Jeanette explains her view of Genetic Engineering...

 In 2003 after an early morning meditation I ‘received’ the following information.  “Genetic Engineering values competitive advantage, money, and mans limited knowledge of genetics, over the innate Divine Knowledge that is within each and every organism. It is based on a fundamentally flawed belief that these organisms are separate to us.

Until YOU truly realise (see with REAL EYES) the interconnectedness of all things you will not fully understand the implications of what you are doing.

All life contains consciousness/atma in different stages of evolution. Each species has freewill choice to determine its own evolution. Genetic Engineering, if allowed to continue, would interfere with this freewill choice. 

Genetic Research, on the other hand would value all life and the sacredness of life.

It would value what could be learned from other species without affecting their natural state. It would value the inter-connectedness of all things. It would value learning.

Your scientists are like children who have just discovered that if you mix red and yellow you get orange. That if you mix blue and yellow you get green. Is orange any better than red? Is green any better than blue? Of course not they are just different. The discovery of orange, doesn’t make red any less wonderful.
 

Unfortunately, we are not playing with colours here. You are playing with LIFE. By making genetic modifications to “naturally” occurring species you are replacing the red with the orange, replacing the blue with the green.
 

Why?
 

How much better for man to live in harmony with all life and his environment.

 
LIFE HAS NO MEANING SAVE THE MEANING YOU GIVE IT – WHAT MEANING ARE YOU GIVING LIFE WHEN YOU TREAT IT THIS WAY ?”

At the time I did not know what genetic engineering was. I was receiving lots of other information on different subjects at the time and thought no more of it until sitting in the dentist’s waiting room one day. An article in a woman’s magazine caught my eye. MAdGE – Mothers Against Genetic Engineering, were taking Ag Research and the government body ERMA (Environmental Risk Management Authority) to court to challenge the way ERMA had agreed to let Ag Reseach (a government financed company) start putting human pig and sheep genes into cows. I was horrified – I had no idea that this kind of “research” was going on in ' clean, green' New Zealand. 

 Even with my limited spiritual knowledge I realised that the spiritual consciousness of each of these species was different and the whole concept made me cringe.
 

I joined MAdGE the very next day.   
 

Joining MAdGE really opened my eyes – I found out that there were not only spiritual concerns about GE but also some very real physical concerns from scientists around the world. Why had I not heard about this before? What I was reading on the different GE websites was far more newsworthy that what I was reading about in newspapers. If you would like to know more about what I discovered please see DANGERS OF GE below.
 

I decided, then and there to take a more active role within MAdGE. I enquired if they had a local group, - they hadn’t and would be pleased for me to start one. I placed an advert in the local paper and within a week we held our first meeting.

The groups aim was to raise local awareness about GE – and in addition to talking one to one with people about GE, manning information stalls and writing to local papers we joined many other group marching to protest about GE.
 

On the morning of the march I was washing dishes when I knew absolutely that no matter how many people marched the moratorium was still going to be lifted. A voice in my head said “Now to Plan B - and I knew I was to hold shows to raise awareness of the dangers of GE and funds for groups opposing GE. (I had known that I would be doing such shows to raise money for a new kind of school – but, didn’t think I would be doing that until the following year.) 

On the Sunday I was guided to book a large room at the Devon Hotel – by the following Thursday I was doing my first large show to an audience of about 200. The demand was such that a further show had to be organised and that too sold out. I was amazed by the demand for what  did – further shows followed in Wanganui, Palmerston North, Hawera – all sold out and further shows had to be organise in Wanganui and Palmerston North – with very little effort on my part – and I loved what I was doing!

My partner Andrew then decided to give up his own work and support me doing the shows around New Zealand. Together we raised funds for the GE Free Register, the local GE group and the People’s Moratorium Enforcement Agency.

DANGERS OF GE

Here is some of the information I found out in a few short weeks that inspired me to take the course of action I have. Please bear in mind that some of the information may well have changed since writing this. For the latest position please visit the websites referred to on the final page of this section. If you notice something that is out of date or incorrect please email us at admin@jeanettewilson.com

 Firstly, what is Genetic Engineering?

Genetic engineering involves taking the genes of one organism and inserting it into another. For example, putting arctic flounder fish genes into tomatoes to make them more frost resistant. Or even more alarming, putting human genes into cows to make their milk more palatable to us - Yes this really is happening now in New Zealand!  

Genetic Research on the other hand may give us valuable insights into genes and nature and insight that could be used to help treat some medical conditions. Opposing GE does not necessarily mean opposing Genetic Research.

In 2002 the New Zealand government lifted the moratorium on GE, – now if we are to keep GE products out of our environment and our food chain we need to understand what is happening and what we can do about it.

Why should we be concerned?

