March 4th, 2012
The Wall Street Journal / By ELAINE PAGELS
The Book of Revelation is the strangest book in the Bible, and the most controversial. Instead of stories and moral teaching, it offers only visions—dreams and nightmares, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, earthquakes, plagues and war. In the climactic battle scene, Jesus appears as a divine warrior, Satan is thrown into a pit, and all humans who had died faithful to God reign over the earth for 1,000 years.
The author, John of Patmos, was a Jewish prophet and a follower of Jesus who probably began to write around the year 90 after fleeing a war that had ravaged his homeland, Judea. But his Book of Revelation wasn't unique. At the time, countless others—Jews, pagans and Christians—produced a flood of "books of revelation," claiming to reveal divine secrets. Some have been known for centuries; about 20 others were found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945.
So what do the other revelations tell us, and how did John's come to trump the others? Unlike the Book of Revelation, the great majority of the others weren't about the end of the world, but about finding the divine in it now. Many offered encouragement to seek direct contact with God—a message that some early Christian leaders ultimately chose to suppress.
The Revelation of Zostrianos, found in 1945, tells how the young author, tormented by questions and overwhelmed by depression, walked alone into the desert. Finding no place "to rest my spirit," Zostrianos says he had resolved to kill himself. But he says that suddenly he became aware of a being radiating light, who "said to me, 'Zostrianos…have you gone mad?' "
This divine presence, Zostrianos says, released him from despair and offered illumination. Then, Zostrianos says, "I realized that the power in me was greater than the darkness, because it contained the whole light."
Another 1945 find, the Revelation of Peter, similarly opens in a desperate moment. Peter says he was standing in the temple with other disciples when "I saw the priests and the people running up to us with stones, as if they would kill us." Terrified, he says, he heard Jesus tell him to "put your hands…over your eyes, and say what you see." Peter sees nothing. Jesus tells him to do it again. Peter says: "And fear came over me, [and] joy, for I saw a new light greater than the light of day. Then it came down upon the Savior, and I told him what I saw."
Although such revelations might not change outward circumstances—tradition tells us that, just as Peter feared, he was caught and crucified—the Revelation of Peter suggests that what Jesus revealed enabled him to face his death with courage and hope.
These other revelations, written several generations after Jesus' death, were often written by anonymous followers of Jesus under the names of disciples—not to deceive their readers but to show that they were writing "in the spirit" of those whose names they borrowed. Many were probably not written by Christians at all. Some of the revelations drew upon sacred traditions of Egypt and Greece and, in some cases, on the Hebrew Bible. Others included practices similar to Buddhist meditation techniques.
The Secret Revelation of John opens, again, in crisis. The disciple John, grieving Jesus' death, is walking toward the temple when he meets a Pharisee who mocks him for having been deceived by a false messiah. These taunts echoed John's own fear and doubt. Devastated, John turns away from the temple and heads toward the desert, where, he says, "I grieved greatly in my heart."
Suddenly, he says, he saw brilliant light as the heavens opened, and the earth shook beneath his feet. Terrified, John says he saw a luminous presence that kept changing form, and then heard Jesus' voice: "John, John, why do you doubt, and why are you afraid?…I am the one who is with you always. I am the Father; I am the Mother; I am the Son."
The Jesus who appears in the Secret Revelation doesn't look as he does in the Book of Revelation. Instead of a divine warrior leading heavenly armies to "strike down the nations," he appears as the apostle Paul says he saw him—in blazing light and a heavenly voice, and then in changing forms: first as a child, then as an old man, then—and here scholars disagree—either as a servant or as a woman. Through a series of visions and imagery, the Secret Revelation suggests that what is revealed to John is potentially available to all people—or, at least, to all who are receptive to what the spirit teaches.
In the fourth century, bishops intent on establishing "orthodoxy" labored to suppress writings like the Secret Revelation. Although they didn't deny that Jesus was human, they tended to place Jesus on the divine side of the equation—not only divine but, in the words of the Nicene Creed, "God from God…essentially the same as God." Orthodox theologians insisted that the rest of humankind were only transitory creatures, lost in sin—a view that would support what would become their dominant teaching about salvation, offered only through Christ, and, in particular, through the church they claimed to represent.
