By Hwaa Irfan
It seems the GM saga is never going to end… to use a truth espoused by contentious character:
“When the power of love is greater than the love of power, the world will know peace.”– Jimi Hendrix
GM foods are in particular is about the love of power, the illusion of power that create life, the power to imbalance nature, the power to tell people what is good for them because it’s profitable, and the power to exploit others for maintenance of power whether financially, and in terms of status. If one has been told enough that one is not good enough, and then what one produces is not good enough, or in GM terms that the reason why you suffer from food security is because the food – your food is not good enough, and you are unaware of the nature of what you are being given as a solution, then you believe all that you have been told – purely psychology for profit.
Biofortification is a new term to add to the marketing of GM foods. To biofortify implies that one’s food is not good enough, and once one believes that propaganda, man has the ability to improve that food, which grows from the earth like the fortified foods (milk, cornflakes, dogs food, cats food, etc, etc., etc.) that many of us have become accustomed to without prior knowledge of the side effects e.g. fortification of milk linked to increased calcification of the body!
This time, the vegetable that has been downgraded in order to open the food market to GM foods is the honourable sweet potato. Using what has become the mantra and oft believed verse that:
“GM food can cure world hunger.”
And of course, which continent makes a good candidate… Africa, despite there being no respectable scientific evidence that can support this claim – but far too many of us believe it anyway (that’s good propaganda)! With the Wikileaks cable proving the U.S. agenda on promoting GM foods in Africa, and the U.S. representatives Bill and Melinda Gates via the Gates Foundation carrying out the mission for humanitarian purposes the machinations have been set in motion. This may be considered an unusual strategy, but for the U.S. it is not so unusual to find “investors” to pay for a war, and war it is – to control the food supply, like the wars to control the world’s oil supply – this was the intention behind investment banking, to ensure fluidity for what governments will not or cannot publicly finance.
The picture conveyed of the sweet potato is one that is deficient, a deficient food that if improved can help solve Africa’s growing hunger.
The Sweet Potato as Nature Intended
The Sweet Potato like all potatoes is native to South America. It contains:
Beta-carotene – the signature of which is the orange flesh of the vegetable, a good source of Vitamin A, the African variety of which contains 100-1,600 micrograms to every 3.5 ounces, enough to provide 90% of any humans Vitamin A quota.
Fats – the fat content of sweet potato is beneficial, as it increases the human body’s ability to absorb beta-carotene.
Antioxidants – The purple-coloured variety contains the genes (IbMYB1 and IbMYB2), which are anthocyanins, which are antioxidants, a property that is marketed heavily in the U.S. to sell foods rich in antioxidants as anti-ageing because they reduce oxidation of cells i.e. cell death/mutation. The anthocyanins are preserved on cooking by steaming the vegetable not boiling it to death. IbMYB1 and IbMYB2 also increases the activity of copper and zinc, which are also antioxidants!
Anti-inflammatory – Anthocyanins are also anti-inflammatory that on passing through the digestive tract reduce any risk presented by the intake of heavy metals – a problem in the polluted environs of industrialized countries, not Africa. This includes reducing the growing problem in ‘developed’ countries of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative colitis, and general problems with the digestive tract.
Anti-bacterial + Antifungal – Sweet potato contains glycosides called batatosides, which are anti-bacterial and antifungal.
Proteins – in Sweet Potato, this takes the form of sporamins, which are antioxidants
Oxalates – are present in Sweet Potato which reduces the body’s ability to absorb calcium, but the oxalates present in Sweet Potato contains 30-40 milligrams per half cup, while foods such as spinach, beet greens, and rhubarb contains 100s (milligrams) per half cup!
Blood Sugar – Despite the paranoia around carbohydrates and sweet foods that arises from popular science, this combination in sweet potato with its low dietary fibre actually improves the regulation of blood sugar levels in Diabetes Type II by increasing significantly the level of the protein hormone adiponectin, which is low in persons with poor insulin metabolism, and overall the prevention of calcium uptake is small if one chews properly, and has a healthy digestive tract thus preventing any build-up of oxalates.
