I've seen how people have allowed their humanity to drain away. Only it happened
slowly instead of all at once. They didn't seem to mind. All of us - a little bit – we
harden our hearts, grow callous. Only when we have to fight to stay human do
we realize how precious it is to us, how dear.
– Invasion of the Body Snatchers
In last month’s Caught Napping entitled “GMOedipus Rex,” I note how GMO is steadily infiltrating all areas of our lives from our jeans to our genes. Low and behold, not a month later and we are talking about Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, as a GMO product. The very idea that everyday consumables from the cotton in our clothes to artificial sweeteners may contain GMO underscores how pervasive and insidious this phenomenon really is. We don’t even know where to look.
Remember, the original story broke back in 1999. Then, we allowed it to disappear into the shadows. Ordinarily, we associate GMO’s with produce, with food that is grown. So how the hell did we get to artificial sweeteners? Well guess what… bacteria are used in the production process of many “artificial” products. Bacteria are grown. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. Organisms are grown. The presence of organisms is ubiquitous in everything that touches our lives. We’ve got to see what’s going on behind the scenes in the production process because it may very well be re-producing inside us… body snatchers.
There’s no doubt about it, I watch too many sci-fi movies. I have completely crossed the threshold into the heart of darkness. I have recurring nightmares (or maybe premonitions) about people named Hans with lab coats and pocket protectors slowly but surely transforming our world into something completely alien. I awaken lying in a pool of my own Gatorade sweat craving a microwave burrito with a side of Viagra.
I don’t know… all five of my therapists feel these recurring dreams of mine are symbolic of my deep inner need to fill the voids in my psyche created by watching too much Scooby Doo as a child. But try as they may to pin my suburbianus disturbianum on an animated dog who likes to get weeded up, I know the real truth. Genetic scientists aim to produce one thing above all else -- “a comfortable, smooth, reasonable, democratic unfreedom.”
It’s true, you know. Food geneticists manipulate more than DNA; they manipulate truth, they manipulate the limits of human knowledge, and they manipulate life itself into a palatable, tasty unfreedom they can serve up dish after dish. And God knows we Americans love a good buffet.
Christina Pirello cites a food-industry mouthpiece spouting off about “sowing fear and confusion among shoppers,” but I’ve got news for you… food scientists – food geneticists in particular – manufacture unfreedom. That’s their primary product, and I will debate this adamantly on any level with anybody. Bring it on. It makes me livid, so let’s take it out by the dumpster. Knowledge is a form of power, one which the food industry tries to subvert because they fear real freedom of choice for consumers. The obvious truth to anyone paying the least bit of attention is that the food industry overwhelmingly fears freedom of information.
1. Herbert Marcuse is in brilliant work, One Dimensional Man.
This is precisely what Christina is getting at when she points to the way in which food companies often disregard our right to make free choices based on truthful information. “Why can I not have the freedom of choice with GMO’s?” Christina laments. “Consumers have a right to know what is in their food, and the right to make choices based on that information.” Indeed, access to the truth is critical to a functioning Democracy. For without access to truthful information there can be no social, personal, or economic freedom. As Mary Shelly writes in Frankenstein, “When falsehood can look so much like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?”
At the risk of offending each and every one of my colleagues back in the lab (like I haven’t already), let me confess that people in lab coats make me nervous as a general rule of thumb. This is especially true for food geneticists, shrinks, and proctologists, all of whom are pretty much the same inside my warped mind. They have a way of altering perception. They disguise the wonderful chaos and dynamic variability of life behind a veil of orderly logic and “common sense.”
Of course, on the Island of Dr. Moreau, it seems perfectly “normal” to dice and splice, and Dr. Jellyfinger simply can’t understand why we don’t whistle Dixie when we bend over. Professor Freudalicious finds it funny when we “just don’t get it.” Worse yet, we are seen as blathering idiots by the J.P Gotrocks of the world when we object to something like using a GMO to increase product yield because we don’t know what else is being re-produced inside our bodies. How silly we all are for resisting GMO’s in our diet soda! Don’t we see how much more Phenylalanine we can get? Why should those damned lab rats get all the spoils? (I put a call in to the in vitro research journal Three Blind Mice for comment, but they have not returned my call).
Speaking for myself, I don’t need to increase the yield on toxin production in my body. I am decaying quite well on my own, thank you very much. Having grown up in New York, I consumed enough food-cart fare to hasten my demise; I can do without a slew of genetically-modified organisms to boot. Where, oh where, have the simple days of Scooby Doo gone, the days when a Scooby Snack was still a Scooby Snack ?
Ah, the brilliant satirist Douglas Adams sums it up perfectly, doesn’t he? The absurdity of scientific creation for creation’s sake knows no bounds. That’s right, if we don’t appreciate the scientific beauty of GMO’s, that’s our own problem (I must remember to tell this to the good people of Tokyo the next time Godzilla emerges out of the Sea of Japan… or the next nuclear melt down, whichever comes first).
I’m getting the Gatorade sweats again because I have the very bad feeling that GMO is here, is here everywhere, and is here to stay. Do yourselves a solid… assume GMO is part of everything you consume.
“But Todd, I eat strictly organic!”
Really? Talk to me in the near future when your Stevia comes back hot for CaMV 35S or T-Nos. I don’t want to be that guy who yells “Fire!” in a crowded theater, but come on…do we actually think the boom in demand for Stevia will not lead to GMO for increased yield?
2. Maybe we can get Christina to go into production?
These adulterationists, these pods, were sent here from Outer Space to run experiments on us unwitting humans to determine once and for all exactly how much abuse we can take. They began these experiments in New York City. Everyone there is a pod now, of course. The program has expanded and is available at a supermarket near you. Indeed, the idea that GMO products are released for consumption here in the US and not in Europe or EMEA is disgraceful, and I’m hopping mad (if I eat any more GMO, I may actually start hopping like a genetically altered man-garoo).
The Mothership has landed, alright, but we’re on to them. It’s disguised as Monsanto headquarters. The question now is how much abuse will we take? If our food is being adulterated, it is quite possible that we are being adulterated as well. It probably comes as no surprise to any of you when I say that I am used to being violated in any number of ways. But at least ask my permission first! The food pods don’t ask permission, though. No, they conceal the truth, deny our collective right to make informed decisions, and go right ahead and violate our bodies without so much as buying a drink. Then they slip out in the middle of the night leaving us feeling taken advantage of and wondering what the hell happened. Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma’am!
So Todd, how do you really feel?
I know, I know… I am passionate about this issue. There is more at stake than potential health risks. What Christina Pirello highlights so well in her blog is that the GMO issue is about the right to information and freedom of choice. What is really being modified is our access to the truth and our tolerance for falsehood. I don’t accept anything less than the truth from my students, from my son, from myself. And I certainly won’t waive that demand when it comes to the government, the Mothership, or the growing army of alien pods.
On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much – the wheel, New York, wars and so on – whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man – for precisely the same reasons.
How much abuse will we take?