Written by April Reeves, Director, GE Free BC
I was forwarded this email today from a colleague. It’s a response from Conservative MP Alice Wong regarding their stance on Bill C-474. This response clearly states how little the Conservative party thinks about our rights, freedom, and intelligence. Read on:
Dear Alice Wong, MP, Richmond, Conservative Party,
On April 28, 2010, you sent a response to a fellow named ‘Bruno Vernier’ regarding Bill C-474. I would like to remind you of this email, and I have a few comments about your response you should hear. Your email:
You are absolutely correct that we are to represent the citizens of Richmond,
and that most of the e-mails we received asked us to vote for C-474. However,
our Parliamentary system isn’t totally based on referendum or constituency
majority wishes. An MP isn’t just elected to a “puppet” of the electorate.
They are elected for their ability to lead as well as for their willingness to
follow consensus. Yes, a good MP works hard at listening to his or her
consitutents and representing them well. But by electing an MP, constituents
are also placing on them a mantle of authority, a “trust quotient” if you
will, to go to Ottawa and vote as they see best on issues of national
importance. This may not always be the “popular” position and ultimately each
MP faces accountability for that at the election booth. But they will also
run for reelection on their expertise and skill, not just on being a “puppet”
of constituents’ wishes. Parliamentary democracy has a lot of nuances to it
and there are some grey areas in how it plays itself out on the daily
political arena. The main objective of both sides was to support Canadian
farmers, and we listened to the large number of farmers who asked the
government to defeat this bill.
Voting against the C-474 was not an attempt to stifle debate over the issue.
Back in October 27, 2009, the Agriculture Committee passed a motion to study
genetically modified organisms, and the first hearing on the subject was held
on December 3. We agree that we should have a debate on the issue of GMOs in
committee; approving the substance of the bill in principle was not necessary
to facilitate that debate.
Although we have two differing opinions on the issue, I wish to thank you for
your civility and sharp grasp of the issues you advocate. We receive many
generic e-mails asking for support for different issues, but only a few take
the time to share their personal views and articulate them so well. Thank you
for dialoguing with us.
All the best,
Micah Au, Constituency Office of Alice Wong, MP for Richmond
– – –
Lets start at the beginning.
First off, you DO in fact work for the people who voted you in. It’s called Democracy, a term the Conservatives have forgotten about.
Secondly, no one votes in a “puppet”. We learned that lesson from the US, and certainly don’t want to repeat it in Canada. We had hoped you would have done your homework on the issues of great National importance in Canada, but since you missed this one, I will fill you in with the facts. Next time, please do your homework properly.
Thirdly, let’s address your “ability to lead”, your “mantle of authority”, “trust quotient” and your level of intelligence on “issues of National importance”. This is where you and the Conservative party have failed miserably (leaving out two: Ron Canna and James Lunney, two men of integrity and the guts to stand up against their party, likely because they are educated on the subject of GMO’s and care about the future of this planet and it’s children).
In regards to NDP’s Alex Atamanenko’s Bill C-474:
1. The farmers you state who desperately want GMO crops in Canada are only those farmers who have a vested interest in farming GMO. Apparently, you have no interest in the thousands, perhaps millions of farmers who do not grow GM crops – they are called “organic farmers” and “traditional farmers” and they have a huge voice. Apparently you didn’t hear them?
CropLife and the farming unions that control GMO crops have great lobbyists that support their mission, unlike traditional and organic farmers. They also have ‘lists’ of GM producers that can organize and scream quickly and fiercely. But – they are not representational of the greater groups, and they are swayed by Monsanto propaganda.
A little lesson on GM:
This TNC is about to own every seed and food product on your table. Most would call this a monopoly, but the Conservatives are happy to allow this in OUR country. Those that know and understand this have done the homework: many of us have followed it for years, watching Monsanto grow into an all-consuming company whose sole mandate is shareholder value: granted, since it is their legal obligation after all. But that doesn’t make it right, nor does it make it safe or a good idea to leave behind for future generations to deal with.
Monsanto is a chemical company. Their list of failures is miles longer than their list of achievements (StarLink corn, Agent Orange, Saccharin, dioxin, sulfuric acid, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), plastics, uranium research that led to the nuclear bomb, endless pesticides and herbicides (Roundup Ready), rBGH: Recombinant Growth Hormone……). These are the things you, Alice Wong, and the Conservative Party, are supporting.
