This past weekend, we got our protest on and joined the March Against Monsanto rally in downtown Chicago. The group of a few hundred people gathered at Federal Plaza included families, hippies and a lot of regular folk. I learned a lot from just being there, listening to speakers and reading flyers. It was eye opening and impassioned.
Luckily, most major GMO (genetically modified organism) crops aren’t part of the Paleo lifestyle… soy, corn, wheat, alfalfa. But, there is an indirect effect on those of the Paleo persuasion and long reaching affects for our non-Paleo friends. The modified crops have genes which allow them to stand up to high doses of weedkiller and pesticides. These extra strength genes increase the yield of crops, but have unknown long-term effects in humans. Bees that pollinate all fruits and vegetables are being damaged and killed by the increased use of pesticides. These are the same bees that pollinate fruit and vegetable crops that we all consume.
Some legislators are recognizing the problem. In 2013, U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced the “Saving America’s Pollinators Act,” which seeks to suspend the use of neonicotinoids on bee-attractive plants until EPA reviews all of the available data, including field studies. Interestingly, the European Union has already banned some of these pesticides and has very strict GMO regulations in place. The EU is always so fashionable and green.
What are 3 things we can we do today?
1) Know your food/ farmer and buy certified organic whenever possible
2) Spread the word to friends and family (good info here)
3) Insist on proper labeling of GMOs and vote for candidates that support GMO labeling