Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Tinkering with the Jewel of Evolution
BC salmon eggs destined to become Frankenfish
Reposted with permission from Betty Krawczyk, Cumberland BC
ggs; to Whom do They Belong? It depends. If we are talking salmon eggs, one of the big signifiers is money. Lots of money.
For AquaBounty, that is, a US firm that has cornered the market on Genetically Modified Salmon Eggs. With a legal patent. Where are these eggs? They are on Prince Edward Island. And where are they going? 350,000 of them have just left for Panama where they will be raised to be monstrous Frankenfish.
In a notice from Linda Chu of the GS Watch Group in the Comox Valley (4/27) 2013) forwarding an article printed in the Guardian on (4/24/2013) we learn that these 350,000 eggs will be raised in an inland container on the western highlands in Chiriqui province in Panama. So we have a US firm located in the US with a plant on Prince Edward Island that does the modification of the eggs to the patentís requirements and then ships the genetically modified eggs to Panama to be raised.
When I contacted the Canadian government about these transactions, and the laws in place that prohibit anything entering Canada that wasnít of natural substance, I was told that the GM fish eggs couldnít be considered entering Canada as they were born here so to speak. Actually, FrankenFish were born here with the help of two Canadian universities.
Letís ponder this for a moment. Canadian FrankenFish came into being along with a patent right here in Canada that was somehow transferred to a private US company, AquaBounty. So Canada has laws prohibiting anything entering Canada that isnít a natural life form but Canada can develop artificial life forms here, patent them, and send them out of the country. So sending out fertilized GM eggs that will become Frankenfish is okay with this Harper government.
What is there about right wing, capitalist, especially religious men that they want to control life, anyway? Where does this seeming need to wipe out natural forms of life that canít or wonít be controlled and create artificial ones to take their places? Why do these men so need to constantly torment women with threats of recriminalizing abortion, thus taking away the right of women to manage their own eggs? While at the same time these same men will turn the jewels of evolution itself, like our Atlantic salmon, into cesspools of scrambled genes? What is it with these men who need to feel they can hold life in their hands by dictating the terms of how life will be lived by people and plants and animals? And how who or what of these will live or die?
These men have quite a few choices for the dying part. One can die from the war on terror, from the war on drugs, from tribal conflict or the war on women and the environment, guns, too fast cars, etc., the list is long. And down the road, the list might include, death from eating bloated, gene scrambled, patented salmon that are suffering from gigantism when FrankenFish are the only fish left in the sea because they have eaten all the others. But there will still be a constant struggle with AquaBounty who will actually own them all.
As you know, Iím sure, all kinds of wars make a whole lot of money for a select group of people, banks, corporations, corrupt heads of government , arms dealers and manufactures (military weapons is just about the only big industry left in the US),pornographers, human traffickers, etc. We can eventually get rid of them all if we have enough time, even the wars themselves, but once foreign genes get scrambled into particular earth life forms theyíre going to stay there.
Itís about eggs. Both human and animal eggs. Whoever controls the eggs of a species controls that life form. This is why US Congressman Bob Gibbs can stand up in the US Congress and co-sponser a bill that says at the very moment of fertilization, a human egg is to be treated as any other American Citizen.
The importance of this capture of a womanís egg is not lost on warlords, governments and religious leaders. It means that any women on US soil who has just had her egg fertilized has no choice about her egg, regardless of whether it was fertilized by rape, torture, incest or a loving union. The salmon slated to have her eggs taken in an unnatural setting has no choice about what will happen to them, either. Her offspring will not even be like her, she would flee in terror should one of them approach if this were possible.
This is why we celebrate eggs at Easter. We know eggs are, as well as symbolize, the continuation of life. Iíve rather given up on letter writing but if more people would write Stephen Harper and Robert Ghiz, the premier of Prince Edward Island and tell them to stop pretending that FrankenFish are okay. They arenít okay. Our wild salmon are perfect. They donít need any genetic fiddling around that gets patented and sold as if men have crated this animal from scratch. All they have done is deform perfect animals and make them unfit for eating and unsafe for transporting should they escape into the oceans. But it isnít as if there are no reasonable adults around. There actually are. There is much opposition to this in the States and elsewhere. Letís join that opposition.
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