Elevate Difference

The Future of Food

The Future of Food, written, directed, and produced by Deborah Koons Garcia, is a fascinating and chilling look into the state of the food industry in this country. Patented, unlabeled, genetically engineered foods, and the corporations behind them, could be the doom of the United States, if not the human race, if the present situation continues.

While biotechnology has always existed, the film points out that genetic engineering enters unknown territory. A central theme in the film is that genetically engineered food is hardly ever labeled as such, despite 80-90% of Americans stating that they want their food labeled. The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act has been presented to Congress every year since 1999. It is still waiting to be voted on.

The film explains in detail why genetically altered food is so harmful. Problems like allergens, low nutritional value, immune system problems in animals and the general issue of genetically engineered seeds becoming sterile after one planting are all very serious. The possibility of sterile seeds blowing into normal crop fields has frightening potential ramifications. There are also problems concerning “superweeds,” or weeds that have become resistant to many pesticides, which cause farmers to spray more chemicals instead of less. The chemicals they use are similar to that of Agent Orange, which causes birth defects among other health problems.

The film also explains in detail how the government originally approved such genetically engineered technology; during the first Bush administration, vice president Dan Quayle ran something called the Competiveness Council, which called for no regulation of all genetically engineered foods. The idea was to be the first in the world to market such foods. While FDA scientists were outraged, and provided document after document saying this food needed to be tested, Quayle and his associates saw to it that the "no regulation" policy became official in 1992.

While the rest of the world is banning genetically engineered foods, this film painted a grim portrait of the future of “pharming” in the United States. Deborah Koons Garcia does an outstanding job painting a terrifying portrait of a little-known yet complicated problem in this country. The last words in the film, “It’s up to you,” absolutely ring true!

Written by: Kent Page McGroarty, May 13th 2007

My father is a U.S. farmer and by growing up on a farm, I see the myriad and deep problems with agriculture in this country. Aside from the squelching of small, localized farms by agribusinesses like Monsanto and ConAgra, the process of growing food in the U.S. is extremely frought. For my father and other small farmers, the art of reusing seeds from year to year has become impossible as seeds are cross-bred to prevent reuse and, supposedly, increase resistance to certain insects and weeds. There is no doubt, however, that farming requires a high use of pesticides, which my father uses, and that many of these pesticides drain into local watersheds, harming the health of local farm workers (many of whom lack health coverage), and--as is the case with at least one pesticide--are often repackaged and used to kill weeds in non-agriculture industries such as golfing and resorts. More interestingly, perhaps, is the process of organic farming. Because of the high use of pesticides on farm crops, a single piece of land contains chemical residue for at least 10 years after the farmer stops using pesticides. However, as my father found out when approached about switching to organic farming, the label organic is applied almost immediately after the farmer has ceased using pesticides on crops. Definitely an informative and interesting review. I'll be certain to check out this film. --Lacey D.

Sounds scary. And like something worth checking out. Thanks for an informative and interesting review.

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