care least, want more, and divest ourselves of all shame.

  3. Human break through the natural but sometimes we will hurt ourselves.We don\’t know how the GM food is.Perhaps it is OK,perhaps it is harmful when eating.I will choose the natrual food instead of GM food as I am in the supermarket.

  4. I\’m pressed for time.. so I\’ll be back to read this blog when I\’m not half asleep. hhehe.. I\’m just so tired.. been working nonstop it seems, but all is going well.  Yes, driving those trucks can be interesting.  I will post some pics hopefully on Monday.  Till then take care… Vallerie

  5. 🙂 hey, ahh the summer solstice was nice, although rather soggy to say the least :). Though I spent most the day working so didn\’t have much time to enjoy it as it should be enjoyed. 🙂 aww.
    Hope you are well.

  6. Ah yes, the bright note of \’progress\’…….  Canada is looking better all the time to this citizen.  My husband says we just have to outlive \’em.  There\’s the rub.  The world can go to hell in a handbag, and what does he care?
    I was so pleased to see your comments again at my place–I will go find that book Sarum asap, thanks!  Our English friends also took the back roads to get to Stonehenge, and as a result we saw lots of lovely villages and your stunning serene English countryside.  The weather was GORGEOUS all the time we were there!!  If it ever rained, it was only a sprinkle, and only while we were in the car!!  Fancy that!  Quite amazing.
    The feeling you describe coming up to Stonehenge is well put–just how I felt–quite an awe-inspiring sight, and very quieting, in a deep, rustling sort of way, you know?
    The Castle Rising Castle is one you must see–funny I have seen a castle that you haven\’t!  I really have nothing to compare it to, but I do know it was very \’alive\’ with spirit and past sensations, voices and revelry still present….  I shall be eager to hear of your experiences there.
    Glad to be back in touch, Laird of Glencairn, very glad.

  7. Thank you for the link to the falconry and the thought, however, I am at this moment in possession of a voucher to visit such a place, bought for me by a friend. I may visit the place or I may not I am undecided as yet, they remind me a little of zoo\’s or indeed a circus, both of which I dislike.
    Call me a purist if you must, but I feel the only true way of seeing these wonderful birds in action, is to see them in the wild just as nature intended.
    To see the Merlin or Hobby high in the sky wheeling on it\’s axis in  pursuit of the skylark as it ducks and dives to escape the  deadly talons of its pursure, must be a sight to behold.
    To see the powerful Goshawk risk life and wing diving into a bramble patch, hot on the heels of a rabbit and catching it just before it has time to dissapear down into the warren and safety.
    Or indeed the Perigrine himself, out of sight  1,000 ft  and more above your head, circling, scanning and searching the ground for prey.
    A Pheasant brakes cover and is spotted by the Perigrine, which begins his high speed stoop towards the earth, like a speeding bullet with wings tightly closed.
    His eyes now locked on to the Pheasant he closes in rapidly and strikes the Pheasant a devistating blow, the Pheasant falls and the Perigrine alights upon his prize to deliver the coup de grace and mantles by spreading his wings around his kill. "This" is how I should wish to see these very special birds of prey, flying free and wild in thier natural state.
    Perhaps that is why I never became a Falconer..".who  knows."
    re: Sunsets and rises, yes they can be indeed spectacular and exquisitly so, one of natures jewels as is the Perigrine.
    Deep peace of the running wave to you £.
    wishing you a pleasant week ahead.

  8. Hello Laird,
      Well, I posted some pics of our new home… Things have started to settle down here which is REALLY nice.  Very interesting blog here.  I didn\’t realize there was so much going on with the GM foods, especially the negative issues with it.  It is really too sad that money runs everything…. kind of makes me sick. 
      On a pleasant note.. have a wonderful evening.  Vallerie

  9. Aye if she had spoken to the survivors it would have sobered her up I reckon. Why do so many people in my age group show so much disrespect? I wish I knew. As for the MN, they are pretty much slowly turning into unsung heros. From what I can recall the MN lost more men in the WWs than the military services combined, not sure how accurate that is though.

  10. Hello Laird,
      I guess I should have stated that better… I have heard of this genetic foods thing… just didnt\’ realize there were so many bad things associated with it.  Kind of sad.   
      Yes, … I don\’t wear a helmet either… but after this happening with Brittany I think I will change my habits.  How did we all survive years ago… ??? hahah…   Thanks for your kind comments.  Vallerie

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