Where there is a will there is a way

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monster Salmon and Butterflies documentary (RT News program)

Monarch butterflies are one of the unintentional victims of genetically modified crops used in the US, as their habitat, milkweed, is not allowed to grow.

I was watching this really great news program from Russia (in English) called RT. They did a special on a documentary called "Monster Salmon and Butterflies". I knew it would be important.

There is a Canadian company called "Aqua Bounty" which is seeking approval for farming huge genetically modified salmon.

The interviews that were shown with various scientists and people aware of the possible ramification were fascinating. Andrew Kimbrell, in particular, really made the situation clear. The person who represented Aqua Bounty was a few bolts short of a functional human being.

Andrew mentioned that the perspective of these people is that life is a machine (genetic "engineering"), that it can be changed at will, but life doesn't function that way. Fish escape, genes are transmitted through the entire food chain, we don't really have control.

"Biological pollution" was mentioned in the documentary, something that, unlike chemical pollution, doesn't fade away but that grows larger. DNA replicates, so the pollution replicates.

Aqua Bounty was trying to reassure, in interview, that all the large fish would be sterile, and female. Andrew made you realize how much folly it was that the great life technology they had invented was going to need to end the ability of the life form to reproduce - I can't actually say it like he said, but he was laughing about what a great technological achievement it was not.

These decisions effect our world - the living world - most of all. They are the most important. Genetic changes aren't to benefit everyone, they are a way to wrestle ownership over the unownable, as they are then able to patent life. As a democratic society, we need to be making these types of choices democratically most of all.

There is a short trailer below for Monster Salmon and Butterflies, but you won't get a sense of the many thoughtful interviews that I saw with brave, thinking people who were speaking their minds, some even pioneering risk assessment research. They were just people trying to do the right thing before we all realize it's the right thing and support them properly.

I remember now, a really effecting piece - it might have been Andrew Kimbrell - through just buying food we are making moral choices about the way the food we eat is produced, including incredibly cruel practices. Farming has a huge impact. Basically to change this we have to be more than just "consumers". We have to become educated.

Note: I find it's better to listen to the news from other countries if you want to get an unbiased view - they don't have to protect their own interests.

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