Monsanto and the evil empire

You may or may not know the story of Monsanto.  Simply put, they have built what many consider an Evil Empire around agriculture, exerting such corporate control over the individual farmer that, well- you are either with them or against them.  Woe unto you, if you are a farmer and are against them.  As for the rest of us, we will have them to thank when GMO becomes unavoidable, in this country.  Lots of people think we should do what Europe did and essentially ban genetically modified foods.

Fat chance, when the former and soon-to-be-again future VP of the company is an FDA member, deeply involved in shaping “Agri-policy” for our country and many others.

One of the ploys Monsanto uses is “sustainability”.  The word appeals to all of us who want to go green, but much like the Homeland Security Act, it has dark consequences, if not monitored.

A couple of things that Monsanto would like to do, is push hard for additional soy production, under the guise of sustainable Omega 3’s.  Never mind the fact that fish husbandry and aqua culture have reduced the danger of over fishing significantly and will continue to do so. Let’s just grow our fish oil!

The first attempt will be the genetically modified soy, which produces an Omega 3 known as Stearidonic Acid.  If you’ve never heard of it, you are not alone.  This particular Omega 3, is one step closer to EPA and DHA (the essential 22 and 24 carbon fats found in fish oil) than the usual plant Omega 3 source known as ALA or alpha linolenic acid.  There actually is one advantage to Stearidonic Acid, in that it removes one step from the conversion of plant to animal Omega3’s.  That step, normally managed in people by an enzyme known as “delta 6 desaturase”, is missing in about 25% of people.

So, on the surface, that is a good thing.  It might make it easier for people to use plant Omega 3’s.  If you have been reading my stuff at all in the past 10 years, then you know that only 5% of plant Omega 3’s make it to the needed forms EPA and DHA.  This has long been a problem for Vegans and Vegetarians, who simply do not get enough of the kinds of Omega 3’s they need to be truly healthy. Actually, neither does the typical American, but for far different reasons!

Monsanto’s “healthy” GMO’d soy will actually do nothing to improve the conversion of Stearidonic Acid to EPA and DHA, though.  There are still several steps the human body has to go through to use plant Omega’s in addition to the delta 6 desaturase step, so in essence, it is absolutely no better or healthier for you.  That will not stop them from advertising it as “healthy Omega 3” though, I guarantee you.  Look for their ad campaigns within the next 12 months.

Also, know that they have been busy buying up another technology that will allow EPA and DHA to be produced from a non-animal source. Bacteria and yeast are now being used to create EPA and DHA as an “under the radar” source of non-animal (non-fish) source of these essential fats.

It should not surprise you that all it takes is a little GMO and they will make fish oil. Hey, it’s sustainable and green right!

Beware, because it is right around the corner!


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