A few very important FACTS you need to understand before sleeping with this giant:
1. Cross pollination DOES happen. While GM farmers are taking steps to combat this, those steps are not 100% guaranteed, meaning every alfalfa plant in Canada will be a GE plant eventually: it’s a matter of a bit more time, that’s all. That means Monsanto will own every alfalfa plant there is (just a bit more proof of monopolization). Monsanto KNOWS this: it’s also part of the technology that created the GMO plants in the first place. It’s also what will wipe out our traditional and organic farms. Is this democracy?
2. Once GM plants take over an area, there is no turning back. None. So you had better make sure, 100%, that there is no long term issues with them, because they have the power to contaminate all other plants in their species. Now, alfalfa is a legume, but alfalfa doesn’t cross pollinate easily with other legumes other than alfalfa, BUT wheat is a grass. It has the capability to alter every blade of grass on this planet. Not today, not in 5 years, but it will eventually (more proof of monopolization). Should this technology get out into the wilderness and external environment there is no turning back.
3. GMO and Monsanto does not stop at crops. They alter animals and trees as well. Let’s do a little science test to see if you know any of these facts:
Humans, plants and animals are ‘constructed’ on “vertical inheritance”, whereas your genetics work by one male and one female creating a third. In the world of plants and animals, those new ‘thirds’ are for the purpose of improving the species.
GMO lab science comes along and alters the DNA by inserting foreign genes the plant or animal would never have found, left to their natural states. This is called “horizontal inheritance”. One example is a tomato with a fish gene. This deep sea flounder had a gene that allowed it to survive extreme cold temperatures. So that gene was separated and inserted into a tomato, so that the fruit could withstand cold temperatures. But the gene had no idea how to work with the other genes, so they added a “promoter”: usually a virus or bacteria like the toxic Bt, to help ‘wake up’ or get the fish gene to ‘express’ itself. Often antibiotics are a part of the equation as well in ‘marker’ genes.
Problem is, we don’t know if horizontal inheritance will be as effective or function (properly/safely LONG TERM) like vertical inheritance (as there are NO studies, and the science is too young).
Most science and ideas turn out wrong in the beginning stages – that is how science works, especially in the revolutionary and start-up stages. That’s not an insult to science. It’s how science progresses. You start with an observation, then comes a hypothesis and finally the experiment. You then stand back and ask “how did we do?” If it failed or had problems, you start over.
GMO is “science in a hurry”. What’s the rush? This is human/plant/animal survival we are talking about here. We DON’T know how these gene manipulations will affect us long term. We don’t know if GM is partly to blame for the rise in so many childhood and adult diseases (reason is because we CAN’T test them: Monsanto has already sealed that up in our courts).
Should we not use the ‘Cautionary Principle’ here? Once our environment (plant/animal/humans) is filled with genetic mutations (of the original species), and the experiment fails, we can’t go back. This GMO science is dangerous and irresponsible, and anyone who claims otherwise is ignorant or has agendas that have no real vision, or any care about their children or grandchildren and the future we leave behind.
Technology comes with great social responsibility.
The above and below comments state this well enough for you to get the hint.
Propaganda: GMO’s will feed the world
This is a slogan Monsanto has pumped for years, but we still have never seen it, and never will. Why? Because Monsanto won’t get paid by people with little to no money. So Monsanto is “using” these poor people to do it’s bidding: they must farm GM crops and use pesticides or go hungry; this is Monsanto’s newest scheme. These crops will go to those who can afford them, likely back to the USA. These crops are commodities: corn, soy, canola and cotton. What do these crops have in common? They all create the junk food that has created an epidemic of obese and diseased people. Is this what we want to feed the poor?
If Monsanto were indeed experts they would be trying to identify pest resistance, drought, soil problems, heat and climate issues and toxic pollution as symptoms, not problems, instead of creating crops to resist these problems. It’s all about money: shareholder value and special interests. Period.
Monoculture is one answer, albeit a brittle technology still, but not the only one. We need to fund and study all food types and farming. We need to PROTECT other methods, other than just protecting “Monsanto’s ‘right’ to profit”.
Trade and subsidies are the reason people go hungry. Distribution is non-existent. We cannot have infinite growth in a finite world. Yields do not solve the hunger problem. Is this food or is this a commodity? Higher yields can lead to higher prices, again forcing poor people out of the equation.
Monsanto cannot look you or anyone else in the eye and say, for absolute sure, that GMO’s will not harm people in any way, at any length of time. It’s this simple lack of trust in their own technology that has the public so enraged. Who are we as a species to continue treating other life forms as commodities?
Seed piracy is another issue. Farmers must save seed! Food Security 101.
It is not difficult to connect the dots and see a pattern of control and insanity that works behind a corporate mask.
