U.S.Crusade | RaceandHistory | RastaTimes | HowComYouCom | News Links | Trini Soca | Africa Speaks
Trinicenter.com Trinicenter.com Trinidad and Tobago News
Online Forums
Create an AccountHome | Account | World News  

International Watch
  • Home
  • AvantGo
  • Feedback
  • Search
  • Stories Archive
  • Submit News

  • Categories
  • Africa Focus
  • Arab Spring
  • Audio & Video
  • Book Review
  • Caribbean
  • Inside U.S.A.
  • Invasion of Iraq
  • Israel-Palestine
  • Latin America
  • Medical
  • Pakistan
  • Pandora's Box
  • Racism Watch
  • Satire
  • US War on Iran
  • War and Terror
  • War on Russia
  • War on Syria
  • World Focus
  • Zimbabwe

  • Old Articles
    Monday, June 06
    · Muhammad Ali: My Name, Not Yours
    Friday, June 03
    · There Has Been A Coup In Brazil
    Saturday, May 28
    · Silencing America as It Prepares for War
    Friday, May 27
    · The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
    Wednesday, May 25
    · Get Real: Petrodollars, not corruption is the reason for Brazilian coup
    · Russia Denounces External Forces for Crisis in Venezuela
    Tuesday, May 24
    · Call It a 'Coup': How Elite Orchestrated Overthrow in Brazil
    Thursday, May 19
    · Hillary Clinton’s Race Problem
    · Roots of the Conflict: Palestine’s Nakba in the Larger Arab ‘Catastrophe’
    Monday, April 25
    · Black Lives Don’t Matter, Black Votes Do
    Friday, December 11
    · San Bernardino Incident Has the Earmarks of a False Flag
    Wednesday, December 09
    · The Religious Element of Terrorism
    Sunday, November 29
    · Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11
    Friday, November 27
    · Turkey Provokes Russia with Shoot-down
    Thursday, November 26
    · Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
    Saturday, November 21
    · The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement
    Thursday, November 19
    · Snowden Leak Reveals Obama Gov't Ordered NSA, CIA to Spy on Venezuela Oil
    · More Paris Puzzles
    · Military Intervention Is the Problem, Not the Solution
    Wednesday, November 18
    · Former Drone Pilots to Obama: Civilian Killings Driving 'Terrorism'

    Older Articles

    Features

    Sudan''s Crisis

    Zimbabwe: Land Reform and Mugabe

    U.S Coup in Haiti

    Venezuela and Chavez


      
    World Focus: Genetically Modified Lies or An Honest Mistake?
    Posted on Tuesday, April 05 @ 19:18:31 UTC
    Topic: GM Food
    GM FoodAn Honest Mistake?

    by Liza Grandia, commondreams.org

    Syngenta admitted this week that, for over four years, it "mistakenly" sold hundreds of tons of an experimental corn seed not yet approved for human consumption.

    Contaminating the world's food supply is becoming a habit for big agribusiness.

    Back in 2000, a genetically-modified (GM) corn called StarLink was discovered in Taco Bell tacos. Manufactured by Aventis, StarLink was modified to be more insect-resistant through the insertion of a bacterial toxin into the corn's DNA. When eaten, however, it can provoke intense allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock. The EPA had banned StarLink corn from human consumption, but allowed it to be grown for animal feed and let Aventis regulate itself. Mysteriously, though, StarLink corn ended up at Taco Bell. In the ensuing scandal, more than 300 food products were recalled. But the story didn't end there.

    In 2002, Friends of the Earth released a report documenting how StarLink and other banned GM-corn brands were sent as food "aid" to poor countries by USAID and the World Food Programme. Even worse, to Guatemala, the aid was donated as whole kernels-risking that poor farmers might use them as seed. This has already happened with corn that Mexico was forced to import from the U.S. under NAFTA. Former UC-Berkeley biologist Ignacio Chapela has documented extensive GM-contamination in the states of Oaxaca and Puebla.