From the second century, Christian leaders, who saw their close groups torn apart as Roman magistrates arrested and executed their most outspoken members, felt that John's Book of Revelation spoke directly to these crises because it prophesied God's victory over Rome. Such Christians championed this book above the rest. Some challenged other books of revelation, with their more universal visions, calling them illegitimate and heretical.
Throughout the ages, Christians have adapted John of Patmos's visions to changing times, reading their own social, political and religious conflicts into the cosmic war he so powerfully evokes. Yet his Book of Revelation appeals not only to fear and desires for vengeance but also to hope. As John tells how the chaotic events of the world are finally set right by divine judgment, those who engage his visions often see them offering moral meaning in times of suffering or apparently random catastrophe. Many poets, artists and preachers have claimed to find in these prophecies the promise, famously repeated by Martin Luther King Jr., that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
The Book of Revelation reads as if John had wrapped up all our worst fears—fears of violence, plague, wild animals, unimaginable horrors from the abyss below the earth, lightning, hail, earthquakes and the atrocities or torture and war—into one gigantic nightmare. Yet this worst of all nightmares ends not in terror but in a glorious new world. Whether one sees in John's visions the destruction of the whole world or the dark tunnel that propels each of us toward our own death, his final vision suggests that even after the worst we can imagine has happened, we may find the astonishing gift of new life. Whether or not one shares that conviction, few readers miss seeing how these visions offer consolation and that most necessary of divine gifts—hope.
—Excerpted from "Revelations: Visions, Prophecy and Politics in the Book of Revelation," to be published by Viking Tuesday.
March 4th, 2012
Boston Globe / By Verena Dobnik
NEW YORK—Families of Sept. 11 victims on Sunday called for congressional hearings to establish federal protocols on how to handle human remains after disasters like the terror acts that took thousands of lives in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
NEW YORK—Families of Sept. 11 victims on Sunday called for congressional hearings to establish federal protocols on how to handle human remains after disasters like the terror acts that took thousands of lives in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
At a news conference near the Sept. 11 memorial, family members spoke days after Pentagon officials revealed that partial remains of several victims were incinerated by a military contractor and sent to a landfill.
The families said they oppose a plan to place unidentified human remains of the New York victims in an underground repository at bedrock they say "desecrates" the memory of their loved ones.
"Are our loved ones' remains marketable?" asked Rosaleen Tallon, sister of firefighter Sean Tallon, who died in the 2001 attack. "They're using them to market trinkets."
She held up a gift keychain inscribed with "No Day Shall Erase You From the Memory" -- the same words that grace a memorial wall 70 feet underground. The unidentified remains are to be placed behind it, sharing space with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum but administered separately.
Norman Siegel, the attorney for 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters & WTC Victims -- a group that has sued New York City over the plans -- said they had sent out queries to families asking their opinion. He said they received 350 responses, of which 95 percent expressed opposition to the repository.
"The 9/11 museum is not a graveyard," Siegel said.
Seventeen family members have sued the city, demanding that officials ask relatives of victims what they would like done with the unidentified remains. The group lost, but is appealing.
Instead, group members would like to see the remains encased in a kind of "tomb of the unknown soldier" -- above ground as part of the memorial.
The remains of more than 1,100 of the 2,753 victims killed at the World Trade Center have not been identified. The remains are under the jurisdiction of the city's chief medical examiner's office, and even in a repository, they would be available for analysis in the future using any scientific advances.
The wall would separate the museum from the repository and the general public.
An adjacent room will be reserved for family members for visits by special private appointment, apart from the public.
Joseph C. Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said that putting the remains at bedrock fulfills a promise made to families.
"Since the very beginning, victims' family members have strongly advocated for the unidentified remains to be returned to the World Trade Center site," he said in a statement. "This is the plan that has been honored and is being implemented."
The Sept. 11 memorial was dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the attacks last September.
Work on the planned museum has ground to a halt because of a financial dispute, and there is now no possibility it will open on time next year, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said recently.
On Sunday, the group announced it would ask Congress to hold hearings to establish protocols on handling remains of victims of large-scale disaster.
Siegel said the decision was made in the past few days, and that he and group members would contact New York legislators on Monday to suggest hearings on how the unidentified remains of Sept. 11 victims have been and are being handled.
On Tuesday, an independent panel that studied management issues at Dover Air Force Base's mortuary mentioned the landfill disposal in a report it released last week.
