Doing the GMO Cropland Shuffle

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I’ve been to many of these cropland and food meetings but this particular event was special. Farming theatrics! Dick Miller and another farmer stole the show! Their stories were worthy of the Monsanto GMO Farm Hall of Fame in terms of how they extolled the benefits of the “technology” and decried the anti-GMO crowd. The bleating and moaning about how they’d be ruined if GMOs were taken away received the Monty, the Biotech industry award for supporting Monsanto’s GMO message to the farmer masses. If one ever needed evidence as to how Monsanto brainwashes the farmers, this was it.

These two men went on to say that taking GMOs away would ruin farmers in the county and pesticide use would skyrocket! I’m surprised they didn’t make any Biblical references but this is probably forbidden in Monsanto’s demonic Technology Stewardship Agreement. What were the fellow panel members to do? Call bullshit? Being the good people they are, the rest of the panel people relented. I can’t say I’d blame them. How can you rebut the fellow with 40 years of applying some of the harshest chemicals known to man? Not something to be proud of mind you, but it’s an acknowledgement of interpersonal dynamics and challenges in working in a group to write policy. The idea that the GMO farmers are writing the policy that allows them plant GMOs is corrupt to the core. If I had had served together on this effort, I’m sure it would be a tough decision, but I’d be serving for the entire public’s best interest and not just a handful of farmers, those who are so inextricably dependent on GMOs.

I believe this entire process was drafted according to Ron Stewart’s plan. There has been no discussion. There were no facts presented or risks weighed. One farmer did admit that getting non-GMO seed was difficult and the only option was GMO. The fact that more and more control is being consolidated to a few companies that control the seed seemed to be lost on the panel. The biotech industry continues to tighten its grasp controlling all seed, forked tongues licking the air as they speak, while extolling coexistence as the way forward. It’s akin to a thug telling a victim, this is going to hurt me more than it does you.

Ron Stewart is a smart fellow, not in stewarding the public’s asset to our collective benefit or ROI (Return on Investment), but in directing this public asset to the exclusive benefit and use by .0001% of the citizens. ┬áThe rest of Boulder County’s 394,560 citizens get lands despoiled with chemicals and alien GMO DNA that destroys heritage crops and organics. It’s a pretty smelly deal any way you cut it. He’s maintained tight control on the process, towards continued GMO crops and giving the farmers everything they want. For Open Space and the farmers it’s the easiest thing to do. OK. But is it the right thing to do for now and the long term? No. The public and future generations have NOT been given proper consideration. I strongly believe our best interests have been ignored.

For the citizen efforts, we’ve garnered some forum time and even received a couple of honorable mentions, but considering the amount of time, effort and energy we’ve brought to the table, all volunteer mind you, our efforts have been practically ignored. The public wasn’t even given thanks for the their participation. Pretty shabby in my opinion considering that we showed up and contributed to the dialog. I guess we’re to been seen and not heard. Tough. Public service shouldn’t be a freaking cake walk. While the staff at Parks and Open space show up at work and receive their salary, we citizens are fending off this GMO assault on our own dime. But when our collective health is put at-risk by the actions of a few, it’s a worthwhile effort.

I don’t think the system counted on the passion and persistence of a citizens-in-action who desire changes in how their public lands are being used (and abused I might add!). We aren’t the few and monied interest-minions of Mark Retzloff and Steve Demos, as Dick Miller claimed. We’re people who give a damn, and there are thousands of us in this community. Ours is a public service. We do it of our own free will with the idea of informing and educating our fellow citizens. We want to see changes that benefit the many, not just a handful of special interests.

We appreciate the time and efforts of Richard Andrews for his research and dedication. Sadly, I don’t think it was fully considered nor appreciated by the panel. This might have something to do with how Open Space fast tracked the development process over 9 months, and then jammed the review into one and two days respectively. How can one consider all the pros and cons within 24 hours? Wham bam, no thank you Ron. There was no time to examine the details.

What happened last night was a slap in the face of every citizen. Yes, the farmers are part of this group too, but the disingenuous anecdotes and strident refusals to weigh the public risks for their private benefit effectively puts them into a special interest group. It’s all about their profits and their livelihood made possible by the blood, sweat and tears of their fellow citizens. This has been a one-way street. As the official Cropland traffic police force, it’s time the citizens awaken and embrace their power and role in pulling this careening GMO bus off to the side of the road and revoking planting privileges. The danger to public health and our lands cannot be ignored.