Sunday, March 10, 2013
Genetically Modified Organisms: Who Should Have First Right of Refusal?
The accompanying 9 minute animated video provides a simple but accurate overview of some of the problems entailed by both genetically modified organisms and, perhaps, more to the point, the corporations, lobbyists, courts, and governments who insist on taking away people's right to choose what is eaten, grown, labeled, and permitted to impact the surrounding environment. This is not a matter of intellectual property rights, general property rights, or commercial rights, this is an issue of humanity having the right to protect itself against those who seek profits while externalizing costs to everyone else (and all the health costs which ensue from the problematic dimensions of such products is an example of how the costs are socialized, while profits are privatized).
Corporations/governments are doing the same thing with GMOs that were done with: pesticides, cigarettes, chlorofloro-carbons, Bis-Phenal A, Agent Orange (dioxin), all manner of pharmacological psychoactive pills (whether for depression or other psychological/emotional difficulties), depleted uranium, and a host of other poisonous pollutants of body, mind, and environment. The burden of proof should not have to fall on those who are being adversely affected by the aforementioned products, but, rather, the burden of proof should rest with the manufacturers of those substances ... they should have to prove that these agents are 100% safe.
Moreover, the testing not only needs to go on for a lot longer than a few years, but there should be no fast-tracking to approval for any of those products. In addition, the testing should be run and regulated by someone other than the companies who have a vested interest in such products or who are funded by those kinds of vested businesses.
The problem is not too much regulation. The problem is that there is a highly lucrative and powerful revolving door connecting industry and government which tends to ensure that the people who make decisions concerning the safety of products will undermine and render dysfunctional the implementation of anyone's attempt to establish an effective regulatory process.
The aforementioned revolving door exists because there are too many companies and so-called public servants (along with influential members of the media) who believe they have an inalienable right to run amok in society and who believe their alleged rights to do so are, somehow, more important than the rights of everyone else to be free from such pathology. Predatory capitalism is not about people earning a living with integrity, but, instead, it is a diabolical set of practices directed toward ensuring that the few benefit regardless of the costs which accrue to society, the world, or the future.