Last week I watched Prometheus, a film whose epic journey into the origins of the human species turns ugly. Led by an idealistic and spiritual leading woman, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, a ship named “Prometheus” travels far into the universe in search of the gods.
The gods turn out to be terrifyingly human. The future generation regards these gods as “Engineers” who created the human race, much like the Sumerian creation myth, for reasons unknown to us. [Enter naive and scientifically savvy human scientist]
Once they land Prometheus on this planet, they find a a dormant military ship manned by members of the “Engineer” race. Their intention: to destroy planet earth.
The film is spearheaded by an archaelogist who finds alien figures drawn inside prehistoric caves. The drawings demonstrate the nature of the planet, having moons and a sun much like earth. The trillion dollar expedition to the planet is funded by Weyland Corporations.
The lead archaeologist and historian are in a romantic relationship, and well science is their mistress. They find an ugly truth once they are attacked by these gooey looking monsters; the human civilization was to be destroyed. Again, like the Sumerian creation myth, a god saves the creation by placing them in a planet far away from the gods.
In the beginning of the film, there is a sacrificial suicide by one of the engineers, presumably the god of the human race. He drinks a black liquid from a royal and intricate circular case, dies at the top of a waterfall, plummets to his death into a river and releases his DNA to the raging waters.
The scientists are in search of spiritual truths more than science itself. They are seeking, and feel entitled to, the reason behind human civilization. In order to get that far out to this planet, they have to be funded by a corporation. Weyland Corporations and their two robots, turn out to have an agenda of their own and to no one’s surprise it is stark and selfish .
The title “Prometheus” denotes entertaining the ramifications of scientific discovery. Mary Shelley‘s original title for her literary novel “Frankenstein” was actually “Prometheus,” meaning light bearer in Greek mythology (much like the term Lucifer meaning light bearer as well).
Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” dealt with the same themes as “Prometheus.” Frankenstein was created by a mad scientist, simply for scientific development, and then abandoned. Frankenstein’s inability to understand his origins, the environment around him, and his own strength reeks unintended havoc on society.
Frankenstein triggers a mass hysteria. People don’t know how to deal with him or even the idea of him. They see him as a monster. But, as a reader, the author’s dramatic irony let’s you see that he is just a creature, kind of like us, who is largely misunderstood.
Within the last decade, a new creature has become prevalent in our food by way of scientific discovery. In the 1970s, scientist discovered how to genetically engineer foods and crops by inserting genes into different species. This led to a revolution of recombinant DNA practices, one that accounts for about 80% of the genetically modified organisms we plant, harvest, and consume in North America.
This scientific discovery isn’t perfect. It has it’s pitfalls, some of which have the capacity to kill populations at astronomical rates. But genetic engineering is touted as a process that has revolutionized our food supply. It has pesticide resistant mechanisms that enable our crops to survive and deter food shortages. Genetic engineering is also a great practice for manipulating nature into yielding preferable crops in environments like the desert.
This sounds typical of science too. You figure out a process and corporations, who have the financial means and political backing, use this research to engineer products that can have a lucrative gain every quarter.
But, with the rise of these “Frankenfoods” one must question the direction that our food supply is taking, the health risks and, most importantly, the unintended consequences of this scientific discovery.
Researching GMOs, I found minimal cons about the consumption of genetically modified foods. There was more information about how farmers are being hi-jacked, how the food industry is on a path towards GMO monopoly, and how lab studies on animals didn’t fair well with GMOs.
Despite these warnings, we continue to have GMOs on the shelves at every major grocery store in the country, some of which are not accurately labeled GMOs.
So here are some of the undisclosed and undiscussed hazards of GMOs:
- Unsafe toxins, carcinogens, and allergens
- Damaged DNA within plants (unknown long-term effects)
- Bt-toxin possibly dangerous for human health & causes allergies
- Foreign genetically modified genes may continue to reproduce in human intestines
- Heavy metals and pesticides bio-accumulate in animal feed
- Herbicide resistant crops have higher percentage of herbicide residue
- Herbicide resistant crops unintentionally developed herbicide weeds
- Stomach lesions (in genetically modified tomatoes) as a result of toxins in the digestive tract
- Development of abnormal and damaged cells in animals and possibly humans
- Cell proliferation (deadly precursor to cancer)
- Atrophied livers (the body’s detoxification mechanism)
- Liver disease, damage, and toxcity
- Sperm cell alteration, reproductive failures, and higher infant mortality
- Lack of proper research on the effect of GMOs on biochemistry, immunology, tissue pathology and organ processes.
Reasons why it is FDA approved:
- Industry bias
- Corporate lobbying
- Profit over Humans
- Flawed/Bias Scientific Studies
- Public Manipulation
With the above said, it isn’t to startling to read that Japan doesn’t want to be part of the North American GMO experiment. Their GMO laws are strict, as are those of the EU and Australia, and they seem to prefer to wait it out. Maybe in a decade or two, the scientific evidence will be so overwhelming (as was the case in Global Warming) that the denial of the said hazards of genetically modified food will emerge as the authority of truth.
For now, the battle of science continues. Human civilization forges their food supply forward to continue empire and maximize profit, at an unprecedented and unchecked rate.
Grocery stores like Wholefoods, take these political, social, and health related issues to heart because they are the suppliers to the rich. The rich are entitled to know what is in their food, what they want to consume and how it will affect them. Money begets choice. So in grocery stores like Wholefoods, you can read about the origins of the products on the shelves, the farms of the produce in the bins, and even browse their website for an in-depth view of their organic self-implemented laws and purchasing policies.
But, at stores like Vallarta, El Super ”Cuesta Menos”, and Payless Foods, well that is an entirely different story. These grocery stores supply mass amounts of food to the lower middle and working class. Biotechnology’s consequences are not calculated into the ledger. The unintended consequences of genetically modified foods is less of a concern for the people in our communities. Our neighborhood is bursting at the seams with needs that can’t be met: poor schools, bad libraries, gang warfare, police brutality, unemployment, environment pollution (heavier here than in all of LA), and the like. Some think its a failure of being aware, a lack of critical thinking skills, and some go as far as to say it’s a silent war on our bodies. Each one of these points is not far from the truth. To each her own, I say.