Reality Bites: Your Dish and Disaster

16 Oct

Reality Bites; Farm Subsidies as Corporate Welfare, the Irony of Deregulation, and the Link Between Your Dish and Disaster

A random Facebook post led me to look up what effects Agent Orange had on people. MISTAKE to do in the middle of the night. (Yes, even internet superheroines are on facebook.) Why do people go watch horror movies if all the horror happens for real? It’s right there, on your tv screen, on your radio, and on whatever screen you’re staring at now.

Abre tus ojos, ‘manitos y ‘manitas.

Roughly 1,000,000 people are disabled in Vietnam today due to AO, killing 400,000 people overall, and causing birth defects in 500,000 children since.

AO was made by Monsanto, the same company telling us GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) food is safe, and lobbying against Proposition 37, an upcoming California legislation mandating the labeling of GMO food. I mean, it’s not like they’re asking for GMO food to become illegal. It’s just one teeny, tiny piece of government regulation of corporations aimed at lowering their ability to take advantage of people’s unawareness of the facts.

Why? Because knowledge is power, people. Power to demand and enact change. Corporate conglomerates apparently don’t like governments telling them to do things like admit their products could contain harmful chemicals, or cause health problems. Remember Phillip Morris?

“Aw, shucks! If people find out nicotine is addictive and we put formaldehyde and ammonia, and over 4,000 chemicals and known carcinogens in cigarettes, they might not buy them as much! We’re gonna lose profit! Margins will shrink! Layoffs are imminent! This damn Democratic administration…. Vote GOP, they won’t make us put those pesky labels on there. Phew, I feel better now. Anyone want a Gurkha Black Dragon? Oh, I forgot my Swarovski lighter. Let me just use this $100 bill.” —– cigarette company owner, overheard while I was crouching on his office veranda, just before I robbed them and fed them and their money to the poor.

Hmm, maybe I should have given them a label: “May Contain Harmful Ingredients, such as hot air, bullshit, and other carcinogens.”

Monsanto is one of many corporate farm companies that receives federal agricultural subsidies. Overall, these amount to over a quarter of a TRILLION dollars. (Don’t even get La Capitana started on oil and gas subsidies vs renewable. I used to work in the private energy sector. Yes, this superheroine has a facebook AND a day job.) This corporate welfare, abused by big agriculture conglomerates while it was intended for mom and pop farms, is used to make the CEOs richer and develop more and more GMO food.

In the meantime, Americans eat their weight in GMO food every year, says a new study. And the Republicans who lobby for such corporate welfare, while decrying “handouts” to the hand-to-mouth poor, and less regulation on companies like Monsanto (which made AO), and DOW Chemicals, which killed nearly 20,000 people in Bhopal, India in the 80s after a noxious gas leak, give us chicken-shit-eating smiles while they don’t bother to hide the fingers other people would normally hide behind their backs.

Who knows what’s in GMO foods? The government’s efforts to get to the bottom of that very loaded plate of questions have been stymied at ever turn from rightly defensive companies that dominate election donations. It’s the old story. And after Citizens United (the Supreme Court decision to allow unlimited corporate political donations, giving corporations the same rights as an individual American), it’s a story that’s only just begun.

Is there AO in your apple? Definitely not. But there is a pattern here that should terrify every single American citizen. And theres definitely too much big business in our government, another poisonous fruit.

The companies that caused epic disasters in the past with chemical technology, killing countless and injuring even more, are driving our country’s food destiny. And they definitely don’t want you to hesitate before eating that perfect, ripe, red apple.

More reading/sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/07/prop-37-california-gmo-food_n_1945106.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/magazine/how-much-has-citizens-united-changed-the-political-game.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://farm.ewg.org

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_37,_Mandatory_Labeling_of_Genetically_Engineered_Food_(2012)

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One Response to “Reality Bites: Your Dish and Disaster”

  1. Adam November 22, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    It is POISON! Very informative read. Thanks!

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