Corporations are playing with our food — and our heads

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Courtesy of Jim Hightower

From kitchen tables worldwide you can hear a chorus of parents chastising their children with the same refrain: “Stop playing with your food.”

Children aside, this rebuke needs to be loudly directed at the profiteers of industrial agriculture. They keep toying with the very nature of food, not to benefit consumers, family farmers, workers or the environment — but to fatten the profits of Silicon Valley tech giants, food monopolist and Wall Street financiers.

Meet Recombinetics, Inc. It’s a high-tech, gene-manipulation corporation with bio-engineers in its labs remaking farm animals. Pigs, for example. Recombinetics wants to mess with the very DNA of Mother Nature’s oinkers to make them produce bigger litters to supply the pork factories of brand-name marketers. It is also genetically altering milk cows to withstand hotter weather, so climate change won’t reduce the output of huge dairy corporations.

Of course, this corporate-government collusion to build Franken-animals faces a high hurdle in the marketplace, for consumers have shown again and again that they don’t want the food they put on their family tables tampered with. The tamperers, though, have a solution to that problem: secrecy. The industry is lobbying to outlaw any requirement that milk and meat produced by genetically altered animals be labeled as such. Better to keep consumers in the dark, because… well, if given a free choice, people might reject Recombinetics in favor of natural food.

The industrializers are not out to make food better or more affordable for us, but strictly to make it more profitable for them. Rather than remaking animals and the marketplace to benefit corporations that play with our food, let’s remake the corporate system so it cooperates with nature and serves the common good.

this opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.