    While chemical pollution eventually dissipates in the environment (over thousands of years), genetic pollution accelerates exponentially over time. Once GM corn gets planted, no farmer's crops are safe because corn cross-pollinates by wind over long distances and is irreversibly inserted into plant DNA. Another study published last month by Friends of the Earth found eighty percent of 77 corn samples taken from food aid or sold in the open market in Guatemala were already contaminated by banned GM-corn.

    What does this mean for the 6 million Maya people of Mesoamerica who originally domesticated corn 7,000 years ago? For them, corn is sacred. According to their creation story in the Popol Vuh, the Mayan gods in fact molded the first humans from corn.

    Maya people eat corn tortillas three times a day. They explain that if they do not eat corn, they cannot feel full. In the long hours I spent cooking and visiting with Q'eqchi' women in their homes, I documented almost thirty Q'eqchi' names for corn prepared in different ways.

    Maya groups like the Q'eqchi' also save and plant many varieties of corn for practical survival. Guatemala has grossly inequitable land distribution-with some 2 percent of the elite owning about 80 percent of the land. To subsist on tiny plots of land, indigenous farmers plant different corn strains that will defend naturally against pests, ripen at different times, and survive in marginal places like hills or rocky areas. That's why corn diversity can be the critical difference against hunger and malnutrition for indigenous farmers

    All these lessons crystallized one day when I accompanied a Q'eqchi' farmer friend, Don Pablo Botzoc to his fields. He explained the meaning of the four colors of corn: "They are like our bodies-red for blood, yellow for skin, white for bones, and blue/black for our hair." We passed through a neighboring farm treated with herbicides. Between the green stalks of corn, the chemically-burnt soil was muddy and dead. "How foolish that farmer is," he commented, "otherwise, he could have planted so many good foods." Indeed, Maya farmers' custom of planting tubers, beans, and other crops between their corn stalks can make the difference against hunger and malnutrition for their children.

    I explained to Don Pablo that powerful men from the United States were developing a new corn seed that farmers would be obliged to buy from a store year after year along with a matching herbicide made by the same company. When Don Pablo realized that would mean he could no longer save his own local seeds, he said to me, without hesitation, "That is evil. Ink'a us."

    The agribusiness giants know that small, subsistence farmers like Don Pablo will not voluntarily buy their expensive GM seeds. By "accidentally" dumping GM-contaminated corn on the poor, they can make a quick profit and systematically contaminate the world's corn seed. Perhaps the biotech giants hope the global citizenry will shrug off contamination as inevitable and allow regulators to loosen restrictions. Or perhaps it is a back-door trick to eventually demand royalties on the seed, as Monsanto has already done to Percy Schmeiser and other organic canola growers in Canada.

    But, if the center of the world's genetic corn diversity in Central America gets contaminated further, we all risk a major plague wiping out humanity's third largest food crop. Have we learned nothing from the Irish potato famine?

    Liza Grandia (grandia@berkeley.edu) is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently writing a book about lowland frontier settlement processes among Q'eqchi' Maya villages in Guatemala and Belize. She also serves as the President of the board of directors of ProPetén, a Guatemalan non-profit (NGO) dedicated to the conservation of the natural and cultural patrimony of Petén, Guatemala. She can be reached at grandia@berkeley.edu.

    Reprinted from:
    www.commondreams.org/views05/0405-22.htm

     
    Related Links
    · More about GM Food
    · News by ZeberuS


    Most read story about GM Food:
    Food Justice: Monsanto, Factory Farming, and Beyond


    Article Rating
    Average Score: 4.5
    Votes: 2


    Please take a second and vote for this article:

    Excellent
    Very Good
    Good
    Regular
    Bad


    Options

     Printer Friendly Printer Friendly



    Homepage | Trinidad News | Africa Speaks | U.S.Crusade | Fair Use Notice


    Copyright © 2002-2014 Trinicenter.com
    Trinicenter.com is a 100% non-profit Website
    You can syndicate our news using the file backend.php or ultramode.txt
    All logos, trademarks, articles and comments are property of their respective owners.
    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2004 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL.
    PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.36 Seconds