In the last few years, I've spent a lot of time learning about food health. I'm certainly no food health-nut by any means, and hardly an authority on the information I will provide here, but I have found a particular interest in learning about the subject of food health after I saw a documentary a few years ago which opened my eyes to the idea that so- called "food safety" agencies maybe don't keep us so safe after all. This documentary, Food Inc. (watch it here), Started me out on a journey where I have made many discoveries. I have an itching feeling that this post might upset some people but there's been very little said by Muslims publicly on the subject so here goes...and first, a little background:
In the United States we have a federally funded and regulated agency called the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) whose job it is to monitor and regulate the approval of the food and drugs available both directly and indirectly to the American public. Prior to my research, I had no reason to doubt my assumption that their work was integrity-based and legitimate. I believed that they would prohibit the distribution of any health threatening products from reaching the public.
Come to find out, this belief of mine was completely false, based entirely on blind faith and lies! Here’s just some of what I’ve found:
The FDA (as well as the EPA-the Environmental Protection Agency) is "in bed” with a huge and powerful corporation, the “agricultural”/chemical corporation known as Monsanto, and is heavily influenced by the latter. Monsanto, maker of Round-up and many other products such as DDT and Agent Orange, has a history of pushing the ubiquity of dangerous products, such as rBGH (a hormone given to livestock to increase their milk production). For instance, Monsanto has deemed this specific product rBGH as “safe” -- but this claim has been made based on their own NON-independently funded research (clearly unreliable!- