Deepening My Analysis (Post 4)
There are contradictions of genetically modified organisms being safe or not. Many people are still unsure of what is true and what is false related to the food industry. The author of Seeds of Deception, Jeffery M. Smith, wrote his book that further analysis the politics behind these modified foods. Smith uses other scientist’s research findings on these crops and leaked government documents to help figure out how the government manages these food industries.
Throughout the semester, this topic has been very contradicting. A lot of the articles that have been included in my previous posts focused on both the positive and negative side. My view was somewhere in the middle but it wasn’t until I read most of the book and saw the documentary that really made my conclusion lean towards one side. My view on GMO’s were neutral; this book pushed me to agree with GMO labeling and to be against food modifications.
The book Seeds of Deception goes to speak on various viewpoints throughout every chapter. At the start of the book, the Monsanto Company is introduced as the spine of the GMO plan. In the third chapter, Spilled Milk, Smith wrote about the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH) and how this hormone-which are suppose to be unsafe-got approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Scientist, whom made the discovery of this hormone being unsafe, were bribed for silence or suddenly disappeared. It shows me how certified scientists who use their knowledge on real data are not taken into consideration because their opinion won’t benefit the government expectations.
Chapter 5 focuses on how the Food and Drug Administration purposely ignores the recommendations for safety and approves modified foods that wouldn’t have even passed the test. According to Smith, “Attorney Michael Taylor was involved in the development of FDA policy…In 1991 the FDA created a new position for him: Deputy Commissioner for Policy. He instantly became the FDA official with the greatest influence on GM food regulation, overseeing the development of government policy.” This quote has a great impact on how we can view these government regulations on our foods. When government officials put people that are most convenient for them, like Michael Taylor, approving modified foods becomes a lot easier. It’s an appalling issue how the government can easily put anyone they feel is right for the benefit of gaining the results they want.
Food allergies is an issue very common to people. Chapter 6 focused on different allergic reactions that are caused by genetically modified crops. There is an excerpt of an infant girl who had an allergic reaction to soymilk. Through tests, the infant wasn’t allergic directly regular soy and brought up the question if it could have been the GM soy instead. The author claims, “In March 1999, the York Nutritional Laboratory, Europe’s leading specialists on food sensitivity, reported that soy allergies skyrocketed over the previous year, jumping 50 percent.” Even though the possibilities to this problem could have many reasons behind it, the percentage number is at a very high increase. Allergies should be taken more into consideration due to the fact that many can lead to death, yet all I see is how these industries would rather let a few lives be at risk than losing their personal income from all this.
People get their resources and information through the use of media. Chapter 7 focuses on how the media is handled on this topic. Many scientist or book writers and journalist have declined to speak for fear of being attacked with a lawsuit from the Monsanto Company. Smith explains, “A national TV commercial showed a montage of smiling Asian children, caring doctors, rice paddies, and a narrator who says that golden rice can ‘help prevent blindness and infection in millions of children’ suffering from vitamin-A deficiency’”. What many people don’t know is that a Greenpeace report states that the golden rice provides only a small amount of Vitamin A into the body to help prevent blindness. To further support the author’s quote, “a two-year-old child would need to eat seven pounds per day…Likewise, an adult would need to eat nearly twenty pounds to get the daily-recommended dose’”. Michael Khoo whom works with Greenpeace claims that this wouldn’t solve childhood blindness but rather benefit and solve the biotech’s problems with public relations.
· Smith, Jeffery. Seeds of Deception. Youth Education Systems, 2003.