“It’s the money, stupid.”
Today’s society has access to more information than ever before. We can call up research papers and news reports in seconds on our mobile devices that break down everything we need to know about, well, anything.
That’s part of the problem.
Information overload, mass adoption, government/corporate spin, and one other major factor have the world looking at everything other than the ingredients in the foods we put in our mouths. Are we missing out on a major threat or is it no big deal?
First, let’s look at why it isn’t in the news as much as some would like it to be.
In many ways, our access to information has made us complacent. As a society, we know that there are people publishing reports and we know there are news organisations and influencers reading these reports. As a result, most in western society believe that, “If it’s important, someone will let us know.”
Too much information can be a bad thing, particularly with something that has achieved such wide-spread adoption. Nearly every grocery store and supermarket carries products that have been genetically modified. According to Ecomom in the graphic below, it could be as much as 70% of the products we buy (and ingest).
The economy is at the top of mind. Iran is at the top of mind. #OccupyWherever is at the top of mind. Genetically engineered carrots – not at the top of mind.
“Wouldn’t everybody be sick if it really hurt us?”
The bulk of the population goes about their daily lives eating foods that have been genetically modified and there are no epidemics spreading. It couldn’t be hurting us if there’s very little scientific data to say that it is, right?
While some of this can be attributed to corporate/government spin, the major factor contributing to the mass adoption and consumption of GE foods is that the negative effects, if any, would be felt over a long term rather than causing an immediate effect. We think it’s not hurting us because we don’t see people falling over after drinking their soy latte.
While researching this article, I found it hard to find research on reputable publications that showed any negative effects from GE foods. By “hard”, I mean there was nothing. There are plenty of articles on “fringe” sites and conspiracy theorist publications, but there was nothing from mainstream media.
That struck me as odd. Mainstream media has a tendency to lean towards the negative whenever possible. Investigative reporting on mainstream media publications should offer something, anything about the topic, simply because it makes for good shock journalism.
Finally, I came across this video and it all came together. Apparently, nobody wants to take on GMO giants like Monsanto. An entire article could be written about the campaign contributions and legal battles fought by Monsanto, but the short version is this: neither the government nor mainstream media want to get on their bad side.
Higher Food Prices
The 800-lb gorilla here is the effects on the economy. Adding labels that clearly mark GMOs would, in itself, not collapse the economy, but it could create a domino effect that would start with more public awareness followed by investigations and righteous politicians calling for stricter measures.
In the worse-case scenario, food prices would soar. The economy could collapse. Utter turmoil could ensue.
Finding Real Food
Even if ballot measures fail (as they likely will) to get labels on products, there are ways to identify “clean” foods. This infographic by Ecomom gives some tips and advice on how to do so.
Click to enlarge.
HatTip: Cincinnati Ford.
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