Friday, August 28, 2009

Hungry For Change? Go See The Movie Food Inc.

One of the most serious issues we should be concerned about as it pertains to the future of humanity is our relatively recent meddling with nature. A substantial component of this dynamic is genetically modified foods, be it plant or animal.

We have talked of this concern before but it is such a key point that I want to repeat it for new readers. Science has achieved just enough knowledge where it now has an ability to create drastic unintended consequences in our food products and our ecosystem. Yet there clearly isn't a general respect for the fact that humanity truly lacks the scientific knowledge that is foundational for this type of engineering, let alone for any unintended consequences. In other words, science in the hands of profit seekers, when it comes to changing the earth's biology, creates risk of unquantifiable proportions. It makes failed science in the hands of profit we now see on Wall Street, aka Frankenstein finance, completely trivial by comparison. We see the abject failure of science as it pertains to finance, what would the same dynamics look like when applied to our ecosystem? I think horrific is a word which has reasonable potential.

Given humanity's rapid advances in genetics, bioethics and potential for unintended consequences must play a key role in the future policy development and regulation of genetic science. We definitely don't need the neoliberal deregulatory ideology applied to economics, ie the market always knows best, applied to our ecosystem. Because mother earth will show no forgiveness. To date, what we generally see is instead the politicization of biological science for personal profit with little, if any, regard for such concerns. And scientific research that often has no respect for the power they wield with such a limited base of knowledge.

For the first time in our existence, humanity now has the potential to create a biological catastrophe capable of destroying all of mankind. While that is an extreme outcome, it is indeed a risk. Something comparable to Nassim Taleb's black swan which no one supposedly saw coming in the financial morass. One that we and many others in fact saw coming. And this ecological black swan is no different. Many see it coming. Movies such as I am Legend and 28 Days Later are no longer science fiction. And because profit is the primary motive, risk is building within this field of science just as it was building in our financial markets for the same dynamic of profit. If this issue is not addressed with thoughtful public policy, there is every reason to believe we will experience some terrible outcome. That might happen a year from now or ten years from now but it will most assuredly happen. This is not some type of fringe perspective. Many scientists interested in the noble pursuit of knowledge have expressed grave concern over the issue of tampering with nature for decades. In fact, as we have cited before, Stephen Hawking has remarked one of the greatest threats to humanity is just such an outcome. Anyone who is concerned about complex systems and unintended consequences would express the same concerns we are discussing here.

Most people have no idea how science has impacted the food they eat. And as a society, most of us cannot afford to pay 2-3x the price of readily available food to ensure it is natural and free of the corporate world's attempt to monopolize food by genetically modifying it, patenting it or pumping its DNA full of chemicals or altering DNA with unknown consequences. In fact, the criminal manipulation of the United States' patent process is the only way patenting food is even possible. Not only is this criminal but it is a form of economic tyranny and recognized as such by government until the recent corporatization of Washington politicians. Food was never patentable until recent corruption for the very reason of economic tyranny. The entire consumer protection and government regulatory process involved in this topic is absolutely corrupt. For this reason, we should be even more concerned about the safety of our ecosystem. The process is clearly not being handled in the best interests of society. It is being handled in the best interests of corporate money and the benefit of an influential greedy few.

These concerns don't even begin to address the ecological issue of biodiversity and its potential for unintended consequences. Corporatization and attempts to patent food leads to a loss of biodiversity in our ecosystem. Mother earth punishes sameness or lack of diversity. That's why humanity has come to realize kissing your sister isn't a good idea. Should a problem develop in a world where there remains little diversity in our food ecosystem, humanity has a greater risk of mass starvation due to the susceptibility of plant disease. Diversity allows nature to often survive whereby a genetically diverse population of plants has a greater potential of surviving disease or plague - just as in the human population. And with little diversity, a plant disease would have the potential to destroy the entire food ecosystem's plant stock. Forever.

Ironically, this dynamic is really no different than economics, also governed by the laws of nature. When we leave decision making for society to a handful of elitist bureaucrats (lack of biodiversity in ideas) instead of the diversity of thought from a free society, we end up with economic stagnation and eventual collapse. Collapse due to the disease of sameness of thought of elitist boobs intent on imparting their learned Ivy League wisdom (aka sameness or group think) on the remainder of us poor, stupid dolts. This dynamic is always in effect when we see the collapse of civilizations - lack of biodiversity.

It's obvious many people are starting to support local growers, more responsible growing methods and a reduction in chemicals used to grow our food. This as people come to realize knowledge and truth over media manipulation. Additionally, supporting local growers makes tremendous economic sense. They spend money back into the local community thus supporting local population economics, they reduce the tremendous costs of factory farming supply chains and most local farmers are substantially more responsive to consumer demands than monolithic corporations. And it defeats the corporate lobbyists which have paid substantial sums of money to government officials in an attempt to keep genetically modified labeling off of our food packaging and to run roughshod over the best interests of society.

Go see Food Inc. Educate yourself on the topic of genetically modified foods. I would also highly recommend the documentary The Future of Food which is an incredible documentary which also focuses on the massive fraud and corruption of our government agencies in this process. And the horrific process by which some of these foods have been developed and approved.

Changing the world starts one person at a time. And a key is knowledge and truth. Something the mainstream media and our government don't seem to care about at this moment in time. The knowledge is out there.
posted by TimingLogic at 3:27 PM