(Un)Equal Protection and Genetically Modified Foods

As most people know….wait…no they don’t. MOST people don’t know, well, anything. Perhaps most people know what’s on the MickyD menu or the choice of chicken types at the Colonel, but beyond that MOST people don’t know anything. As a society we are so fragmented and PC that there is no MOST anymore. To illustrate that – and I’m getting way off base here – the AP recently published a poll that CNN used in a story claiming “Most Americans….are racist”. The ‘most’ label? 51%. True enough, that is most. Buy by any other measure, would you consider a 1% (ok, 2%) margin ‘most’? Exactly.

So when most is used, it’s not 51% to us. While as a strict definition, 51% is most, I think we all would agree that something like 70% is ‘most’. 51% can be considered ‘many’ or a majority. Not most.

Given that, MOST people don’t know anything. It’s believed and true that Europeans are better informed than Americans. Having spent a good deal of time there, I can confirm that. Their news regularly contains international stories. Those stories are not presented as if they are talking about far-away lands or other planets. In addition, most news stories on Euro stations focus on real news events. Politics, economy – what are considered ‘hard’ news in the US. Americans, on the other hand, are perhaps the LEAST informed people. However, they like it that way. Real news interferes not only with their myopic worldview, but their self-centric outlook. That’s why a half-hour news program in America carries 3-5 minutes of ‘news’, then 4-5 minutes of weather, 5-7 minutes of sports and the remained of the program is filled by commercials. At the end, to leave viewers happy, is a human-interest story involving puppies or a pig who allows kittens to feed along with her piglets.

It’s often said that our press has a bias. Most often that bias is considered left wing or liberal. Sometimes, especially during election cycles, that bias actually does show through. Truly interesting reading was had immediately following each debate. If you took the time to jump between Fox and CNN and CNBC and ABC, you could see the debates through distinctly different eyes. These reports were most certainly colored by what those groups want the viewer to think. (There is a corollary here and I risk going even further off the path I’m trying to tread but oh well – and that corollary is a group of people, standing at different points of view, watching an event unfold. A purse snatching or an argument between two people. Perhaps they watched a car crash. In any event, you will get just as many differing views of the event as there are people viewing it. These viewpoints, these opinions or observations are both colored by the viewer’s internal filters and by the location they viewed the event from.) The media’s varying views on political stories are not different because of where the reporter stood during the debate. The differing views are because the media wants to influence those who listen.

Are we saying that Europe has no such biases? Indeed no! Emphatically no!

Instead, it’s two-fold: there is less information offered here and fewer people care. And therein lies the real problem. The view of this site is that Americans, by and large, don’t care about anything that doesn’t impact their daily lives. So long as they can get up, go to work, get fast food and some kind of release (be it beer or weed or spiritual), they won’t interfere. They don’t really care if the government goes socialist or democrat or republican. Promise them that they will not see changes in their lives and you can do ANYTHING else you want.

With that we arrive at the point of this post. Sorry for the long intro.

While the 1885 ruling by the Supreme Court in the Southern Pacific Railroad vs the county of Santa Clara, California is long considered to have granted corporations ‘personhood’ – as defined by the 14th Amendment, a closer examination of that ruling would show it’s not true. However true, it has been used to provide protections granted actual or ‘natural’ persons to ‘artificial’ persons – corporations. The idea behind part of the lawsuit (and many before it) was to give corporations the same rights as humans. However, there’s a problem. Corporations aren’t human. They don’t bleed or breathe or learn right from wrong. They don’t die – at least, not like humans. They don’t fear or feel. They don’t believe (or not believe) in a higher or supreme power.

While the stated goal of many of those lawsuits in the decades following the Civil War and the amendments introduced immediately following its conclusion was to provide ‘equal protection’ under the law, what the lawsuit between the railroad and the county actually did was provide unequal protection. We like to think that we are in unique times when it comes to corporate vs human rights – but we are not. The founding fathers feared corporations and the plutocracies they can spawn. They wrote our Constitution with those fears in mind. The writers of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments did, too. Save for one phrase in the 14th, where the word ‘natural’ was omitted, the situation we face today would not be the problem it has grown to be.

Corporations, as we’ve shown, are not people. We, each of us, understand that. The writers of the 14th Amendment knew that. It’s reasonable to expect the six lawyers who stood before the Supreme Court that day in 1855 also knew that. It’s fairly certain that the nine justices who formed the court were aware of that. So why did they give the rights – and not the responsibilities – of a person to corporations? Simply put – they didn’t. A careless two sentence utterance from then Chief Justice Waite set the ball in motion. While this post is not the place to go into the wording or the lawsuit and again digresses from the point of this post – the statements made that day changed our nation and the world – for the worse. Check out, if you will, Unequal Protection by Thom Hartmann for more on this court case and its ramifications.

What is important is what has become of the statements made that day. Corporations, necessary because of the pooling of assets they allow, have been allowed to keep those ‘rights’ they were supposedly granted. Along with an idea, created and fostered and promoted by Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, that the most important people in a corporation are the shareholders, the corporation has become the antithesis of everything our country was founded on. (Welch, to be fair to him – though he scarcely deserves any fairness – has since acknowledged that his idea was the ‘stupidest’ of his career.) Corporations were outlawed in England following the growth of power of the East India Trading Company in the 1600’s and the influence that corporation exerted on government. That episode is one of the reasons our founding fathers were wary of corporations and wanted them closely watched – by the states. If they were contained at that level, they could never become large enough to be problems at the federal level.