Overall, Sweet Potato also contains:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Dietary fibre
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Not bad for a nutritionally deficient food that is in need of being genetically modified!
The Sweet Potato De-Natured
Now in Mozambique, to ensure a good community response, the pop singer Bono of U2 broke out in song with “Gaba Gaba,” – oh those Africans love to sing and dance. With $20mn from Bill Gates (and he can’t be doing this alone), to ensure the biofortification of Africa’s Sweet Potato – Gaba Gaba is a biofortified/GM Sweet Potato with another named after Gates wife, Melinda.
The GM food industry has been able to get away without disclosing the findings/outcome of its experiments, experiment which humans are the end game. If we buy it, the experiment has been successful, not if it makes us ill it is unsuccessful, because after all, it will take a few years worth of human experimentation (consumption) to make any significant link to what the biotech industry will profit from.This is despite the accumulating evidence piling up on the desks of the World Trade Organization since 2005 that prove that GM foods for example cause:
- Increase infant mortality – Russian Academy of Sciences
- Undermines the immune system – CSIRO Plant Industry, Australia
- Cellular abnormalities – University of Urbino, Italy
… with further evidence sworn to secrecy!
Exploiting the food security needs of Africa, one which was rejected by South America, Bill Gates has partnered with biotech companies to “Save Africa,” but for whom and for what?
Active in Kenya, which is under a corrupt pro-west regime, a regime that pleads starvation, when in 2009 they exported 450,000 tons of produce, during a time when the World Bank reports on land-grab opportunists, yet makes it possible for the most fertile soil to be “loaned” for cash crops and biofuels. Destroying the land, starving the indigenous people, while the Kenyan elite, global investors and banks (World Bank included) profit from this scam. As a result of this scam, The Gates Foundation fronted by Agra (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) has been kind enough to give 70% of its grants to Kenya, all of which are directly linked to the biotech company Monsanto; and as we know anything Monsanto is owned by Monsanto, including the seeds and the produce from those seeds! As Monsanto declared:
“We’re not here because of charity. When you help small farmers today they may not be good customers. But in 10 years time, they may be good customers.”
Meanwhile, like the wealthy of the U.S., their taxes will be minimal when Monsanto despite all the alarm bells raised about this corporation owns 23% of the global seed market, and controls through licenses 87% of the global land mass put aside for GM seeds.
The reports still keep coming as to the side effects of GM foods. Nineteen new studies demonstrate:
- A change in blood chemistry
- A change in weight of organs
- A change in function of organs: kidney, liver, spleen with male animals affected more than females
Referring to a new report, the Institute of Responsible Technology state:
“We can conclude, from the regulatory tests performed today, that it is unacceptable to submit 500 million Europeans and several billions of consumers worldwide to the new pesticide GM-derived foods or feed, this being done without more controls (if any) than the only 3-month-long toxicological tests and using only one mammalian species, especially since there is growing evidence of concern.”
If this problem is so prolific in a region that has regulations in place, what chance does a whole continent stand unless they wake up to the current wave of neocolonialism!
Ananda, R. “Leaked Cable: Hike Food Prices To Boost GM Crop Approval In Europe.” http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/12/leaked-cable-hike-food-prices-to-boost-gm-crop-approval-in-europe/
Lean, G. “Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed.”http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/11-dangers-of-genetically-modified-food-confirmed/
Mercola. “19 Studies Link GMO Foods to Organ Disruption.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/27/19-studies-link-gmo-foods-to-organ-disruption.aspx
Sharife, K. : “The Hidden Gold in Intellectual Property.” http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/70603
Shechminster, M. “African Potato Lab Fights Malnutrition With Biofortification.” http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2011/04/potato-lab/
“Sweet Potatoes.” http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64