"We believe that human remains do not belong in a landfill or a museum," said Sally Regenhard, of Yonkers, whose firefighter son died at the World Trade Center. His remains were never found.
MORE FROM BOSTON.COM
March 4th, 2012
March 4th, 2012
David Enders and Jonathan S. Landay
NEAR QUSAYR, Syria — Resting in a safe house south of the shell-battered city of Homs, Syrian rebel Abu Abdo at first framed the conflict convulsing his country as a war between the Sunni Muslim majority and the authoritarian regime of President Bashar Assad.
Then the leather-jacketed member of the local Free Syrian Army added, "The majority of the Shiites and Alawites are with the government."
Abdo's comments underscored how sectarian divisions are hardening a year after the outbreak of the uprising against Assad, whose scorched-earth crackdown on what began as peaceful protests for democratic reform has ignited a Sunni-dominated insurgency that's drawing in Sunni jihadis from beyond Syria's borders.
More ominously, the sectarian hatred is bleeding into a region seething with political and religious tensions. Outraged by a death toll estimated at more than 7,500 mostly Sunni Syrians — and apparently frustrated by the lack of action taken by a 60-nation "Friends of Syria" conference in Tunisia last month — Sunni regimes, led by Saudi Arabia, have publicly called for providing arms to the insurgents, whose nominal leaders are based in Sunni-governed Turkey.
Lebanon and majority-Shiite Iran — one of Assad's main arms suppliers — are standing firmly by the Syrian leader, whose regime and security forces are run by his minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiism. Iraq, where the 2003 U.S.-led invasion replaced a minority Sunni dictatorship with majority Shiite rule, has withheld criticism of Assad and declined to back an Arab League peace plan calling for him to step down.
The alignments appear to be confirming the worst fears of politicians, experts and the region's people: Syria has become the latest battleground in the centuries-old feud between Islam's main branches, with the violence threatening to evolve into a proxy conflict between the branches' rival standard-bearers, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
It also could reignite sectarian mayhem in adjacent Lebanon, fuel the Shiite-Sunni tensions wracking Iraq and inflame instability elsewhere. That could include the tiny Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain, the headquarters of the U.S. 5th Fleet, where the Saudi-backed Sunni monarchy has been persecuting majority Shiites who are demanding democratic reform.
"It's the proverbial gathering storm," said a senior Middle Eastern diplomat in Washington, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the issue. "It's not about Syria. It's about the Shias and Sunnis."
"Sectarian tension currently runs high in Syria," Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al Maliki, who's a Shiite, said in a Saudi newspaper interview published Thursday. "Syria is on our borders and if a sectarian civil war erupts there, it will be moved directly to Iraq and other countries such as Jordan and Lebanon."
A Sunni member of the Iraqi Parliament, Mudher al Janabi, said: "The Iraqi government cannot abandon Assad. ... The sectarian bond is too strong."
The United States has aligned with the Sunnis, and not only because of what the Obama administration decries as Assad's wanton slaughter of civilians. Assad's fall also would deal a strategic blow to Iran by eliminating its only Arab ally and closing the conduit through which Tehran transships missiles that Hezbollah, the Shiite militia movement that dominates Lebanon, aims at Israel.
Abdo, the rebel fighter, who used a nom de guerre, said the Homs region began growing more polarized soon after the anti-Assad protests erupted last March. Minority populations fled mixed villages in an echo of what occurred around Baghdad as Iraq's civil war escalated in 2005.
"It began two or three months after the start of the revolution," he recounted. "If the Sunnis are the minority in a place, they leave. If they are the majority, they stay."
On the battlefield, rebels trade sectarian barbs over the radio with the Syrian army, saying things such as, "(expletive) Hassan Nasrallah," the charismatic leader of Hezbollah.
The tensions are palpable along Lebanon's northern border with Syria. After crossing into Lebanon's Bekaa Valley earlier this week, the first question a group of Syrian refugees asked a Lebanese man they encountered was, "Are you Sunni?"
Predominantly Sunni northern Lebanon, where animosity over the Syrian army's 1976-2005 occupation lingers and Sunnis and Alawites clashed last month, is a bulwark of support for the Syrian rebels. Sympathizers harbor refugees and smuggle humanitarian aid and light weapons to the disparate groups of military deserters and civilians that make up the Free Syrian Army.
