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Bill C-474, Triffids, and the genetically modified / engineered food debate we're NOT having

In early 2011, I had myself in a knot about all the genetically engineered foods that were being developped, tested, grown and distributed in Canada. (This is nothing new, but the load of GM crops and ingredients in our diets had reached a bit of critical mass for me and it was starting to really make me crazy that the government-industrial ag line was that it was a de facto sitatuation at that point, so why get all hysterical about it?)  I wrote a couple of snotty blog posts about it. But it was far from being out of my system.

It's not that I'm against science, technology or building better mousetraps. I've got a medicine cabinet full of pharmaceuticals that I will take at the very slighest hint of a cold or nasty virus that even thinks of settling into my head, sinus or gut. But it's my choice to gulp a handful of drugs, and the contents of those drugs are very clearly stated on the little plastic bottles. With genetically modified or engineered foods, our governments have decided that we don't need to know what is in our food. Apparently, that conversation was between the global food giants and our governments. We weren't invited to the debate on whether we want them, whether we should have them, and what the potential consquences of tinkering with the DNA of the sustance of our lives might be. We've entered the era of genetically modified foods (plants AND animals) without ever having the conversation.

I pitched an article on Canada's love affair with GM foods to the editors of the fabulous new magazine, Eighteen Bridges. As it turns out, my outrage over the lack of GM-food labelling and lessons not-learned from the recent past in GM crop development was the first in what will be a series of columns. My articles won't always be about my pet project of bringing to light our reckless destruction of 10,000 of open-source agriculture by privatizing plant and animal DNA. Promise. I might not even write about food each issue, for that matter. I suppose I'll figure it out as I go, but for now, you are welcome to click here and read Whither the Wheat, pages 60-61, in Eighteen Bridges, Winter 2011.


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