Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Biblical Look at GMOs

Living in California is just like any other state... it has it's pros and cons. In the case of Proposition 37, it definitely seems like a plus! But lately I have noticed a huge disconnect between our doctrines and application of Scriptures in the Christian community, and in this situation, it's not any different. Therefore, I want to take a moment to explain what really drives me to oppose genetically modified foods (a.k.a. genetically engineered) from a Biblical basis.

For most people, the main force behind their personal mission to eat mostly GMO-free foods is their health.  I get that. It's certainly one of the reasons I try to serve my family produce and meat we grow ourselves or have purchased from a reliable source that is GMO-free. So yes, health is a good reason. But it's not my primary concern.

Food may seem like a small thing in light of eternity... it's an earthly need we all have and there is certainly more to life, but consider how many scriptures or stories in the Bible are centered around food. Certainly a complete list would exceed your patience if I were to post it here on my blog!

Given the vast number of Biblical references, including the food that is to come in the heavenly kindgom at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9), we can not ignore the fact that it has been God's good pleasure to make food an eternal part of our lives.

Suffice it to say... food is no small matter. 

Knowing this should cause us to pause and consider what we're doing to our food supply when we allow companies such as Monsanto* to genetically modify it in such a way as to violate God's ordained order of nature. I think most people who have not looked into GMOs think it's just another form of hybridization. Not so.

The Simple Science of It All

Compare what Webster's Dictionary says about hybrids and genetically engineered organisms (I've condensed it to the essentials, but you can click the link to read the full definition) ...

HYBRIDS
     
• an offspring of two animals or plants of different races, breeds, varieties, species, or genera
• something heterogeneous in origin or composition; hybrids of complementary DNA and RNA strands (example: two roses)

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED 

• the group of applied techniques of genetics and biotechnology used to cut up and join together genetic material and especially DNA from one or more species of organisms and to introduce the results into an organism in order to change one or more of its characteristics

• artificial manipulation, modification, and recombination of DNA or other nucleic-acid molecules in order to modify an organism or population of organisms... 

Hybrids are traditionally a combination of two of the SAME species (see photo at right). Genetically engineered means two things from different taxonomic "kingdoms" have been combined (animal and vegetable, vegetable and mineral, or mineral and animal). This difference is HUGE. Hybrids are similar in cellular structure and DNA, GMOs are worlds apart in similarity. And in the case of something such as Monsanto's Roundup Ready® seed, it appears they've combined the DNA from the plant kingdom with the mineral kingdom. 

In short, hybrids follow the admonition of Genesis 1:11-12, GMOs do NOT.

"Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good." ~ Genesis 1:11-12

Then He stated the same for animals...

"Then God said, "let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good." ~ Genesis 1:24-25


Did you catch that? It was GOOD! Do we really think we can improve on that? In His sovereign design, He made everything perfect in the Garden of Eden. Only after the sin of man did it become defiled and I do not recall anywhere in scripture where He revoked this. Dare I say we defile it when we tamper with His ordained order? 

I am NOT saying God does not allow us to discover, create, and invent. But even these things should be within His natural order. When we step outside of God's ordained design, we essentially build a "tower of Babel" and shake our fist in His face, saying "I can do better; I can be like God".

Oops... where have we heard that before?

Business Ethics in the Bible

"Differing weights and differing measures,
Both of them are abominable to the LORD."
~ Proverbs 20:10

"A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, 
But a just weight is His delight."
~ Proverbs 11:1

"You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another."
~ Leviticus 19:11

It was the unsavory custom of some in Biblical times to play the old "switcheroo" in the market place by changing the weights out so that they measured in favor of the seller, not the customer. In other words, their balance was false or incorrect, and the seller was doing this intentionally and thereby dealing falsely with the shoppers. Basically, he was telling a lie and stealing. 

God does NOT like that.

Not labeling food products as genetically modified isn't a weight or a measure literally speaking, but the principle behind the scripture... to be honest in your business dealings, certainly applies. In the 21st century, listing ingredients on the package (in order of their volume from greatest to least), informs the customer of what they're really buying. It's how we "weigh the value" of the item when purchasing since so many foods are a conglomeration of ingredients. 

People clearly want to know if they are purchasing food that contains genetically engineered ingredients. Instead, they typically add labels such as "all natural" or "healthy" or any number of other phrases, conveying something that is clearly misleading and a down right lie when you get to the bottom of it. By refusing to label the package as containing GMOs, companies are dealing falsely with the customer.