"The Hezbollah mindset, the Iranian mindset, the Alawite mindset is not just based on existence only. It's based on killing the other, exterminating the other," said Imad Khalid, a Sunni cleric in Wadi Khalid, near the Syrian border.
"If I was in charge, I'd not fight against Israel. For now my enemy is Hezbollah, my enemy is Iran and what Bashar Assad is doing."
Amin Taba, a Beirut-based Syrian activist who sends humanitarian aid into Syria, said that in the uprising's early days, the pro-democracy marches included Sunnis and Alawites, as well as Christians. But the longer the conflict rages, he said, the deeper the Sunni-Shiite chasm will grow.
"Because of the situation, people are going to resort to mullahs," he said.
The divisions also are hardening across the region, with Sunni Arab governments, eager to eliminate Iran's chief Arab ally, making it clear that they intend to intensify their backing of the opposition.
"We cannot abandon our religious and moral position towards the situation in Syria," Saudi King Abdullah told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in a telephone conversation Feb. 22, according to Saudi Arabia's official news agency.
Two days later, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal said he thought that arming the rebels was "an excellent idea" because "they have to protect themselves."
On Monday, denouncing Assad, Kuwait's Parliament also recommended arming his opponents. The same day, the tiny Persian Gulf oil sheikdom of Qatar, which played a central role in arming the Libyan rebels who toppled Moammar Gadhafi, indicated that it would do so.
"We should do whatever necessary to help them, including giving them weapons to defend themselves," said the Qatari prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al Thani. "This uprising in Syria now (has lasted) one year. For 10 months, it was peaceful. Nobody was carrying weapons, nobody was doing anything. And Bashar continued killing them."
In an apparently coordinated move, the Paris-based Syrian National Council, the internationally recognized opposition coalition, said Thursday that it was forming a military council to unify the Free Syrian Army under a single command that would help funnel weapons to the rebels.
Murhaf Jouejati, a member of the Syrian National Council's foreign relations bureau who teaches at the National Defense University in Washington, told McClatchy that he thinks that the Saudis and Qataris are more likely to provide money for arms purchases than actual weapons.
"I think they are going to facilitate this, certainly, by providing money for the Free Syrian Army to buy its equipment where it can," Jouejati said. He noted that arms are "plentiful on the black market," including guns being sold by Syrian troops, an estimated 80 percent of whom are Sunni conscripts.
Some experts worry that Iran could step up its support for Assad as the Saudis and other Sunni Arab regimes intensify their backing for the rebels. That could include aiding Bahrain's Shiite opposition — which has resisted Iranian help so far — and instigating the restive Shiite majority in Saudi Arabia's oil-producing Eastern Province.
"This portends very bad things for the region," said Vali Nasr, a former State Department adviser who teaches at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
"If this gets worse and becomes a full-scale civil war ... this will spill over. Other countries are vulnerable ... and could end up having a bigger, broader conflict in the Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Iran."
(Enders is a McClatchy special correspondent. Landay reported from Washington. Special correspondent Sahar Issa contributed to this article from Baghdad.)
MORE FROM MCCLATCHY
March 4th, 2012
By Dr. Mercola
Above, ABC's "Nightline," Bill Weir talks with Microsoft founder Bill Gates about his charitable endeavors.
Gates' latest plan is to try to end world hunger by growing more genetically modified (GM) crops.
He's already invested $27 million into Monsanto Company—leading some countries to reject his charity due to the high risks, such as:
- New disease vectors
- Mutated pesticide-resistant insects
- Resistant "superweeds"
- Contamination of surrounding non-GM crops
We already know how deeply entrenched the U.S. government has become with Monsanto.
For a visual illustration of their 'revolving-door-relationship' with the governmental regulatory agencies, see the graph toward the bottom of this article.
It is this type of government infiltration that allowed genetically engineered alfalfa to be approved without any restrictions at all, despite the protests of the organic community and public comments from a quarter of a million concerned citizens.
In Bill Gates, Monsanto also has one of the wealthiest and most influential "philanthropists" supporting their agenda and spreading misleading propaganda about their products.
