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Peace's Wheaten Garland

by Alex Jack

"As peace should still her wheaten garland wear. . ." ‹Shakespeare, Hamlet

(Sunday, March 23, 2003 -- CropChoice guest commentary) -- As the war in Iraq began, the future of the United Nations not only stood in jeopardy, but wheat (the traditional staff of life and emblem of peace on the UN flag) also hung in the balance. Over the winter, as the world was preoccupied with the buildup of American military forces in the Persian Gulf and the debate in the Security Council intensified, Monsanto applied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for approval of genetically modified (GM) wheat.

As the foundation of the U.S. Food Guide Pyramid ("eat 6 to 11 servings of whole grains daily"), the decline of natural wheat, rice, and other essential foods represents the greatest possible threat to American security and planetary health and peace. The twin towers of the natural world, wheat and rice, have stood tall for countless generations, unifying the spiraling energies of heaven and earth and nourishing our ancestors, grandparents, and children. Grain fields constitute the largest sanctuary for biodiversity of any crops in the world, sheltering hundreds of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and tiny insects.

New biotech grains will inevitably contaminate the natural food supply, stretching back to ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and other civilizations. Medical and scientific studies of similar GM crops, pesticides, and estrogen-disrupting chemicals suggest that Monsanto's Roundup Ready wheat could potentially lead to a higher risk of allergies and other disorders. The effects on migrating birds, butterflies, and other wildlife have prompted the Sierra Club to make conserving natural wheat a top priority.

The effects on personal and family health, as well as the environment and global consciousness, will be incalculable. New biotech wheat will inevitably contaminate the conventional and organic food supply and lead to the end of natural bread, noodles, pasta, spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, pies, cakes, cookies, bagels, seitan, beer, soy sauce, and other products made from wheat.

If Monsanto prevails in its campaign to introduce Roundup Ready Wheat, the rapid expansion of GM food and drugs would be virtually guaranteed, and organic farming would be imperiled. Biotech terrorism must be rejected. We call upon all Americans to voice their support for "amber waves of grain" and sustainable measures to protect our country's priceless natural beauty.

Alex Jack is president of Amberwaves. He can be reached at:

305 Brooker Hill Road
Becket, MA 01223
Tel (413) 623-0012
Fax (413) 623-6042
Email: shenwa@bcn.net

Amberwaves is a network of individuals, families, and communities devoted to preserving wheat, rice, and other essential foods from the threat of genetic engineering and keeping the planet beautiful. Amberwaves is a project of Planetary Health, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization. Its most recent publication, "Sex, Lies, and GMOs: The Connection Between Sexual Decline, Violence, and Genetically Modified Foods" is available for $7.50 postpaid.