Categorized | Opinion

The ‘Messed Up’ Tomato

By Thelma Ledford

Good Eats LedfordWhen is a “tomato” not a tomato? It may look like a tomato. It may smell like a tomato. It may even taste like a tomato; however, its genetic imprint could contain “fish genes,” and you would never know it. May, l992, according to an article by Gloria Bucco, the Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA jointly announced guidelines designed to regulate genetically-engineered foods.” Folks, these are presently in our grocery stores along with artificial “fats.” Do you ever wonder why tomatoes are so tough? I buy tomatoes when they are in season—locally.
The FDA’s Office of Biotechnology has referred to genetic-engineering as “just another plant-breeding technique.” No mention of the nutritional values. Some foods have only one-fourth the original nutrition now. What will this do? The big thrust is to gain control of the money market in “plastic” food. This idea was defeated in France, so I was informed, but here in the USA we didn’t get to make a choice. It was thrust upon us, the consumers.
During the bioengineering process, a gene controlling a certain characteristic of an organism is removed from its DNA molecule, and transferred onto the DNA molecule of another. Say, for instance, the splicing of chicken genes with a potato results in increased disease resistance in the potato, food scientists say, but I SAY, “There’s money somewhere!”
The producers are required to tag them only if the FDA terms “common allergens.” Since when has FDA been known for protecting the public’s food sources? Over twenty years ago the government gave blanket approval to pesticides, and look where we are today. Our land, water, and food are polluted and unsafe for man or beast. It is worse today, years after this article was written. Today, human beings are being polluted.
At the time this article was written, Florida’s strawberries were not allowed in Canada, but they were in the USA. Stories about the poison in strawberries were around all that summer. In a friend’s family, someone almost died. In our local paper there was an article, “No-Till day to feature genetic varieties” sponsored by the U.T. Milan Experimental Station. I cannot tell you how my heart grieved! You don’t have to be too smart to know that “artificial food” will not nourish our bodies.  And, to realize that we have killed the land, and have also caused the weed problem.
As I have mentioned in a previous article, I used a company called “Organic Matters” to work on my front yard. The soil was analyzed, aerated (opened up), the proper minerals added; and organically fed with specially-prepared, liquid fertilizer—all natural products; the first season it was showing good results—the top soil doubled in depth. My front yard was treated for five years, and it is still soft and spongy.
No chemicals have ever been used on my lawns in the twenty-five years I have been here. Only the minerals, calcium, and magnesium are used to keep the pH balance in the soil. The man who started “Organic Matters” moved his business to Australia because they were interested in restoring their farm land—America did not seem interested.
If a little ole Gramma can understand some of the principles of working with the land, why can’t the so-called “experts?” I smell another big pile of money! Our forefathers would be shocked at how we have destroyed the land.
They had such a love for the land and cared for it, and took from it only what they needed. Now, money and weeds are the foremost thought of today! A concerned consumer purchased lettuce from a major grocery with a label which read,” patent pending.” Since when do we have a patent for lettuce? We’ve had good lettuce for years.
What can consumers do? We can ask questions—lots of questions. Let them know we do not want irradiated, pesticide, genetic, plastic foods! We are allowing them to shove this “junk” down our throats without a protest. Contact: Public Voice for Food and Health Policy; ACRES, USA, for information. Stir up a ruckus! When you sit down to eat your dinner tonight, could you be eating fish, chicken, or who know what. You may be eating “a messed up, tomato.”
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?
— What do you think? Send Letters to the Editor to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.

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