A Logical Conclusion

Let me make it very clear. I consider myself a capitalist. But being a capitalist doesn't mean that companies should be allowed to do something that will eventually lead to a NON-capitalistic society. If Monsanto* and others are allowed to continue with their march on patenting all the seeds in the world, in time they will control all seed production and thus all food production (if they haven't ruined a good portion of it first). They will even control the production of animals used for meat since they eat plant based foods. 

To vote no on 37 is to vote yes for a Monsanto* monopoly and their ability to rule over us in the future (indirectly). 

Do I sound like a crazy lady? 

This isn't as far fetched as it sounds. Monsanto* is already controlling farmers, politicians, and businesses way beyond your wildest dreams. Just do some Google searches if you're not sure. 

Again... Let me state, I'm NOT anti-business. But God has clearly stated that greed leads to unethical practices and sin. And while His laws do not state anything specific about GMOs, God's Word does give us principals to apply to our food and business dealings.

Voting YES on 37 and supporting other similar legislation (as well as voting with our dollar) is clearly the correct Biblical position.

Sometimes doing the right thing hurts and even costs us. But in the long run, the payback is good!








*I have used Monsanto as my example in this post because they are the largest manufacturer of GE seeds that I'm aware of, but I'm sure other companies are pushing the limits of ethics and wisdom as well. I also believe Monsanto is the largest contributor financially to the NO on 37 GMO campaign.

29 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this post! My husband and I have been trying to spread the word through Facebook regarding this proposition. We don't live in California anymore, but am hoping and praying that this proposition gets passed, as it will affect the rest of the nation if it does. Our daughter currently lives in SoCal and we have urged her to vote yes for prop 37. And, no, you don't sound like a crazy lady to me.

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  2. Amy,
    Thank you for this gracious and thoughtful piece from a Biblical perspective. You have a wonderfully distinctive writing style that I know people will love, and that is simple to understand.
    I have shared this far and wide with the leaders of the CA Right to Know campaign, and it will definitely help the cause.
    Thank you,
    Blair

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  3. I absolutely love your post and enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for putting this out there, I have shared it on FB!

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  4. Here's hoping that 37 passes on Tuesday. Monsanto is certainly advertising like mad.

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  5. Thanks for posting this info...I'm going to share your link to spread the word!

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  6. Thanks for the wonderful information, mainly the biblical aspect of it all! Excellent "food for thought"...

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  7. You are so right, Amy! And, I love that you put it in Biblical perspective because so many people, while concern about health issues over gmo, don't think about the Biblical side of it, which is more important. Man has always thoughts, much to his detriment, that he knows better than God. It is a sad form of rebellion against our Lord. Good and thoughtful post.

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  8. And then there's my favorite: "Thou shalt eat no abominable thing." Deut 14:3 But you could apply that to a lot of foods, like creamed tuna on toast. ;)

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  9. I agree with you 100%! It's amazing how all the commercials make it seem it would be terrible to label foods GMO.

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  10. This was so interesting to me. God wouldn't have put "after their kind" without a reason and the fact that He did it repeatedly means it is important and that we should be paying attention.

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  11. As a christian, I am so grateful for you taking the time to walk through precisely why genetically modifying foods and experimenting on uninformed human beings is so wrong in the eyes of God. I've always imagined God being so outraged with our foolishness regarding our food supply. Something so basic yet essential. Something God created to benefit us. I have been praying that Prop 37 passes. And I also look forward to the new heavens and the new earth, where we never have to worry about what food we put in our mouths ever again! There will be SO MUCH rejoicing in those days! :D :D :D

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  12. Amen! Amy. Nicely written and much needed in sharing!

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  13. When you asked if we think we know more than God, it rang a bell in my memory. I was trying to reduce the fat in our diets and allow us to lose weight, so I was working us gradually down from whole milk to 2% to 1%, to skim, eventually. My husband was against it and still drank 2%, but wanted whole milk. I was on 1%, and no longer enjoying milk very much, although we both love it. One day, as I reached into the dairy case at the store, reaching for the 1% milk, it was as though I heard a voice say, "So, you think you know more about milk than I do?" I stood up, wide-eyed, and got two gallons of whole milk! We drink our whole milk and love it, knowing it is as near the way God made it as we can get without a source of raw milk.

    I live in Texas, but I completely oppose GMO food. I can no longer eat corn, due to the terrible digestive upsets it causes now, after eating it all my life. It is morally wrong, plus it has future physical consequences we can only speculate about.

