Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Ghost in Your Genes - Environmental Phenomena Is 'Inheritable'

This BBC video, The Ghost In Your Genes, presents the next frontier beyond mapping the human genome and envisions some chilling possibilities for future generations based on what we have done to our bodies in this era of 'better living through chemistry.'

The data show that famine in one generation can be experienced physiologically by generations that follow - they don't have to go hungry to be experience the stress of that hunger. Finally, towards the end of the film, exposure to pesticide comes into the picture.

The ramifications are chilling. If the effects of pesticides are evident into the the third and fourth generation of rats (the phenomena has yet to be studied in humans), then the effects of pesticides will be felt for the coming 60 years (at minimum) in humans.

Now translate the effects of genetically modified food into the mix. We have only a few studies that focus on GM food in our guts and so far the conclusion we are seeing is that they might not be good for us. There has to be a lot more study. Unfortunately, that study can't just come in a twinkling - we will need twenty years to show whether or not genetically modified food is bad for us and if bad, how bad. There is considerable anecdotal evidence that genetically modified corn destroys female conception in mammals like pigs. That research has not been done in humans. Yet.

However, this testing should have been forced to occur BEFORE GMO technology was unleashed on our digestive systems and on the ecosystems of this Earth. Americans, more than any other national group, will pay the most if this plays out badly because our government has been the least effective in controlling GMOs in our food.  If you needed more examples of how the government should exert much more control over business, I submit this as the most egregious example of greed triumphing over reason any where in the history of the good ol' US of A.

It was, in part, frustration over the American government's unwillingness to stand up for its own people that fueled the idea of a seed library. If we, local citizens, grow our own food, we control more of what goes into our bodies and, therefore, the effects it will have on our health. Now we can also consider the effects on our children and our children's children.

Many of us have felt our responsibility to coming generations deserved more consideration; now, the facts seem to support this conclusion and we have much more reason to demand our government treat us better than a test population for rich guys to get richer. Our government must be forced back from the idiocy of 'corporations are people too.' Like the wag said, "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one!"

It has not mattered which of the two big parties have been elected lately. I am no lover of George Bush, but even Obama put wolves in charge of the hen house picking Tom Vilsack as the Secretary of Agriculture - a former Monsanto Board member. And while the government looked the other way, Monsanto, under several administrations, has been allowed to become one of the most dominant players in the seed business in the US. This is not good. Greed and avarice are the only principles this company honors and we are allowing them to be in possession of the basis of agriculture?

So you get a seed library. No matter what laws the government passes, no matter what plant genetics are controlled by what company, we can grow our own food and eat healthy, non-GMO food and the whole corrupt system be damned. We have a seed library and no, we don't need it today, this very minute. We can still get a lot of our seeds from the few remaining companies that still care. But if they aren't around tomorrow because Monsanto has been allowed to buy them all up, we will know how to save seed already and we will be here to steward the seeds that have fed mankind for countless decades. If you join with us, you'll learn how too.

If you don't, we'll be here prepared when we absolutely have to do it this way!

But don't wait. Join with us now and be one of the ones who knows the way out of the jungle. Together, we will both be stronger.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Meeting This Saturday,

A quick reminder that the Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA) meets again this Saturday, January 14, from 2:30 to 4:00 pm, at The Learning Garden. SLOLA Chair David King will kick off the meeting with his "New Year's Resolutions for Seed Savers" -- some fun and practical tips on what (and what not) to do with seed saving in mind. And at the close of the meeting, members may again check out seeds for free from the ever-expanding library.
By the way, you might also like to know that Bill McDorman, Executive Director of Native Seed/SEARCH and the primary instructor at the seed school David King recently attended, will be giving the keynote lecture for 4th Annual Seed Swap sponsored by Santa Barbara Permaculture Network and Fairview Gardens, on Friday, January 27, from 7:00 to 9:30 pm, at the Santa Barbara Downtown Public Library Faulkner Gallery, 40 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Admission is just $5 and reservations are not required. For more information, please call (805) 962-2571 or e-mail (McDorman will also lead the Seed School Workshop the following day.) Those interested in attending can discuss carpooling at the Saturday SLOLA meeting!
Tim Smith
Membership Chair