Friday night I watched a short documentary created by a farmer and a filmmaker from the United Kingdom. Michael Hart and Pete Speller came to the United States to examine first-hand the reality of farming genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or GE, genetically engineered crops. This is an important issue, not just for farmers in the US, but for the future of humanity. The filmmakers’ objective is to spare European farmers the same fate as witnessed here.
In their quest, Michael drives from farm to farm down through the agricultural heartland of this country. As Pete films, Michael interviews farmers, inviting them to share their experiences with growing GMO crops. He also visits a man growing crops from conventional seed, untainted by Monsanto’s dark quest to own the world’s gene pool of plants and animals (and, seemingly, to squeeze the last drop of life, dignity, and value from the planet).
Having now endured the first ten years of this sinister scheme, US farmers, who nearly unanimously bought into Monsanto’s fairytale, are now starting to get the picture. And although Monsanto’s Machiavellian legal thugs present the very real threat of economic annihilation to those who stand in their way, talkative farmers were not difficult to find. Everyone in the film has plenty to say on the subject, and their indicting testimony clearly suggests that GMO is not a good option for farmers anywhere.
And that’s where the film ends.
Yet a book could be written about what is silently revealed in this twenty-three minute video—not scientists pretending to be God or Monsanto’s astoundingly wanton lust for dominion and wealth, but underlying conditions, assumptions, and unacknowledged realities ruling modern agriculture.
For the sake of blogdom, I’m going to compress what comes through for me. I’ll just jot down a list of the most obvious considerations with short embellishments. You, the reader, may take them where you wish.
While these observations concern the individuals in this film and the population they represent, the principles may be witnessed everywhere.
- No one questions the use of herbicides and pesticides:
Without exception, the use of toxic chemicals is accepted by these farmers as a required reality of growing these commodities—GMO or not. There is no awareness that they are not just the consumers, but the perpetuators of this insidious sea of lethal estrogens we are swimming in. Farmers, by this assumption and choice, are the key individuals who determine that they and the rest of us will be subject to the effects of this toxic nightmare.
And most human beings now living in industrialized countries will die from related effects of that assumption.
- All are growing mono-crop commodities, not food:
Neither a family, nor the world can live on soybeans or sugar beets. These are crops which feed our distorted agro-money-machine, not a harvest capable of maintaining a robust family.
Little distinguishes the vast majority of farmers from bankers and brokers who make their living buying, selling, trading stocks or commodities. Where they live, how they dress, and their direct exposure to toxic chemicals are the superficial differences between those professions. Farmers just happen to be at the monetary bottom of the commodity pecking order.
- With one notable exception, all the participants in this film are diabetic or on their way:
This disclosure is not the result of deep journalistic investigation or stealing health histories—it is the simple observation of a physician familiar with our collective plight and its physical manifestations and causes.
Good intentioned as he is, Michael’s diet has clearly led him to metabolic syndrome, which will result in diabetes—if it has not already. And he is the least overweight individual in the film. These are all people whose profession is assumed to provide vibrant food and sustenance for the rest of us. And isn’t that supposed to result in ‘good health’?
- Each is a financial and physiological, walking time-bomb:
The eventual cost to human existence, the unbearable financial burden to ‘health care’, which is neither, and the waste of a human body are a few of the karmic explosions awaiting in the not too distant future of these lives.
- Few question what they’re growing or why:
It’s just a business, like ‘any other’ business. The focus is on profits, ease of creating profits, and sustainability of profits. What happens when a fungus like Ug99 takes out 80% of the world’s wheat? Mono-crop agriculture flies in the face of nature and is a setup for failure.
- Few are benefiting from the potential rewards offered by the farming life—living with the land and enjoying diverse, high quality, fresh, organic, home grown food—not to mention the joy of having truly nurtured the land, the animals, the cycles of such an endeavor.
- They all feel trapped:
Whether real or imagined, Monsanto or not. The question remaining is who has done the trapping.
- None see the connection between what they are doing and their physical plight in body, mind, and soul:
Somnolence prevents perceiving the reality of our self-created condition. Unfortunately, short sighted choices already have negative implications for us all—far too many to list. And it will get much worse before the fat lady sings.
- The above is true for the vast majority of those who call themselves farmers in this country.
What does this have to do with Oriental Medicine? Oriental Medicine’s intention and value is in bringing awareness to each moment-to-moment choice in life, and in providing the wisdom to understand the effects and desirability of each choice. It’s up to the individual to bring this fine tool to one’s experience.
I’d like to thank and congratulate the creators of Farmer to Farmer: The Truth About GM Crops, for providing so much rich ‘food’ for those who care to look.
And thanks to the Organic Consumers Association for publicizing the film!
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