Saturday, December 29, 2012

Frankenfish About to Hit World Markets. (VIDEO)

When Barack Obama was campaigning in 2007, he said something that I'd been yearning to hear from a politician. He vowed, as president, he would strive to "let folks know when their food is genetically modified because Americans have a right to know what they're buying."

I realize the difference between campaigning and being president is much like the difference between dating and being married -- but that seemed like a pretty solid statement.

Europe has required all foods containing ingredients genetically modified to be labeled since 1997. Fifty countries, including China and Russia, require food manufacturers to label GMOs. Forty percent of the world's population can tell if they are feeding their families altered foods or not.

It has been four years, and we haven't heard a peep from President Obama on this issue.

In November, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act was on the ballot. It was simple: "The initiative would simply require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients." It seemed like a no brainer since the labels already have to include calories, sugar grams, fats, sodium -- why am I telling you? You've read them.

Monsanto (read "from the devil") and agriculture corporations spent $45 million to defeat the California initiative. Why? Because they can't compete in the "free market" -- shoppers prefer their food closer to how God intended, at least genetically speaking, and don't realize over 60 percent of what is on the grocery store shelves has been altered already.

OK, so this may not be your issue, or you may be aware of it for the first time, but here's where I get fit to be tied.

For close to two decades AquaBounty, an outfit from Massachusetts, has been genetically modifying salmon. Apparently the whole spawning in gravel upriver, natural progression, years in the ocean and swimming back to the home creek is just pesky. It takes too long. They hybridize an Atlantic salmon with a chinook salmon gene and then sprinkle in a gene from an eel-like ocean pout that "keeps a vital growth hormone activated rather than shutting it down after a certain point" so it grows twice as fast. Does it have bolts sticking out under its gills? Mary Shelley wouldn't eat this thing. This creature would be the first genetically modified animal to hit the market. (Lord only knows what kind of "just add water and get a veal" will come next.)

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