Wednesday, 27 February 2008

GM is not the answer

This was emailed to me so I haven't checked it, but its interesting.

In the early 50s Bill worked for ICI. The country was well aware that the U-boats had nearly brought us to submission in two World Wars through our inability to produce enough of our own food. ICI eagerly responded to the post war governments exhortations to increase agricultural production and ICI happily supplied vast quantities of nitrogen fertiliser from their factory at Billingham. This indeed had the effect of boosting the growth of crops. Unfortunately the resultant lush growth attracted fungal infection, so ICI had to develop fungicides to spray upon these crops. The nitrogen, not unexpectedly encouraged similar growth from weeds, so ICI very quickly developed herbicides. This lovely soft lush growth also attracted pests in their myriads, so ICI developed pesticides!

You can well see that from a chemical manufacturers point of view all this was highly profitable and what is more we had doubled the yield from the nation's crops just as requested by the government.

A little word of warning came from our Game Conservancy Division. To be honest this was always considered as a bit of a joke by those of us working at the coal-face, a good excuse for our directors to have a good few days' shooting and to entertain the more important of our customers. The Game Conservancy warned us that the indigenous brown partridge was becoming extinct and they attributed it to our pesticides killing their food source. For brown partridge read every other ground nesting, insectivorous species. ICI took note and tried to cut back on pesticides but other companies such as Fisons were only too happy to fill the gap. Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", published many years later, spelt it all out.

Fifty years on we can see the devastation that nitrogen forced crops have had on our soil, which is 76% devoid of trace elements (the USA quote theirs as being 80% devoid) and these elements are lacking in all our diets, causing the "Western" diseases. Interestingly Bill went to a lecture in the 70s by an archeologist working on Hambledon Hill, digging into the Iron Age Fort (of which one corner had, according to him, been vandalised by those late comers the Romans, who had built a calvary barracks on what was then a 3,000 year old settlement). Amongst other things he excavated leather lined grain pits. He had the grain analysed and, although it was one quarter the size of modern grain, it contained every bit as much nutrient. If the grain had been analysed for trace elements and mineral content it would undoubtedly have been proven to be far more beneficial than modern grain. As an aside our archeologist suggested that it was one of these leather lined grain pits that got flooded that produced the first ale by accident suggesting that beer is one of our oldest drinks, at least 5,000 years old.

So it is arguable that all we have achieved is to quadruple the size of our storage and transport problems by bulking up our modern grain by what is no more than air and water.

We went to a lecture on GM in Sherborne ten days ago. The pro-GM professor, when we made the point about the smaller Iron Age grain looked upset. We queried whether his GM grain, which he claimed was improved, was improved by quality or volume. He looked upset again, and said farmers wouldn't buy it unless it was "improved". We would ask whether the farmers are being paid by volume or quality?

Now the real point of all this is if, as the evidence suggests, our grains, be they barley, oats, maize, rice or wheat, and monoculture grass pastures (mainly rye grass) are deficient in the minerals and trace elements that are necessary for health, then we are destroying the immune system of our livestock, making them more prone to foot and mouth, TB, blue tongue, mastitis, laminitis and all the rest of the ailments and, when we eat them or drink their milk, we no longer get the beneficial minerals and trace elements that we used to get and nor do we if we eat the grains or vegetables so grown.

Just look at the modern degenerative diseases we now suffer from that were unknown in the past.

Further we are told we shouldn't eat meat and fat, we must have our five vegetables a day. There are well known healthy civilisations such as the Eskimos who eat little but seal meat and fish, African tribes existing on the blood and flesh of animals, past remote Swiss alpine cantons where their almost exclusive diet was dairy food, with the odd bit of beef, and the very few vegetables they were able to grow in their short summers, but the dairy food was from natural pasture, full of natural herbs and trace elements and minerals.

Mexico used to have an enormous variety of maize from dark brown to nearly white - this has been bred out and it is nearly a monoculture, hybrids have been bred excluding the variety. The same has happened with rice. GM is exacerbating this in both these grains and wheat, oats, and barley but what is worse is putting power over the food supply into the hands of a few globalist, all powerful chemical companies, who produce the hybrid/GM seed, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and all, forcing farmers to be dependent on them, with their terminator genes ensuring all have to buy new seed each year from them. Whereas the farmers used to sow seeds held back from last year's crop.

If we are foolish enough to continue to buy food produced from chemical farming, to the detriment of our health rather than backing the organic movement that is trying to improve the quality of our food, we will be giving money to large chemical companies and their acolytes the CAP funded farmers who are their customers, the NFU will do nothing to help the many small farmers most of whom are trying to produce good quality food. Support your local shops and suppliers, and buy in farmers' markets where you can!

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