We never knew if GM had any health effects until a few good independents came along. To date, only one study on humans has ever been done (Jeffrey Smith, Institute for Responsible Technology: author of “Genetic Roulette, a “bible” packed with independent research). Surely, if Monsanto claims humans will have no real impact from their science experiments, then surely they would have no problem stepping up to the plate for a guinea pig? But no, that will be left to us to discover.
Let’s take Monsanto’s 8-trait SmartStax corn for example. Every living cell on that plant: leaves and cob, are living pesticide factories. When a bug lands on it, the pesticides kill that insect. Wow, what an amazing thing! But as yourself:
Should food kill?
If death happens to insects, what do you think it’s doing to your health? Oh right, we don’t know. It hasn’t been out long enough. SmartStax corn is not approved for human consumption. It’s an animal feed. But we eat those animals. Again, no long term studies. While most of the animals that eat it will be slaughtered in a few months, many will not. Those animals are horses and farm pets, whose lives depend on consistent, pure feeds – the type their physical bodies have adapted to for millions of years, not a decade ago.
Human bodies have not had time to adapt to these massive alterations either. But we are all fed this line of propaganda and food without our consent or any respect for long term implications from this inherently uncertain process. Our food has lost it’s authenticity.
Altering DNA to create a living pesticide in the cells of a plant have created resistant pests (insects). While Monsanto claims this is not a problem, secretly they hope for this, as it gives them a green light to carry on with new strains of GM plants, with more additions to the modifications. Thus increasing shareholder value.
Problem is, this treadmill cannot sustain itself over the long term. Monsanto must continually re-engineer plants, animals and trees on a rotationary schedule to keep up. The far-reaching implications of this should be apparent to any intelligent life form.
Then Monsanto pushes the US for a court injunction to stop all and any further law suits against them. What does that scream to you? How can any political party agree and think this is okay? By agreeing with their GM propaganda means you buy into all of it. After all, if you support a company you support the entire structure, especially if you are in charge of an entire country/Nation. A word comes to mind: coercion.
So we soon will no longer be able to scream when Monsanto’s products are proven harmful. And it will happen. You can’t go against Mother Nature. I’m not being a nature freak, I’m just keeping it real. Science does some amazing things, but this is not one of them.
Once Monsanto is allowed “protection” from us “environmental fear mongers”, this gives them a green light to produce crops, animals and whatever they like without any fear of repercussion. Much like drug companies.
– – –
So you see Alice, that you and your Conservative Party for which we elected you, have given in to one of the world’s most controlling, manipulative and disrespectful trans-national company. So I must conclude, if you are smarter than we are, as you refer to in your email, then I must conclude that you know and are aware of this.
That only leads me to one conclusion: that the Conservative party is being paid out by Monsanto to do it’s bidding. Now that’s being a “Puppet” at it’s finest, would you not agree? Are these the ‘nuances’ and ‘grey areas’ you refer to? A total lack of transparency? We are not stupid like you might assume. We are totally aware of these grey areas and nuances, and are about to take you and your Conservative party to task for it. We agree – you are aware of the nuances and grey areas, and we don’t like it.
While we may elect you and trust you, and we may understand that you do have inside information to issues we don’t know about (why is that anyway?) we still elected you because we thought you had OUR best interests at heart. We thought YOU believed in Democracy. After all, you do state in your email that Bill C-474 was represented by the MAJORITY.
I want to end this letter with a few words of advice I pray you heed. While science is moving forward with some amazing work, and some GM work is likely going to be amazing, leave it out of our food supply until:
We have seen transparent testing and long term testing,
We have choices – organic farms that are free from law suits from GM contamination, and labels that show clearly if there are GM ingredients in the food,
Monsanto no longer controls a monopoly,
Political parties no longer buy into TNC propaganda,
GM stays out of the animal industry for human consumption,
Terminator seeds are never to be grown on planet earth again.
We will continue to write emails such as this, and work hard to educate the public on these issues. We will continue to vote with our wallets.
We are at a tipping point in our evolution. We can either rise to the challenges or wash our hands with Coke. What we do today creates a legacy for future generations. We all live downstream. However, the challenges are not in our environments or our corporate controllers.
They are in our hearts.
Until then, please do your due diligence on these issues of “National importance”. Now you have some educational tools to at least start asking the right questions. Should you vote “no” after this, it will send a clear message to all Canadians that the Conservative party does not care or look after it’s people, and lives in the back pockets of Trans-National Companies. There is a delicate balance between vision and diplomacy.
Think twice, vote once. Knowledge is way ahead of wisdom.
April Reeves, Director, GE Free BC.org