Monday, June 16, 2014

Buycott

I'm a believer of labeling when it comes to food. We require food processors to inform consumers about what the food contains, starting with the ingredients and moving on to calorie counts per serving, grams of fat, grams of sugar and so on. All of this helps the discerning consumer to make a decision about whether or not to buy and consume a particular product.

In recent years, it has become widely known that processed foods are produced using genetically modified crops, such as soy and corn. But so far, we have not seen a label on those foods to indicate such sources of food in America. Never mind that 64 countries around the world require labels to identify genetically modified food. The purveyors of genetically modified seeds, such as Monsanto and DuPont, insist that if the food is labeled to identify genetically modified food, then people won't buy them.

Seems reasonable. We aren't familiar enough to genetically modified food to know for sure they are safe, right? I know I wouldn't buy food that is genetically modified if I had an alternative. Unfortunately, 90% of soy and 80% of corn in the US is genetically modified.

But because there were no labeling laws in place when they were introduced, we have no way of knowing what is and what is not genetically modified, or, "GMO" for short. Monsanto and companies like them, have been dreaming of a day when everything will be GMO, they will have patents on every gene, and there will be no further discussion. Everyone will just have to accept their monopoly, right?

Here is a notable quote:
"The hope of the industry is that over time the market is so flooded [with GMOs] that there's nothing you can do about it. You just sort of surrender" - Don Westfall, biotech industry consultant and vice-president of Promar International, in the Toronto Star, January 9 2001.
That statement shows how determined the GMO industry is to force their products on the rest of us. Somehow, some way, through deceit, treachery, whatever it takes, no matter what the cost, they must get everyone eating their food. Then they have profits guaranteed, without worry for competition. Is that the American way? I should hope not.

Technology doesn't just work for the 1%. It can be put to work against the 1%, in this case biotech companies who want to spread genetically modified seeds around the planet without adequate safety testing.

More than a million Android phones are activated worldwide, every day. There is a nifty program for Android called Buycott. This program can scan a barcode on any food, identify the source, the parent companies of the source, and help to determine if that product is genetically modified and if the source has actively worked against labeling of GMO food.

If you're concerned about food monopolies, this is the tool to use. Scan any packaged food to see where your money goes when it comes to food politics. If money is speech, Buycott is duct tape.
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