GE products are already here – Inghams and Henrys chickens, Arnotts biscuits, Milo. Infant soy formula, 6 out of 7 brands of corn chips – to name but a few.

Genetic Engineering is a relatively new, as a science it is in it’s infancy. So far, when mankind has altered organisms, it has, in the main, been within the natural laws of nature. Scientist’s from around the world are urging caution (See ISIS website) - there are many possible dangers including the following:

To enable an “alien” gene to be introduced the host organism is weakened using a virus –so the new gene will take – as yet, we do not know how the introduction of this virus will affect mankind’s immune system.  Aberdeen Infirmary have reported an increase in stomach and colon cancers caused by the cauliflower mosaic virus which is one of the viruses commonly used for GE. ( Source: MAdGE Newsletter- see website for details)
Is GE the cause? – we do not know.

“There have been no studies into long term effects of GE” (Source: British Medical Asscn). In the US if the altered organism is considered “substantially equivalent” to the original – they do no tests at all (Source : FDA) they simply export it to countries like ourselves and Australia. Perhaps we, and our children are the long term tests?

One application of gene technology stops the plant from reproducing itself – i.e. it then can’t produce seeds or the seeds produced are infertile. This is purely motivated by greed – farmers then have to come back for more seed each year and the GE companies control the price of the seed. What if consuming this food affects humanity’s fertility – it may or may not do – we do not know because there have been no long term tests.


“GE has the potential to cause catastrophic levels of harm” (Source :New Zealand Law Commission.)

Farmers from the US, Canada and Argentina who have experienced GE first hand send dire warnings about how GE has affected them and their land. (See various websites)

If GE is so safe - why will no insurance companies take on the risk?


What can I do?

 * Find out which products in your supermarket trolley are GE Free – the Greenpeace and Madge websites are particularly useful. Greenpeace also issue a free reminder card to use when shopping.

 * Tell your supermarket that you do not want GE produce – In the UK consumers put so much pressure on the Supermarkets that the Supermarkets they turned round to the government & said that that they do not want it. The UK still has a moratorium stopping the commercial growing of GE produce.

* Phone those companies that are already using GE ingredients and tell them that you will not buy their products until they change their policy. Names & phone numbers of offending companies at both MAdGE and Greenpeace sites.

 * Share what you know with friends, family & neighbours – one person can make a difference if they tell others!

 * Register your property, your bach, your workplace on the GE Free register – www.gefreeregister.co.nz – it takes just a minute of your time and costs nothing.

 With Genetic engineering I guess the question we really need to ask ourselves is - How do we feel about a handful of US chemical companies being in control of the world’s food supply?

Basically, as I see it, a few companies are intent on genetically engineering crops so they can patent them and make a lot of money out of them. They are spending millions, if not billions, of dollars forcing GE through, because if it does get through and they are then able to grow the crops, they stand to make a lot of money.

 If wind pollination causes GE crops to cross-fertilise neighbouring GE free crops - will those crops be the property of the company that holds the patent? And will neighbouring farmers have to apply to them for a license to then sell their own crops? If they use a terminator gene to stop the crop producing seed, will that mean that year on year, farmers will have to go back to the GE companys for their seed?

To be honest when I first heard about it, it sounded like something out of a science fiction novel. Unfortunately, though over two thirds of crops grown in the US are now believed to be contaminated with GE*. The farmers there, in Canada and other countries are protesting. They do not want it. Consumers around the world do not want it, yet governments are still pushing it through - Why?

* Based on Union of Concerned Scientist’s report that testing by two independent labs had found that non-GE maize and canola seed in the US is “pervasively contaminated by genetically engineered DNA” presented to NZ parliament March 2004.

GE crops have not produced the higher yields they promised.*

The crops GE resistance to weed killer has also been observed jumping across to weeds creating superweeds** that require more weed killer not less.

GE crops have resulted in more herbicides & pesticides being used, not less.*** I guess it should come as no surprise to find that the US chemical companies who are so keen to force GE on us also manufacture herbicides and pesticides.

 * See http://www.biotech-info.net/RR_yield_drag_98.pdf Evidence of the magnitude and consequences of the Roundup Ready Soybean yield drag from university-based varietal trials in1998. - C. Benbrook

** many sources including John Culley, western Canada research director at Ag Canada, the government farming agency, said their study showed that escaped canola ( previously known as rapeseed) was now Canada’s 13th worst weed.

***The US Department of Agriculture confirmed that GM crops increased herbicide and pesticide use by more than 50 million pounds since 1996.

 

GE SOYA

The article that really struck home for me though, was by a Doctor Valerie Freeman - you will find it at  www.soil-health.org.nz/pastissues/julyaug02/soy.htm. www.soyonlineservice.co.nz. is also worth a visit.

