~By Wendy Zangari
This is to make all of you aware that we need to be more conscious of what we put in our mouths, including myself and my husband. When you go out to eat, ask to speak to the manager, ask where they get their vegetables, are they GM’d, where do they get their meat, if the meat or chicken is free ranged, etc. You have a right to know. If then no one seems to know, not even the owner, then I would walk out and go find somewhere else to eat or make something at home where you know where it came from. We have that problem too, we are American and we eat out often, albeit pizza or pasta (which we need to steer away from, but one thing at a time here), it still has cheese and we don’t know where that came from. So we too have to be more conscious of these things. Monsanto owns most of the farming industry products and he is the culprit to all of this. If we do not stop this now and stop buying GM food and being more conscious of it, we can put him out of business. Let’s think big!
The GMO Film Project: In Defense of Our Seeds
by| 1 month ago
GMO Film Project Sizzler from on Vimeo.
In 2010, after a 7.0 earthquake ravaged Haiti and left its people with nothing, circumstances were bleak; resources were in short supply. Why, then, would poor Haitian farmers set to flame 475 tons of corn and vegetable seeds that agricultural biotcech company Monsanto had donated in relief aid?
That’s the question that led American Jeremy Seifert to the Caribbean nation, where he sought answers to a seemingly inexplicable decision.
In examining Haitian farmers’ symbolic act of defiance against what they perceived to be a threat to their very livelihood, Seifert unearthed unsettling details about his own country’s food sources.
He returned to the U.S., where he embarked on a cross-country quest for answers about America’s food supply.
Extending his research to other countries as well, he found a wealth of information that pointed to a scary conclusion: that a small handful of corporations is buying, modifying, and patenting its way into complete domination of the world’s food supply to ensure control over everything we eat.
TakePart caught up with Jeremy, a father of two, to hear more about the GMO Film Project, an endeavor he’s undertaken to tell the world what he’s learned.
[Ed. Note: The interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.]
TakePart: Why are genetically modified foods, or GMOS, a relevant topic right now?
Jeremy Seifer: GMOs are relevant because they represent all that has gone wrong with our food: corporate take over, petro-chemical laden fields, soil degradation, water depletion and pollution, and the most unhealthy, nutrient-deprived food humanity has ever tried to live on.
That could be the case without a GMO, though. That’s just industrial agriculture strangling out small farmers and organic methods with its steroid-puffed muscles. Where GMOs become even more insidious, for me, is in the patenting of life—ownership over a seed, what that seed becomes, and the seeds that it then produces, the privatization of what humanity has held in common for ten thousand years.
The patenting is made possible by “inventing” a new thing, which is essentially jamming the DNA from one organism into another, something that nature has never done. [Genetic modification] is crossing a boundary with consequences that we still don’t fully understand. GMO seeds are a new enough creation to substantiate patenting, but have been termed “substantially equivalent” to non-GMO crops by the FDA (with help from the companies that “invented” them), so that no new or different testing has to be done. It’s a win/win for the corporations! Brilliant.
We have to consider what has been called the “swinging door” of corporate America and our government. It doesn’t take a cooky conspiracy theory to see that so-and-so worked for Monsanto, then worked on the EPA, then is back at Monsanto. Or that some guy represented them as a lawyer and now has a special position in the FDA. Those are just facts, and there are many of them which, when added together, make for some frightening and downright despicable behavior from grown men and women who have grown into monsters from their lust for power and insatiable greed.
So, why are GMOs relevant? That’s a great question to base an entire book around, and people have!
But I will simply say to my friends and neighbors out there, my family, my community, my strange and wonderfully endless mix of fellow Americans:
Chemical companies are feeding you and your family. They don’t care if it’s good for you or bad for you. They fought to keep their GMOs labeled so you wouldn’t know, so you couldn’t choose.
If they have their way, everything will be genetically modified, so they can patent and own food, controling every aspect of it and eliminating your choice. Are you okay with that? Do you want that? Is this the world you want to bestow to your children?
TP: Who do you want to reach with this film?
JS: I have been saying to all involved from the very beginning that this film needs to reach people who don’t know anything about GMOs, and who most likely don’t really care about what they eat, other than whether or not it tastes good.
Even though in many ways the science is still out on health risks, who can argue with the fact that we have a right to know and a right to choose? That’s tapping into the very roots of what makes this country tick, and what I would consider a healthy sort of patriotism that is being assaulted by these greed-driven companies who corrupt the very government that we have elected to serve us.
I want to convince the Auburn linebacker in the depths of Alabama, the grandma in cow country Wisconsin, the dealer in Vegas, the candy-eating, pop-drinking high schoolers buzzing madly around this country, the farmers suckered and bullied into growing this crap, and the bulk of the generation that came before me that is addicted to cheap food because it’s cheap: many of our parents.
JF: If I answer this truthfully, people will think I’m crazy. So, in order to avoid talking about the corruption and destruction of good reporting in this country and the buying up of our government, I will answer this in a different way that is equally true.
A long time ago, we lost our true, innate, life-giving connection with the natural world around us. We just plain lost it. We forgot where things come from and then didn’t care to know it at all. Some say we even lost the capacity for outrage.
People became functions rather than human beings. Tomatoes became ketchup. Chickens became featherless breasts lying coldly beneath petroleum-based cellophane. Biodiversity became endless brands and choices. Seeds became high-fructose-corn-syrup lookalikes for children to devour. And food became lust for flavor and quickness and convenience rather than life and nutrition and community.
A huge part of me despises the fact that I’m making this film, that this is what I’m trying to raise money for, that this has to be my passion right now. What a joke! But this is how far we’ve moved away from the good.
TP: You’re running a Kickstarter campaign for the film. What will the money you raise help you do?
JS: The Kickstarter Campaign is only the very beginning of fundraising for this film. Our budget is many times our goal of $25,000, but we hope that raising that amount will help us keep moving forward and lead to more funding. The 25 grand we’re after will essentially pay for filming this July, which entails a road trip from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. and back. For a portion of that time I will have an amazing cinematographer with me, Rod Hassler, who came with me to Haiti in February, and a soundman will join us as well.
If there happens to be anything left over, we have plans to go to Svalbard, Norway, to visit the seedbank of Cary Fowler, known as the doomsday vault, and also a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, which is one of seven origin centers in the world. Oaxaca is the origin center of corn, and it was discovered back in 2003 that some contamination has occurred from GMO corn—a story that needs to be told, and an indication of just how devastating the environmental impacts of GMOs could be.
Beyond these trips, we have plans for some amazing animated segments, some beautiful stop-motion with seeds, the need for an editor to come on board, graphic design, etcetera. So, the $25,000 will help immensely this summer, and we hope will lead to more funding to make this film as big as the problem is. (Go here to donate to The GMO Film Project)
TP: You say that we still have time to heal the planet, feed the world, and live sustainably. How can we do this?
JS: Well, I don’t want to give away the best parts of the film! Help make this film happen, and you’ll find out!
© 2011 – 2013, Ready For The Shift. ™ Wendy & Greg Zangari, All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute these articles on the condition that the content remains complete and in tact, full credit is given to the author(s), and that it is distributed freely.