Oh me, oh my, Folks! — Where to begin with this post? This article is about the degradation of our food supply by the factory-farming ’empires’ (their self-descriptive word, not mine), and I’ll refer to the topic as ‘Trans-potatoism” (ha ha ha).
Actually, it’d be funny if it weren’t true, but it is: The company, Simplot, (http://www.simplot.com/plant_sciences), was brought to my attention several months back, when I read an article by Tom Philpott (link here: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/11/simplot-innate-new-gmo-potato-mcdonalds)
I went to Simplot’s website and was amused (not really) to read the language they use in their mission statement: “Bringing Earth’s Resources to Life”
News flash– Earth’s resources are already alive and tend to do quite well on their own, NATURALLY…just sayin’.
…And so I read on; here’s the opening sentence on their ‘about’ page (emphasis in bold/italics added by me): The J.R. Simplot Company was started by an energetic entrepreneur in 1929, and grew from a one-man farming operation into a food and agribusiness empire.
Great. That is from where I want to procure my potatoes- an agri-empire! (not)
As it pertains to the subject matter of this post, I read more about their trademarked and patented potato:
Combining our extensive experience in agriculture with the latest in biotechnology, the Simplot Plant Sciences team developed Innate™ Technology, an innovative biotechnology platform for improving crops. This new biotechnology process results in tangible improvements in crops that lead to better foods and ultimately, sustainable benefits for the land.
Sounds harmless enough, eh? They must be doing the best thing by all of us, because it says so, right there on their website (please pardon my jaded sarcasm).
Let’s pause and consult the dictionary for the definition of the word ‘Innate’ (adj): belonging to the essential nature of something; inborn (…and last but not least): NATURAL
Here is the concern, for which I propose a solution in my closing comments:
1) The ‘innate potato’ is the antithesis of natural.
2) It involves RNA interference, whereas the genetic engineering aspect is spun by labeling it ‘innate’
3) In its application to the USDA (found here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/aphisdocs/14_09301p.pdf ), Simplot sites the OECD (‘ahem’- major alarm bells) and the “harmonization of regulatory oversight in biotechnology”–which concludes by stating that they intend to create a potato monopoly via the ‘mitigating of concerns…such as seed dispersal..’
…Look, good people, I am no Ph.D,, but I am relatively cognizant; enough so that I will defer to this guy, Doug, who is a Ph.D from The Center for Food Safety:
“We simply don’t know enough about RNA interference technology to determine whether GE crops developed with it are safe for people and the environment. If this is an attempt to give crop biotechnology a more benign face, all it has really done is expose the inadequacies of the U.S. regulation of GE crops. These approvals are riddled with holes and are extremely worrisome,” said Doug Gurian-Sherman, Ph.D., CFS director of sustainable agriculture and senior scientist.
Here is link to that page: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/3594/poorly-tested-gene-silencing-technology-to-enter-food-supply-with-simplot-potato
Okay, then… I’m beating a dead spud by droning on about the background on this topic- let’s talk about solutions and ideas for making the situation better. Here are my initial thoughts:
1) Label it. Make it MANDATORY for the food service industry (be it McD’s or the local grocery store) to clearly and plainly denote that the potatoes they sell (be they in french fry form or the spud itself) are geo-engineered (i.e., that what we are consuming is NOT ‘au natural’) . That way, we can be informed consumers who can make informed choices about the food we are putting into our bodies, as well as whether we wish to sustain the ’empire’, such as Simplot.
2) Become informed about factory farming (i.e., the aforementioned agri-empire), and choose NOT to participate…you do NOT have to consent to this ridiculous ludicrous. You DO have a choice and WE CAN make a difference by re-directing our purchasing habits.
3) More to point #2 above- Buy LOCALLY and thereby support the concept of de-centralizing the Agri-biz. This will result in YOU having natural potatoes, as well as engendering support for, and sustainability of, actual farmers in our local communities –those whom seek to make an honest living by producing NATURAL, healthy foods that are better for both the environment and our species.
What ideas/input do you have for solutions? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, because, after all, TFT is about solutions for making life better, happier and healthier for us all.
Who’s with me now? All together on ‘3’: …1, 2, 3 — STOP TRANS-POTATOISM!!! 🙂 Set my potatoes free!