Google, Fecal Contamination, and GM Crops

An unlikely looking combination i’ll admit.

Back when the whole Google / China thing broke it seemed a little ‘off the wall’ to me that a company would pull out of a market, citing human rights issues, because it’s network security had been compromised. Besides the fact that they’ve been living with this human rights issue for the last four years, it does all seem a little tenuous. Anyway, more than enough has been written at this point speculating over the actual motivations, so i’ll just leave it to the professional pundits.

[By some crazy coincidence, i’d left a comment on a blog a few days before bemoaning the trust that people we putting in ‘the cloud’, which anticipated someone getting at the unencrypted data and causing havoc.]

Moving on.

This quote crossed my path at some point during the week:

When medical researchers at the University of Minnesota took more than 1,000 food samples from multiple retail markets, they found evidence of fecal contamination in 69 percent of the pork and beef and 92 percent of the poultry samples. Nine out of 10 chicken carcasses in the store may be contaminated with fecal matter.

It’s the sort of thing that makes me glad that i’ve not eaten meat for years. The whole industrial farming thing, and presumably procedures like ‘Advanced Meat Recovery‘, seem very likely to mix all sorts of shit (literally, obviously) in with what can euphemistically be called meat products.

How people can ignore this kind of information and keep shovelling the stuff down them is really quite beyond me. My guess is that we are now so divorced from the production of what we eat, that food is a completely different *thing* than meat. Perhaps we’ve just become too trusting of these multinational corporations with their worthwhile sounding marketing about feeding the world.

A case in point, GMO crops. This youtube video on GM crops (specifically soy) made my skin crawl:

What worries me about GM crops is that the industrial agriculture companies seem very keen that minimal research is done into the consequences of adding them to the human diet. Their plan appears to be to get the things out there, and then say it’s too late to stop them as the modified genes are already out in ‘nature’. You can imagine a farmer not wanting to grow GM soy, next to one that does…

It’s not hard to tell whose side these regulatory bodies are on, but you’d think that just some of the people there would be interested in stopping their world being reduced to grey goo.

[That was all very US-centric. Here in Japan GM is still shunned by consumers, and the government is very keen on keeping it out of the market. Quite how long that will last, given that GM seeds are making their way into seed stocks, is any ones guess.]