And what has happened is that corporations have become everything our founding fathers feared. Huge and powerful – and the true masters of our country and the world.

Now, in California, there exists on the November ballot Proposition 37. Prop 37 wants to label genetically modified food (GMF) as such. Well, that’s what it claims on the surface.

Like everything else done in America, there are two (thousand) sides to the story. The deeper you dig, the more sides there are. Had 37 been written simply, that is, honestly, it would be a boon to those who want to know if their food has been genetically tampered with. A good prop 37 could have said “if anything within this product or used to produce this product contains GMF, there should be a label informing consumers.” Simple. Right? Wrong. Because 37 was written by a group, that like most, had ulterior motives.

Labeling GMF’s is a very good idea. Studies by several groups of scientists are beginning to show that certain GMF’s are perhaps modifying the creatures that eat them. Some studies (such as those done by Russian scientist Alexy Surov) show that animals fed GM soybeans, like those produced by Monsanto, have lower fertility. In fact, his study showed that pigs and cows fed Monsanto’s GM soybeans became less fertile with the very first generation of offspring and many became infertile by the third generation. In studies done on guinea pigs (which EIA admits are not humans!), all third generation offspring of animals fed Monsanto GM soybeans were infertile. The guinea pigs had also grown hair – in their mouths. The hair became stiff and razor-sharp as the animals matured which prevented them from eating!

We at EIA also think it’s important to remember that silicone breast implants took years to show how dangerous they were. Why is this important? Because studies done by groups like the FDA on HUMANS aren’t done over generations – they are done over months or years. The GMF studies done by Surov showed results not in the animals who initially ate the GM soybeans – but in their offspring. The breast implants took ten years to become lethal.

Part of the blindness that America has is also related to time. Americans aren’t stupid – they know that pollution and our national debt and the other problems we face ARE problems. But they know the real impact of those problems won’t be felt by them. Like the pigs and cows and guinea pigs eating the soybeans, they real impact will be felt by generations to come.

Embedded in America (EIA) is not a promoter of conspiracy theories (CT). As examined in previous stories by EIA, real conspiracies are most often out in the open. They don’t need secrecy because most Americans, as explained at the beginning of this post, don’t care. Jane and Joe Sixpack want three things: a job, fast food and alcohol. Of course that’s oversimplified but the point is the same. Allow them to live their lives, give them the illusion of freedom and the hope that the ‘American Dream’ is alive and you can do anything you want. Even if they know something is bad, tell them it won’t REALLY be bad till their grandkids are around (and remind them how smart and inventive Americans are and how we manage to solve all of our problems eventually) and they STILL won’t care.

There are some people left who don’t fit that mold. These troublemakers by and large are bored soccer moms and others with not enough to do and time on their hands and so those in real power seek to mollify them through programs like Prop 37 or labeling GMF’s. (This last statement is both jest and exasperation.)

Prop 37 does label foods that are GM. Well, most of them. Most of the time. For instance, those soybeans from Monsanto? Labeled. Corn engineered to grow taller, faster, with less water and space needed? Labeled. Aha! So it works! Most produce sections at the supermarket already contain two areas: Organic the rest. Funny that the ‘rest’ doesn’t have a name, huh? So they’ll just add a third. Or not mention it. After all, they’ll be labeled.

We said most. The cows and pigs that were actually altered by those soybeans? The ones that become our bacon and steaks and those wonderful McDonald’s hamburgers that Jane and Joe grab on the way home? No, those don’t need to be labeled. Prop 37 allows for exclusions to the labeling. For instance, milk from those cows doesn’t need to be labeled, either. Or cheese. Or chicken wings from the chickens that ate the GM corn.

Those pesky soccer moms and bored dads with all the extra time on their hands complained and made noise about GMF’s to the point that something had to be done. Labeling GMF’s was a solution. Producers of GMF’s however, most likely don’t like that solution. Because while Jane and Joe really don’t care… a label on something kind of looks like a warning, right? They might care enough to put down the labeled one and grab one of the others. Labeling might spread, if not done properly. The burgers and microwave dinners made from cows who ate the GM products might have to be labeled. Those labels might cause J&J to put down that package for another.

The writers of Prop 37 are two groups: lawyers who want another law that allows them to bring groups and individuals to trial – or at least be threatened with trials. And the corporations, like Monsanto, who make GMF.

This allows them to have their cake – and eat it too. EIA guesses their cake would be made with foods from the ‘organic’ section of the produce department, but that’s just a guess.

They can label GMF’s and promote that fact. See how they protect you? Yet, they can still sell you food produced with GMF’s without telling you. So EIA sees this future: all GMF produce goes to feeding cows and chickens and pigs. The products made from those, like chicken wings, bacon and hamburgers, don’t have to be labeled. Fast food – or any food prepared to be consumed immediately, like food from a restaurant, doesn’t need to be labeled. So they can continue to use the GMF soybeans, corn and wheat to feed our food and serve the same GMF produce at our restaurants – with no labeling! Along with making sure the GMF produce (you know, the stuff that will require labeling) going to feed our food, it will go to our restaurants and into our fast food. The rest? The stuff we’ll find in the ‘unlabeled’ part of the produce department? Those prices will go sky-high. Like the organic section, since they can’t use the stuff they can produce the cheapest, they will gouge the consumer. How dare we demand labels!?!

EIA believes labeling is a good idea – and Prop 37 is the wrong way to get it.

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~ by Mad Prophet on October 29, 2012.

One Response to “(Un)Equal Protection and Genetically Modified Foods”

  1. Reblogged this on Living DoubleThink.

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