January 15, 2008
GMO's: Desirous or Disastrous: review
by Cori Brackett
In the light of two recent reports desperately attempting to paint a pretty picture upon GMO foods (Harmonise Organic Farming With Biotechnology, Says Noted Indian Scientist, January 10, 2008 and A carrot a day could keep bone loss at bay: study, January 14, 2008), we, at Sound and Fury Productions, felt that we had to make available two excellent, need-to-see documentaries that show an alternate view on GMO foods. With GMO technology, at the very best we are eliminating individual choice. At the very worst, we are unleashing the destruction of our food supply.
Fed Up! uses a fascinating and humorous blend of archival footage from the middle part of the last century and modern, original footage, Fed Up! makes a sweeping and persuasive case against both large agribiz and the genetic engineering industry which has sprung from it.
While exploring the revolving door between the public and private sectors, Fed Up! illustrates how we have casually invited a possibly irreversible problem in to invade our food supply -- all for the immense greed of a few corporations. This documentary reveals how well delivered marketing practices provide the claim of "Green Revolution", when it should, perhaps, be more accurately described as "The Greenback Revolution". Food is truly at the center of the global economy, and this documentary tells us that the farmer is the one left out in the cold. It says, for example, that only 10 cents out of every box of Wheaties goes to the farmer who grew the wheat, but large, industrial farms receive twice the amount of government money.
Poignantly, Fed Up! reminds us that the personal attention of small farmers makes a difference in keeping both the food supply and our sense of community (and thereby our quality of life) alive. Large corporate farms work one crop only, thereby robbing the soil of its nutrients and sustainability. By placing more importance and value upon mankind's own creations of pesticides, fertiilizers and genetic engineering than upon mother nature, we have robbed ourselves - and potentially future generations - of healthy, nutrient-rich food. In the words of Vandana Shiva, of The Research Center for Science, Technology and Ecology, "biodiversity will feed the world -- not chemicals".
The second documentary we spotlight is Jeffrey Smith's GMO Trilogy - a terrifying and unfortunately, very realistic, vision of what the future holds for a population fed genetically modified foods over the long term. According to this trilogy of two films and one CD, this is a Pandora's Box of huge proportions. For example, pigs on farms that were fed GMO corn did not deliver piglets, but rather bags of water. Aspartame is gentetically modified, and our documentary, Sweet Misery states that the FDA has failed us. An idea brought to life in The GMO Trilogy, this compilation is priced unbelievably at $15.00, because Jeffrey Smith wants so much to get the word out about this problem. I commend him for it. Despite the price, it is professionally done and entertaining to boot. Included in this set is a short documentary about the landmark program in Appleton, WI where the school did very simple changes and noticed incredible results. They implemented healthy dietary practices in the school's cafeteria and were rewarded with more attentive, brighter students virtually devoid of the behavioral problems so rampant in today's society. Every parent and school board member need to get this set because of the Wisconsin documentary alone.
Both films take us into a modern world that is both fascinating and frightening. Before you put genetically food onto your child's plate, you should watch one, or both, of these gripping films.