 Genetically engineered soya can contain a lot more phytoestrogen (plant oestrogen) than would otherwise occur. If you were to put this into infant soy formula a day’s serving could contain the equivalent oestrogen of five birth control pills. They wouldn’t - wouldn’t they? Not here in “clean green” New Zealand?

 In October 2003, the heath minister Annette King confirmed all four brands of infant soy formula sold in New Zealand were genetically modified. In different parts of the world, female babies have been reported going through puberty as young as nine months, and male babies not developing properly. Is this because of the GE soy formula?

 We do not know - There have been no long term tests. Funny how that one didn’t make headline news!  It was though, the one that inspired me to do what I can to raise people’s consciousness/awareness about what is going on - and in doing so to start the shows in New Zealand.

 Try as I might, I couldn’t get in the papers or on radio to talk about GE, or the hormones in GE infant soy formula, but, mention I talk to dead people - and they interview me.

 Why is that I wonder?

Spirit works in mysterious ways - I guess I have GE to thank for waking me up more than ever before! - and for motivating me to share what I know.

I do find it frustrating when the pro GE propaganda describes opposing GE as anti-science. Opposing GE is not anti-science, any more than opposing nuclear weapons is.

A lot of the people opposing it the most strongly are scientists themselves, as you can see from the websites given at the end of this section.

GE and the starving millions

One of the main reasons put forward to promote GE is that it will enable us to feed the starving people of the world. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation says we are already producing one and a half times the amount of food needed to provide everyone in the world with an adequate and nutritious diet; yet one in seven people is suffering from hunger.*

 Poverty exists because of economic and political structures that work against fair distribution of resources and sustainable production of food. How exactly would GE solve these problems?

 Commercial interests drive the biotechnology industry. Rather than reduce hunger, GE has made things worse in countries like Argentina** because farmers have to buy their seeds and supplies every year from GE companies to grow their crops.

* Calculated from Food and Agriculture Organisation1992 Yearbook Volume 46, based on an estimate of 2450 calories per day per person.

** Record Harvest Record Hunger, Starving in GE Argentina, Greenpeace June 2002.

 

On the positive side - if New Zealand were to remain GE Free there could be tremendous advantages…

 GE Free, patent free and chemical free farming has sustained generations around the world for thousands of years. Modern organic agriculture, based on working and natural systems, can sustainably provide livelihoods and food security for people into the future. See www.farmingsolutions.org for more details.

 “New Zealand’s GE Free crop status is providing sales opportunities we would not otherwise have.” - Food giant Heinz Watties.

 

A recent study (July 2001), by the Commerce Division of Lincoln University concluded that “the greatest positive impact on NZ income is the GM free strategy.”

 It would have been very easy for me to get completely worked up about GE - and I have at times. But when I get worked up I am no longer fully present - I am in mind thinking about what to do or say, and more often than not I feel powerless. I am then not as effective as I could be making a difference.

 I am learning to notice the emotional response that arises within me and to see it for what it is. I then decide is this something I would like to do something about or not?

We are all here for different reasons, what angers one person may not affect another. If it is something I feel strongly about I then decide what exactly I would I like to do about it.

I replace my anger with my passion for, in this instance, New Zealand’s “Clean Green” image, and our basic human right to choose what we eat. And I do what I can to let people know what is happening.

It is much healthier physically to be in my passion than in anger - and altogether more enjoyable too.

I accept that I cannot stop GE being released into our food and our environment. Whether that happens or not is down to the mass consciousness. I play my part though by being true to me, and raising peoples awareness about what is happening in whatever ways I can.

 I remind myself to stay I the now and be fully present, for that is the very best way that the best possible changes can be brought into being here.

I truly thank GE and the US chemical companies driving it through, for doing such a good job at waking me up more fully than ever before, making me care more than ever before, about this earth and my fellow human beings. Thank you for helping me on my journey, thank you for keeping me awake.

Jeanette

USEFUL WEBSITES
For information about GE:

Greenpeace
www.greenpeace.org.nz


GE-Free New Zealand
www.gefree.org.nz


Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics
www.psrg.org.nz
 
Peoples Moratorium Enforcement Agency
www.pmea.org.nz

Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand
www.greens.org.nz
 
Norfolk Genetic Information Network
ngin.tripod.com

Institute of Science in Society
www.i-sis.org.uk


For updates: email the Aotearoa Action update crew at updates@agean.org.nz and ask to go on their emailing list

 Government and news sites:

 Environmental Risk Management Authority
www.ermanz.govt.nz

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet

The GE Information Service
www.geinfo.org.nz

The New Zealand Herald
www.nzherald.co.nz

The Guardian
www.guardian.co.uk

With all this downside why is GE being forced on a public who don’t want it?