Sunday, April 2, 2017

#Uganda's push for #GMO must be questioned

A country on the equator with all year round growing temperament cannot feed 11 million people and in fact is under going a drought with people dying of starvation and some even with their cows and I have always wondered why they do not eat their cows.  Are they Budhists?
But the land of milk and honey is apparently packing pineapples for export.  Imgaine my shock when I woke up to a message from someone who advocates for Uganda's Middle Income Status telling me that Isingiro is a big pineapple producer and exporter!  Goes to tell you that we have brains.  BUT DO WE USE THEM?  How can you grow pineapples and export them and then die of hunger?  Do you not think to use the land for sukuma and matooke?  Alas, non, you want to export what you refuse to eat or feed your cows.  Witchcraft is real.
I have always been suspicious of GMO but not entirely against it.  I am one of those people who think that it should be labeled because I do not want to buy Salmon to then find out that it has Pig genes (ask Canada about it).
I come from a long line of scientists.  My father was a scientist but I do not think Engineering counts.  My sister teaches Agriculture and Biology.  My other sister teaches Economics.  My other brother teaches Pharma.  My other brother teaches Physics when he is not selling bogoya.  My other sister teaches Home Economics.  My other brother is a Public Health Inspector come Environmental Science and Hygiene.  My nephew is an engineer.  My niece is an engineer.  I am only a geek because computers do not qualify.
The Monsanto group is a very powerful lobby and the world bends over backwards for their seeds and research.  My brother in law is a researcher at Kawanda on bananas.  But he is the good guy though.
Fruit flies are very annoying but no one has ever asked why they are around all natural fruits.
My uncle (one of them) took Agriculture and managed the Uganda Ministry of Rehabilitation and this is when I first learned about GMO.  The maize was yellow.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED.  One time in Toronto, I planted liboshe.  I waited.  The black eyed beans did not germinate.  So I thought maybe I had done it wrong.  I went back to the store and bought more and planted. They did not germinate.  So I had to call the expert. Sarah came over and told me they were TERMINATOR seeds.  Say what?  What do you mean a seed can be a terminator?
Uganda is not pushing for GMO to solve hunger.  This could easily be solved if all the MPigs could not steal so much and if they did not land grab and then build the mansions in which cobwebs cannot even build a nest for their offspring.  Uganda's push for GMO is solely to impoverish more people.  You get GMO seeds and plant.  They are terminator seeds.  They will be free this planting season and then you must buy seeds next season and then forever more.  I am happy to know that my sister still tells all her students to tell their parents and other elders to retain traditional seeds for the next planting season.
What you must understand is those who control food control you.  Have you watched THE HUNGER GAMES? Neither have I but apparently it is something about survival so when you get rid of those traditional seeds, you will soon have to buy seeds instead of sending your little girl to Gayaza High School.
In 2015 Ghana passed a law that all farmers had to use GMO seeds (ask Natalia, she lives in Accra) and then things went downhill.  In Canada alone, some farmers have been sued for not using GMO seeds and I think that one farmer nearly burned the country down.
Then this happened.  Since I have always been about labeling, the future scientist told me not to sweat it.  This was after Monsanto had sued the State of Hawaii for daring to enforce labeling and Monsanto won.  Big corporations always win. So now this means that Ugandans have no chance to fight the system.  NAADS was taken over by the army and I hear some of the seeds are half par but that is a story for another day because I am still trying to get the mobile of the Director of Agriculture at Makerere University and still do not believe that he was killed simply because he refused to give 2yr Diplomas of Agriculture to the army that was taking over Uganda's Agricole.
On Labeling  - this one is a feel good story and very humbling.  It also opened my eyes.
Anne Steacy Biomedical Health Stream/ Anne Steacy Health and Society Stream 
1. Should the Canadian government mandate that all genetically modified foods sold in Canada be labeled as such? Identify reasons both for and against this type of policy, and explain which perspective you support and why. (500 word maximum)
The growing movement of people concerned with the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food has sparked social and political debate. Many groups have petitioned the Canadian government, demanding they mandate that all genetically modified foods sold in Canada be labeled as containing GMOs. 
These groups, and other individuals, want GMO products to be labeled to allow consumers to make more informed choices. People are concerned that consumption of GMOs could cause long-term health effects. More than sixty countries around the world have responded to the concern by creating strict laws or banning foods containing GMOs. 
However, many organizations have stated that the fears surrounding GMOs are unfounded. The FDA says that all genetically modified foods are subjected to the same standards as non-genetically modified foods, and they do not plan on labeling foods containing GMOs. 
The World Health Organization determined that the consumption of genetically modified food does not affect health. There are also approximately two thousand scientific studies that support the claim that genetically modified foods are safe to eat. 
The Canadian government should not have to mandate that all genetically modified foods sold in Canada be labeled. Approximately seventy percent of all foods sold in Canada contain GMOs. Foods that do not contain GMOs are definitely in the minority. It makes more sense financially and logistically to label fewer items. Many of these items are already being labeled by trusted organizations. Anything with a USDA Certified Organic label does not contain GMOs. 
The non-GMO Project has been working as the only independent organization to certify non-genetically modified foods. They have already labeled twenty seven thousand items and receive seventy new inquiries about labeling every week. 
The USDA has a financial assistance program that can cover up to seventy five percent of the costs of certification for smaller companies who wish to be certified. Several independent farmers have gone through the non-GMO Project certification process and have reported that it is a fairly inexpensive process. Besides concern from the general public, there is no reason to label the vast amount genetically modified items. It is better to support the organizations dedicated to certifying foods as not genetically modified, than to lobby the Canadian government to provide an inefficient solution. 
By Rebecca Denise Lefranc, Moncton Christian Academy, Canada
Written and Submitted for Trinity One (University of Toronto), Sept 2015 entry.

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