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  14. Thank you Amy. I was planning to vote for this proposition anyway, but I enjoyed reading the information you posted here. My method oftentimes of deciding which way way to vote on issues is to find out who is paying for all the ads. I noticed in the "Vote No on 37" ads, a lot of large food corporations have contributed to the campaign, and that tells me that many if not all of these corporations realize that telling the public what is really in the food and/or not being able to claim that the food is "natural" when it isn't will lose profits for them.

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  15. This is written very well; I am sharing this one. I am praying that 37 passes on Tuesday!

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  16. Thank you, Amy! You covered this issue so well.

    In addition to your thoughts on the Biblical applications of Scripture to the GMO issue, the labeling of GMO containing products is also a sanctity of life issue. Have you read about Australian experiments (http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/gm-wheat-may-damage-human-genetics-permanently) with genetically modifying wheat?

    The short version is that GMO Wheat causes extreme health/liver issues in those who eat it.....in addition to that.........those who eat it and then have children......their children are born with severe liver disorders and have a 5 year life expectancy.

    GMO's are altering God's system that He created for us at the beginning of time.....which you so clearly articulated. GMO's also have the ability to alter our bodies in life threatening ways.

    Thank you for tackling this ultra important issue and for bringing it down to the foundational teaching of Creation in Genesis.

    We *should* be given information that allows us to know if we are altering our body's DNA. This IS within the Jurisdiction of the State because it is giving us the information we need to protect our bodies which are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and to protect the lives of our yet to be born children who should be protected as they are made in the image of God.

    It is also within the jurisdiction of the State to protect the people from those who are evil.........There is no doubt that Monsanto and their power grabbing and life altering products is evil.

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  17. Amen to that! I am not from your state, but really enjoyed this informative post.

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  18. I do not live in CA, but am completely against GMO foods for all the reasons you and the others who have commented have listed. The companies that are being allowed to genetically modify our food may be supplying more in quantity, but are for sure removing the quality from our food. GOD made the food to nourish us in the way HE intended. Changing that can only cause us problems. My husband has many times set up the following scenario: "One day the news is going to tell of the over weight young man/woman who goes into a local food chain, sits at the counter, orders his/her food, eats it and falls face first, dead, onto the table. Further investigation will reveal that he/she died from starvation! because the food he/she ate had no nutritional value!"

    Recently several of my co-workers and I have been discussing preparedness/storing for the future. I have only done a little reading, but have been concerned that there is the possibility that we could unwittingly purchase food items that are genetically modified and therefore will be of no use to us when we need them. Can you comment please?

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    1. If a disaster ever occurs that's so catastrophic and we have to eat GMO food, then by all means, we will. But I do not store food that has GMOs, at least as far as I can tell. This is another reason we are working to be sustainable. Chose your food storage wisely!

      Right now, Kendra at New Life on a Homestead is selling THRIVE products, some of which are labeled GMO free. I think she is having a sale on them, too. http://newlifeonahomestead.com/2012/07/thrive-freeze-dried-foods-review-discounts-for-you/

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  19. Great post Amy! I am praying for a positive outcome. Cheering on California from Ohio. My vote would be Yes! on Prop 37.

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  20. PLEASE consider this as well....."Millions of Christians need to learn about the vaccine dangers and how vaccines are contaminating their DNA. The DNA heritage of your family line is at a risk of extinction. I know this sounds crazy right! But you need to read on so you can wake up and save your DNA’s heritage of intelligence of your family line."

    http://wakeupgethealthy.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/god-vaccines-and-trashing-human-dna/"

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  21. Thanks for your clear post. Here's hoping for a good result!

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  22. What was the final vote on Prop 37? I never recieved the memo!

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    1. It didn't pass. There was too many lies in the media about it.
      Thank you for posting this. I've been searching for bible verses that I can use to pray over this issue.

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  23. I'd like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week! http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/clever-chicks-blog-hop-8-and-rural.html

    I hope to see you there!
    Cheers!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

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  24. I love this!!! I came to a similar conclusion on my blog at www.BiblicalEating.net. I'm sorry Prop 37 didn't pass, but as we continue to educate people WHY this matters so much, I pray it will more in the coming years. Blessings on your wonderful site!

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  25. Thank you for this post. It's so very well said. I keep running into people who say that GMOs are ok, but profess to be very strict Bible followers, and it seemed to me that this would be an abomination, if anything was. You definitely pointed me to the right verses. "Hurt not the Earth..."

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  26. Hi there! I recently started a blog about this very thing, and found yours - love it! I hope you don't mind (and please tell me if you do!), I liked your entry to mine so that folks could come over and read it. Thanks for putting all of the effort into this sensitive and important topic!

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