Eminem, Please Say “No!” to GMOs
You may (hopefully) be asking yourself, why a blog about Eminem, and…wait, what the heck are GMOs?
Well it’s quite simple, actually.
Eminem is the top-selling artist over the last decade. His raw, uncomfortably honest lyrics have had a profound impact on our culture in ways like no other artists. His is a powerful voice, one that stands for uncompromising truth–a rarity in popular music these days. He’s also a dad–a faithful and loyal one at that, invested in the health and wellness of his children. As a recovering drug addict, he’s taken his health back into his hands and knows how good it feels to have regained control of his life and health. But, does he really have control? Like the rest of us in this country, Eminem, and his family are participating in the greatest human experiment in history.
GMOs stands for genetically modified organisms. They are seeds whose genetic materials have been altered through a technique known as recombinant DNA technology, which use DNA molecules from different sources to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Think it sounds like some weird science fiction? It is, and GMOs are so prevalent now in America, you can find them in 80 percent of all processed food. 80 percent.
According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 93 percent of soy, 86 percent of corn and 93 percent of cotton and canola planted in the U.S. in 2010 were genetically engineered, a majority of which comes via Monsanto, the largest biotech seed company in the world.
Some are calling GMOs the greatest human experiment in all of history. Most of Europe has banned GMOs and countries around the world are also taking a stand against them, yet the USDA here in America has essentially deregulated GMOs, making it easier and easier for giant corporations such as Monsanto to plant these seeds across our country with little–if any–research on the long-term effects to our environment and our health.
The risks are startling: 19 studies have linked GMOs to organ damage; they’ve been shown to cause birth defects, cause allergies, and have been linked to several types of cancer. And, because GMOs were only introduced into our diets within the last several decades, the long-term effects are truly unknown, but some studies indicate the genetically modified DNA can continue changing once inside our bodies.
Genetically modified seeds are built to resist high doses of pesticides–mainly the Monsanto glyphosate based pesticide commonly known as Roundup. These Roundup Ready seeds are heavily sprayed with the toxic pesticides, which have been shown to cause neurological disorders, birth defects, infertility and cancer.
And it’s not just our health that’s at risk. GMOs are contaminating conventional and wild seed stocks. They’re creating “super-weeds” that have become resistant to pesticides. A recent study showed a link between declining monarch butterfly populations and Roundup pesticide.
Farmers have no sovereignty either. If crop drift from a GMO farm contaminates a non-GMO neighboring farm, Monsanto has been known to sue those farmers for stealing their patented seeds. That’s right–Monsanto has patented their modified seeds, making it impossible for farmers to save seeds from a harvest, which has been a long-standing practice since agriculture was developed. Now, farmers growing GMO seeds must purchase new seeds every season. And, if they save them, or if Monsanto finds GMO seeds accidentally growing in their fields, those farmers could face a long and litigious court battle.
While the organic food movement in this country continues to boom, and is the only safe-haven from GMOs (by law, certified organic food can contain zero GMOs) we have more deregulated genetically modified crops in large-scale production than any other country in the world. Wikileaks released documents last year showing a strong connection between biotech lobbyists and their corporate interests influencing politicians and legislators here and around the world. Controversial GMO alfalfa–an important food for livestock animals–was deregulated earlier this year, and GMO salmon may soon be the first genetically engineered animal to enter the food system. Many environmentalists and citizens are concerned over the damaging effect this deregulation could have on wild salmon populations, other marine life, and the humans who eat them.
The goal of this blog is to appeal to Eminem–as a parent, an American and an artist committed to truth and integrity. Like most Americans, it’s unlikely that Eminem knows just how much of his food is an experiment. So, we’ll be sharing all the latest information on GMOs here, for Eminem and his fans to read in hopes of empowering them to know what exactly they’re eating, and to voice their concerns. We’ve come a long way in this country from the days of pure food, healthy food, and safe food. It’s time to take the power back. Eminem, won’t you please help us?