Taoist mythology, Lanna history, mythology, the nature of time and other considered ramblings

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Location: Chiangrai, Chiangrai, Thailand

Author of many self-published books, including several about Thailand and Chiang Rai, Joel Barlow lived in Bangkok 1964-65, attending 6th grade with the International School of Bangkok's only Thai teacher. He first visited ChiangRai in 1988, and moved there in 1998.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is Monsonto more evil than war?

A rumor to surpass any and all urban legends: by the end of 2012, the US government plans to have all foods sold in the USA contain at least some components with genetic modifications.

Meaning: a super-abundance of cancer, food allergies, learning disabilities, stupidity, sterility, and birth defects. Population control at its best!
According to Ronnie Cummins, on, “Corn (85% of U.S. production is GM), soy (91% GM), cotton (88% GM), canola (85% GM) and sugar beets (95% GM) are aenetically engineered by Monsanto to withstand massive doses of the company's glyphosate herbicide RoundUp, or else to exude their own pesticide, Bacillus Thuriengensis (Bt). RoundUp, the favorite weedkiller poison of non-organic farmers and gardeners, causes brain, intestinal and heart defects in fetuses. And scientists warn that RoundUp, the most extensively used herbicide in the history of agriculture, may have dire consequences for agriculture such as rendering soils infertile, crops non-productive, and plants less nutritious.” “In addition, hundreds of thousands of US dairy cows are injected with genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone (developed by Monsanto) in spite of studies linking BGH with cancer, and longstanding bans on the drug in the EU, Japan, Canada, and other industrialized nations.”
Measurable levels of prescription drugs (arthritis drugs, contraceptives, psycho-stimulants, tranquilizers and antidepressants like Prozac, as well as cosmetics and synthetic food additives including dyes and preservatives) are in much of the US drinking water supply (after going through the pill-popping public’s kidneys, being excreted and then flushed down the drain). Municipal water treatment plants can’t filter out small psychotropic drug molecules, ones designed to readily pass into the brain, across the blood-brain barrier. And landfills upstream from aquifers or streams also contribute to water contamination. Flouride, of course, is put there deliberately, and it is not just a right-wing urban legend that it slows down important mental processes.
The liver’s detoxifiying capacity is easily overwhelmed, and “Americans” are among the sickest – if not the sickest – group of people in the developed world. Talk about just desserts.
Weeds have become resistant to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide; insects resistant to the toxins produced by their GM corn; as GM planting increased, so has pesticide use. A study at the University of Kansas found that GM crops actually had lower yields than their conventional counterparts. But the cost of GM seed continues to rise. Farmers actually lose income by planting GM crops, but finding non-GM seed is difficult, as Monsanto controls roughly 90% of the corn and soy genetics in the U.S.
I can tell the difference between Lectasoy boxed soy milk and the soy milk we watch being made and purchase fresh – not by taste, but by how my stomach feels after consumption - and I won’t use cow milk any more, as it slows me down even more than GMO soy milk.
You can bet the “masters of the universe” types aren’t eating much GM food; kind of makes one wonder what they serve at Harvard and Yale. I have a good guess about that, but don’t ask. There are some things one just doesn’t want to know.
I’ve heard it said, people get the government they deserve. I don’t know about that, but do know about the level of responsibility citizens of the USA tend to take.

GM seeds reduce 3rd World self-sufficiency, increasing debt & corporate dependency, kill bees & hamper immune system efficacy. They increase food costs, in part due to new 18 foot superweeds resistant to Monsanto's Roundup. Dow Chemical is now working on seeds to resist 24-D, a component of Agent Orange… it wants farmland sprayed with wartime defoliant. Yup - napalm farmland before planting, that'll do it!

Our science is too much like map-making, and too many people believe it, and maps, represent what is. But any map, math or description leaves out the vast majority of what is actually there, affecting what actually happens. We’ve convinced ourselves we’re smarter than we actually are, and more capable of controlling things than we should ever even hope to be.

GM foods disrupt epigenome (histone) function, while enabling retroviruses – not being experientially derived, they’re hardly seamless wholes, or functional for a wide variety of likely scenarios. Cells with cut and paste DNA may be susceptible to bacteriophage incorporation of nucleic acid into host cell chromosomes; phages might be able to lyse where they had not previously been able to induce a lytic cycle – most particularly in cells with bacterial DNA inserted! Be that as it may, the genes taken from bacteria and viruses for insertion are hardly advanced, or prepared to compete in systems as complex as the bodies of humans. Side effects, allergens and toxins come with GM food. Arpad Pusztai showed that GM potatoes severely damage the immune system and organs of rats. Rats, mice, cows, pigs, geese, elk and squirrels avoid eating GM foods if they can. Lab mice happy to eat tomatoes refused FlavrSavr tomato, yet it was approved for commercial release (in 1992)! Many alterations nutrient levels in GM foods are undesirable. Cows fed GMO corn have died from milk fever, ketosis and fatty liver disease (mycotoxins in the liver and kidney), directly attributable to that diet. Genetically engineered foods create new allergens and even antibiotic resistance, but these health risks are actively discounted by corporate power… Here’s a great one: while it was assumed that genetic material gets destroyed in the process of digestion, fragments of artificial genes inserted into food were detected in the brain cells of baby mice - by Dr. Walter Doefler of the Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne.

Not a century later, the outrageous scars from WWI are all but forgotten. Not 65 years later, Hiroshima is completely recovered from the atomic blast which devastated it. But can we do sufficient hand-pollination if the bees all die? If all food seed must come from corporations, will that really remain tenable, in perpetuity? If the ways of indigenous people are wiped out, will we really survive, so divorced from our past? Almost two centuries ago, Mary Shelley wrote “Frankenstein” – have we really developed a better understanding of things since? Over 160 years ago, Alexander von Humboldt explained that “All things are interconnected”… but now we forget how much any map will fail to include. 600 years of the use of explosives in warfare has hardly done the damage it seems likely we’ll accomplish in a single generation, with GMOs, and this is certainly not a matter to slothfully give a rest to, and leave to our betters to sort out for us.

It’s hardly enough to just not purchase &/or consume GMO products, anymore than it’s enough to just not use nuclear power, or never directly kill other people, one’s self. Democracy requires responsibility most people in societies considered at least partially democratic have as of yet failed to accept; and important decisions have been, and are being, made, which are, bluntly, bad for us. Which isn’t strange, considering how little influence most individuals have ever held… but quite best now, to recognize that to neglect one’s duties is suicide.

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