The Future of Food, a review
We travel from the vast plains of the US to Canada, to Percy Schmeiser who Monsanto took to court (and won!) because some Monsanto GE corn seed had blown off the back of a truck onto his fields and had started growing there.
Percy lost the battle and along the way his life’s work, and that of his father, of developing canola seed perfectly suited to his local climate and environment, was destroyed.
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We go to Washington, where the then President George W Bush signed into law increases in subsidies to Monsanto and the agri-corporations that are taking over US agriculture, whereby GE crops, costing up to twice as much to grow as the produce can be sold for, are supported as though they were vital to America’s interests.
We also go to Mexico where farmers are struggling to keep growing their traditional corn varieties in the face of heavily subsidised US GE corn seeds (which do not allow reseeding, so each year new seed needs to be bought at whatever price Monsanto sets), where some 90 out of approximately 120 varieties of corn traditionally grown in Mexico are no longer available.
(As an aside there was mention of the drastic reduction of potato varieties over the last century which has lead to successive potato blights that destroyed crops.)
Anti GE campaigners are interviewed, including scientists whose work has been to test the impact of GE on soil and on the local ecology (bees, butterflies etc, all of whom are impacted by Monsanto’s RoundUp – this is where Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready GE corn is impervious to RoundUp which kills all other plants if comes into contact with).
We hear from soil experts and from health experts expressing concern that using plant matter to create antibiotics may well destroy the efficacy of antiobiotics, a phenomena that hospitals and health professionals world wide are anxious about, with antibiotic-resistant superbugs already in our hospitals.
We also hear from food advocacy groups demanding compulsory labelling of all food products that contain GE ingredients. This is to enable various health problems possibly experienced as a result to be traced back to any ingredient.
Of course the GE industry does not want this, supposedly costing so much as to bankrupt the industry, as the Monsantos do not want to be sued some years down to track if their corn has caused some health crisis such as anaphalactic shock, as occurred to a woman being interviewed, as well as common allergic reactions.
We also see the political power that Monsanto etc have developed in Washington that still, even with Obama in power, make the rules according to what is best for the industry and not what is best for consumers.
We also hear from experts disputing the high crop yield stories that GE proponents like to trot out.
This is a must see film if you are concerned about food, if you wish to be informed about GE food and discover what all the drama is about. Seeing this film will also provide those who are suspicious of GE but unsure of facts with all the arguments they need.
Yes, this is an American film, but with the push to allow GE crops into our countryside coming from big business and their lobbies that donate to politicians who often do not know the truth, and GE food into our groceries without labelling, it is an Australian issue as well.
A great film to show at school or to P&Cs. GE food is a disaster on many levels, agriculturally, ethically and also, it is simply unhealthy.
Click here to watch a trailer of The Future of Food
By Mark O’Brien, originally published in Kindred magazine, Byron Bay
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