What’s in our meat? … and is NZ really GE free?

I purchased pork chops recently, and specifically chose the brand that advertises itself as being humane to its animals. Nice grassed grazing (for their chooks and pigs), outdoor huts with lots of hay. Definitely free range which is refreshing in a world where we’re seeing the steady growth of factory farming. The pigs and chooks looked happy indeed.

Not having done too much homework of late on this front, as in I buy organic when I can but mostly restrict my meat intake … I thought I’d better contact the manager and just check, do they feed their animals non GE food?

Well, the reply confirmed my suspicions and of course confirmed for me, no more pork, or any other meat, that’s not organic. Occasionally I obtain produce … vegetables, fruit and eggs, from growers who don’t use sprays of any kind which is next best to organic and less costly. In the instance of the pork, the manager told me he couldn’t rule out that the pigs weren’t eating GE feed as some of their soya feed is sourced from the US which he acknowledged meant it could quite well be GE. So … they are working on getting alternative feed but as yet … no … no guarantees. To recap here, it is definitely great to see farmers treating their animals well, housing them properly with room to roam and forage … definitely a huge improvement on the crates and tightly enclosed concrete and steel pens that occasionally feature on the news when animal activists expose them. So kudos to this farmer on that aspect. However, the GE food is definitely of concern, and especially if the animal is destined for your plate.

A couple of years ago I read a local book called ‘Seeds of Distrust’ by respected local investigative journalist, Nicky Hager. Our country, good old New Zealand, is touted world wide as being amongst other things ‘clean and green’, ‘pristine’, ‘unspoilt’ (the Rangitikei’s official logo), ‘GE free’ and even ‘nuclear free’ (it helps attract business). Interestingly, as an aside on nuclear free, radiation levels have been recorded at danger levels in the South Island. Fukushima possibly? That is definitely worse than what we’re told and definitely not all sorted by any stretch of the imagination.

Anyway, Hager’s book details the events surrounding the planting of GE sweet corn in several locations here in 2000. When this came to light the current Prime Minister at the time, Helen Clarke, ordered these be pulled up. As is the usual with such events, some discussion went on for a time and eventually it turns out, the corn was not pulled up, but was left to come to full harvest. And our threshold of acceptability for GE content was raised as well. Problem solved as it were. Thanks to big-business lobbying (corporate persuasion) and to Helen Clarke, the GE sweet corn plants were allowed to spread their pollen and were harvested for sale in NZ and overseas. The rest of the contaminated seed batch was also approved for planting and the public not told.  Do you still believe everything the Government tells you?

This has been a good reminder for me, don’t buy supermarket meat, or any meat that isn’t organic. Unless you know who bred and killed it. Otherwise you may likely be ingesting GE food.

I’ve replied again to the company that ‘can’t guarantee’ the pigs don’t eat GE feed, with a link to one of Jeffrey Smith’s videos (included below) about what the GE food does to animals’ livers. The animals are reported to smell highly putrid when slaughtered and their livers are obviously diseased. Which does remind me of the recent furore in the South Island when around 200 cows died after eating swedes that are herbicide tolerant. Predictably the link between swedes and these deaths has been all but wiped off the radar but that’s a topic for another post. Herbicide tolerant by the way, means that the crop can be sprayed with herbicide (as is the case with GE crops that are sprayed with glyphosate) killing the weeds but not the crop. The crop retains residues of the herbicide and of course whoever/whatever eats the crop ingests the herbicide as well. This is why glyphosate is being found in human blood, urine and breast milk, even in people who don’t use glyphosate. It is in our environment.

You can learn more about the glyphosate link to GE food on the Glyphosate page here on this site. I plan to include organic and GE sections to the Food page shortly. Another excellent resource, the one that educated me as to what Genetic Engineering of our food is all about, is the book ‘Hard to Swallow’ by Jeffrey Smith (who is featured on the video here).

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