I’m not going to make any claims here that GMO foods are dangerous. Maybe you believe they are, maybe you don’t. That’s basically the point behind efforts to label foods that contain GMO, isn’t it? We’re supposed to have faith in the ability of free markets to reach sound conclusions. (If not, we’re all doomed.) At least in theory en masse we generally get it right.
Some companies, though, seem to chafe at the bit at the bit when it comes to revealing information about what’s actually in their foods. So many “secret” ingredients and the like. So many euphemisms like “natural flavors” to avoid a detailed accounting of what’s really in there. (And happily stamped “OK” by Uncle Sam, too.)
But without information what possible decision-making can take place? I submit that a free market can’t reach those legendary conclusions in a void of data. Without the ability to weigh facts, the market must simply go where it is led by the powerful few in the know. As a general rule other people making decisions on your behalf don’t turn out all that well.
1913: 100% of corn was farmer owned. By 2013 approx. 95% was owned by corporations.
–A statistic I found all over the Internet which may or may not be real
Today, without attempting to examine real and/or imagined ills that may or may not be associated with GMO, I wish to look at a single debate point offered by those who oppose labeling. What GMO means to you should be something you investigate for yourself. See if you can, somehow, sort through all the noise and determine your own level of comfort.
I look at it like this? If given the choice of no food and dying of starvation or nom nom on some GMO most of us would probably choose the latter and take our chances. Is that the issue in a nutshell? As Earth converts farmland to condominiums and strip malls and the population continues to increase no doubt one day we’ll all be facing a question like that. (And insects. Don’t forget the edibility of insects.)
So, here in Oregon, a lot of us signed a petition and Measure 92 qualified for the ballot. It’s a measure that Oregon voters will decide this November. The aim of the measure is to mandate labeling of GMOs in food.
Naturally, now we’re being subjected to a horrifying barrage of television ads both for and against. One of the arguments against the measure kind of stuck in my craw. Let’s take a look.
Abyss Island: S1E7 – Set Phasers on Food / The Trouble With Kibbles
My wife named this challenge: “Star Trek or Star Wife”
I strolled into the challenge sportin’ my official tribe buff and hoisting the toilet plunger the proudly bears the ZeitGuru team flag. I was feeling cocky and confident. After all, I was batting .750. I had won three challenges in a row (after losing that initial house of cards travesty of justice). I’m on a win streak. What could possibly go wrong?
Rumor had it that this reward was going to be one “worth playing for” and I was more than ready. My tummy was in a twitter of anticipation. It growled ominously like a Rigellian ox as I stepped in and assumed my station on the pad.
“Belay that order, mister! We’ve got a challenge to finish and Starfleet ain’t yella.”
As usual, the Priority One communiqué from the Federation only served to muddle my mind. I took it in my ready room on a secure channel:
To boldly go where no man has gone before
To know your wife and make the score.
James, Spock, Scotty and George Takei
If you’re not careful you’ll make your wife cry.
Outer space is where you’ll do well.
Upsetting your wife…
You’ll wish you lived in Hell.
Obviously I was going to be quizzed on my knowledge of my wife, like some variation of the Newlywed Game. But how in the hell would Star Trek fit into this? Dammit, man, I’m a negativist philosopher, not a doctor!
Leave it to my wife to up the stakes. I found myself in the Neutral Zone with a lot more than a meal to worry about. Failure in this challenge could mean the end of the Organian Marital Peace Treaty itself.
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