In recent years, it has become disappointingly clear that Gates may be leading the pack as one of the most destructive "do-gooders" on the planet... His views on what is required to make a difference in poverty- and disease-stricken third world nations are short-sighted and misinformed at best. A recent article in the Seattle Times1 joins me in arguing that Bill Gates' support of genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution for world hunger is based on unsound science. A team of 900 scientists funded by the World Bank and United Nations, investigated the matter over the course of three years, and determined that the use of GM crops is simply NOT a meaningful solution to the complex situation of world hunger.
Instead, the scientists suggested that "agro-ecological" methods would provide the most viable means to ensure global food security, including the use of traditional seed varieties and local farming practices already adapted to the local ecology.
"Philanthropy is the Enemy of Justice"
In a recent article with the same headline, "Philanthropy is the Enemy of Justice", Robert Newman criticizes2 the choice of Bill Gates as the designated "voice" of the world's poor at the World Economic Forum, held in January.
"Am I saying that philanthropy has never done good? No, it has achieved many wonderful things... But beware the havoc that power without oversight and democratic control can wreak," Newman writes.
"The biotech agriculture that Lord Sainsbury was unable to push through democratically he can now implement unilaterally, through his Gatsby Foundation. We are told that Gatsby's biotech project aims to provide food security for the global south. But if you listen to southern groups such as the Karnataka State Farmers of India, food security is precisely the reason they campaign against GM, because biotech crops are monocrops which are more vulnerable to disease and so need lashings of petrochemical pesticides, insecticides and fungicides – none of them cheap – and whose ruinous costs will rise with the price of oil, bankrupting small family farms first. Crop diseases mutate, meanwhile, and all the chemical inputs in the world can't stop disease wiping out whole harvests of genetically engineered single strands.
Both the Gatsby and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundations are keen to get deeper into agriculture, especially in Africa. But top-down nostrums for the rural poor don't end well."
I agree. Donating patented seeds, which takes away the farmers' sovereignty, is not the way to save the third-world poor. As reported by Netline last year3, Monsanto and other biotech companies have collaborated with the Gates Foundation via the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to promote the use of genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa. The Gates Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to AGRA, and in 2006 Robert Horsch was hired for the AGRA project. Horsch was a Monsanto executive for 25 years. In a nutshell, the project may be sold under the banner of altruism and 'sustainability', but in reality it's anything but. It's just a multi-billion dollar enterprise to transform Africa into a GM-crop-friendly continent.
Conflicts of Interest Abound
Gates' philanthropic methods came under scrutiny back in August 2010, when it was discovered that The Gates Foundation had purchased 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock; dramatically increasing its previous holdings—and hence its financial conflicts of interest—in the biotech firm. AGRA-Watch commented on the ties stating4:
"The Foundation's direct investment in Monsanto is problematic on two primary levels," said Dr. Phil Bereano, University of Washington Professor Emeritus and recognized expert on genetic engineering.
"First, Monsanto has a history of blatant disregard for the interests and well-being of small farmers around the world, as well as an appalling environmental track record. The strong connections to Monsanto cast serious doubt on the Foundation's heavy funding of agricultural development in Africa and purported goal of alleviating poverty and hunger among small-scale farmers. Second, this investment represents an enormous conflict of interests."
It would be naive to think that all these philanthropic collaborations are designed to solve any problem besides how to help Monsanto monopolize the world's food supply with expensive patented GM seeds, and the herbicides to go with them.
In the interview above, Gates claims the seeds would be donated to the impoverished areas in question. But seriously, how long would the seeds remain free? There's rarely such a thing as a free lunch anymore, and it appears highly unlikely that Monsanto is poised to "feed Africa" indefinitely... And since you cannot save Monsanto's seeds from year to year, they will literally own the areas and the people they temporarily donate their seeds to. And once you own the rights to all the food grown around the globe, you literally rule the world.
That appears to be the goal. And only sane, rational, thinking people can stop them. It's really too bad that Gates has signed up as a lackey for "the Dark Side," as it were, instead of using his unfathomable wealth to really create positive, sustainable change.
It's an undisputed fact at this point that the introduction of genetically engineered crops lead to diminished biodiversity, which is the direct opposite of what the world needs. Truly, in order to save the planet and ourselves, small-scale organic and sustainable farming must not only prevail but flourish, and GM crops do not help, but rather threaten their existence. Seeds have always been sold and swapped freely between farmers, preserving biodiversity, and without that basis, you cannot have food sovereignty. And with fewer farmers, "feeding the hungry with GM crops" is nothing but a pipe dream.
