Food and Farming
Kids look forward to Halloween all year. They obsess over their costumes, dwell on decorations, and plot how to bag as much candy as possible when they go trick-or-treating. Even though I’m very concerned about good nutrition, I love handing out chocolates to all of the little ghosts, witches, and princesses who come by.
Long before human beings decoded the human genome or split the atom, they discovered that arsenic is very good at killing things. The ancient Romans prized it as a murder weapon because it could be mixed into food or drink without altering its color, taste, or smell. Plus, a tiny dose kills without fail.
This week, we’re running three commentaries and a cartoon regarding the growing number of genetically modified foods that land on our plate whether we realize it or not.
Meet the Arctic apple. In the field-trial stage since 2003, this fruit has had bacterial and viral DNA inserted into it — a genetic modification that prevents browning when bruised or sliced. One company, Okanagan Specialty Foods, has been testing these genetically engineered apples in New York and Washington — the country’s biggest apple-producing states. Now, they’re up for regulatory review by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
I’m going to sell you a food, but I won’t tell you what’s in it. Trust me, the ingredients are perfectly safe — but I absolutely oppose telling you what you’re eating. I also won’t let independent scientists study the ingredients. And I’m making a bundle of money by selling these unlabeled products. But trust me, they are safe. Go ahead, take a bite.
National brand-name conglomerates are in a bind over California’s Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, a measure known as Proposition 37. Actually, it’s a double bind.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle are planning to shamelessly take advantage of the devastating drought and stick taxpayers with a bloated, wasteful Farm Bill. This trillion dollar bill won’t fix the drought, but it will put taxpayers in a fix.
Mother Nature found a cruel way to demonstrate the difference between political rhetoric and reality when this summer’s record-breaking drought coincided with the writing of a new U.S. Farm Bill.