I had an interesting encounter recently. Without any prior discussion about GMOs , short for genetically modified organisms, a relative handed me three publications in support of GMOs. She just said, “I thought you should know.”
I literally had just finished reading the following paragraph from Martin Prechtel’s An Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic:
“I want this story not to be about seeds, I want it to be a seed, a kind of story that has its own unique running, a story that does like seeds do starting always in the middle of their own wave pattern of infinite rise and fall, seeds who, like the grandest stories, refuse to stop moving toward life and always hope to come home instead of being genetically and spiritually modified to frenetically race away from life, not vainly pushing to outrun our continuing failures with the Holy ground that feeds us only to wreck the future we don’t think is there for someone we don’t know.”
I proceeded to read the articles in support of GMOs that were given to me and felt a great sadness overcome me. I excused myself and retired to my bedroom. I proceeded to cry for quite some time followed by inner call to practice Tonglen. What followed was a realization that no, I don’t know with complete certainty that GMOs are harmful. What I do know with certainty is that we, everything on this planet, are all connected and dependent upon one another.
Chief Seattle says it like this:
“This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
I also know for certain I am here to love and here to serve life. In Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: “For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.” I love, I serve…even when I don’t understand or agree.
While in my own life, I practice the precautionary principle, which states “When an activity raises the threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action.”
My final concern about GMOs is that I have yet to see evidence that human beings with all of our greatness are smarter than Mother Nature. And curiously enough, at last count there were twenty-six countries that ban GMOs….
- More on Tonglen meditation at https://www.upaya.org/dox/Tonglen.pdf
- More on GMOs at www.gmoawareness.org/gmo-facts/ , www.thenation.com/article/twenty-six-countries-ban-gmos-why-wont-us/