Both Genetically Engineered Seeds and Herbicides Pose Risks to Environment and Human Health
Besides the threat to the environment and to agricultural practices, GM crops also bring a whole host of health concerns; not just from the GM seeds, but also from the herbicide used: Monsanto's Roundup. It's the world's best-selling herbicide, which is designed to be partnered with genetically engineered "Roundup Ready" crops.
According to a shocking report5, regulators were aware as early as 1980 that glyphosate, the active chemical ingredient of Roundup, caused birth defects in lab animals. However, the information was not made public. Instead, regulators misled the public about glyphosate's safety, and with the introduction of Roundup Ready crops, the use of Roundup has skyrocketed.
According to Monsanto. NO6:
"Dr. Andres Carrasco, a lead embryologist at the University of Bueno Aires Medical School and the Argentinean national research council, discovered that glyphosate-based herbicides like Monsanto's Roundup formula caused deformations in chicken embryos that resembled the kind of birth defects which where reported in areas like La Leonesa, where big agribusinesses depend on glyphosate to treat genetically engineered crops."
Golden Rice: a "Trojan Horse"
The idea that you can end world hunger with genetically engineered crops is simply not very well thought through. Last summer, I reported on The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's donation of $20 million toward the development of so-called "golden rice"—yet another untested GM crop that risks bringing economic and ecological disaster. Golden rice has been genetically engineered to produce beta-carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A. It's been promoted as a way to alleviate vitamin A deficiency, which is common in developing countries where people don't have regular access to beta-carotene-rich foods, like vegetables and fruits.
However, while this sounds all well and good in theory, the reality of a beta-carotene producing rice may not be all it's cracked up to be. According to Food Freedom7:
"Golden rice is a Trojan horse for pushing through GE-friendly biosafety regulations under the guise of humanitarian aid. Once in place, these regulations open the door for the biotech industry to bring in commercial, patented GE crops; USAID and Monsanto accomplished exactly this in Kenya with their sweet potato project."
It may be easier to see why so many people question this kind of philanthropy once you understand a bit more about the product itself, and why it likely cannot ever live up to its own hype. In this case, your body can only convert beta-carotene to vitamin A under certain conditions. Specifically, beta-carotene is fat-soluble, which means dietary fat is required for your body to convert it into vitamin A. But many people in developing countries eat very low-fat diets, as they simply do not have access to animal foods or other fat on a regular basis. Furthermore, malnourished people might not be able to convert beta carotene to vitamin A efficiently, so taken as a whole, the actual usefulness of golden rice is debatable.
The soundness of the idea becomes even more questionable when you consider the unrealistic amounts of rice you'd have to consume each day to obtain the recommended amount of vitamin A. As stated in a golden rice case study from Iowa State University8:
"Even if golden rice is successfully introduced … a woman would need to eat 16 lbs. of cooked rice every day in order to get sufficient Vitamin A, if golden rice were her only source of the nutrient. A child would need 12 lbs." [Emphasis mine]
What people in the developing world need in order to receive ample dietary vitamin A is access to a diverse range of nutritious foods -- including animal products like eggs, cheese and meat and vegetables such as dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes. This is the type of diet that is attained from biodiverse farming -- the opposite of what will occur if GM crops like golden rice get planted on a large scale.
Learn More about Genetically Engineered Foods
Many Americans are still unfamiliar with what GE foods are, which is understandable when you consider that these foods do not need to be labeled in the U.S. We have a plan to change that, and I urge you to participate, and to continue learning more about genetically engineered foods and associated risks, and help your friends and family do the same.
To start, please print out and use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology. Share it with your friends and family, and post it to your social networks. You can also download a free iPhone application, available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
An even better strategy is to simply buy USDA 100% Organic products whenever possible, (as these do not permit GM ingredients) or buy whole fresh produce and meat from local farmers. The majority of the GMO's (genetically modified organism) you're exposed to are via processed foods, so by cooking from scratch with whole foods, you can be sure you're not inadvertently consuming something laced with GM ingredients. When you do purchase processed food, avoid products containing anything related to corn or soy that are not 100 percent organic, as any foods containing these two non-organic ingredients are virtually guaranteed to contain genetically engineered ingredients, as well as toxic herbicide residues.
To learn more about GM foods, I highly recommend number of great films and lectures available, including: