~ Ford, a Texas-based writer, contributes essays on music, Texas life and cultural issues regularly to The Agonist
I have five large breed dogs. Recently they have begun throwing up again. I suspect the main ingredient in virtually all dry dog foods: corn. And I don’t trust my government nor the private sector owned by a handful of mega-corporations to tell me the truth when they have so much invested and so much to lose if their product proves dangerous.
Two culprits come to mind.
More after the jump.
One is aflatoxin, a fungal disease that grows on corn in hot humid climates. Draw a North-south line through the middle of Texas and another from the Northern border of Texas all the way to the East coast. All corn grown in this southeast quadrant of our nation is suspect. We are told that companies test for this and they do, but growers know how to beat the test by concealing bad corn among good. I know that nearly all corn grown in the last five or so years in our area has contained aflatoxin and I have yet to see the first kernel get thrown away.
The rest of the corn grown in our nation is suspect as well. A little primer: Round-up kills all plants it is sprayed on. Glyphosate, or Round-up, for those of you unfamiliar with the product, is the one and same chemical we give Colombia to kill coca bushes. Colombians and Ecuadorians complain that they have become sick since eradication procedures began. Virtually all the corn we grow has been sprayed with this stuff. Farmers once planted corn on 36 inch row spacing. Once the corn sprouted, field cultivators were used to till the soil in the middles of the rows. That is no longer the case. Monsanto developed mutant varieties of corn by splicing genes of the corn with various bacteria and viruses. The resulting mutant plants are immune to Roundup. So now, a farmer plants corn in narrower rows. All the seed in the field is allowed to germinate and grow to a point, then the entire field is sprayed with Round-up. Every plant in the field except the mutant corn dies. No cultivation is necessary.
Monsanto has also developed disease and insect resistant varieties using similar technology. A worm eats the corn and dies. We eat it and don’t.
Or do we?
Europe doesn’t want our mutant food and I don’t blame them. Not so long ago a type of corn supposed to be fed only to livestock ended up in some Taco Bell tortillas and people became ill after eating them.
Are the animals that eat this stuff then safe to eat? I think so. I don’t know so but I think so. But I am reasonably sure it makes the animals sick when they eat it. I’ve been through this time and again with my dogs. And I am damned tired of it.
We will come to regret the day we let mega-corporations like Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill take over the world’s supply of grains, replacing hundreds or thousands of proven and tested safe varieties of food with their suspect versions.
I don’t care if this method is a more efficient way to grow food. If the resulting product is poisonous, I don’t want any of it. Right now, I have almost no choice in the matter. And if I had one of the bastards that put this shit in my dog’s food, I’d stuff a few pounds down his throat and see how he likes it.
For you pet owners out there: Anyone else having this problem lately?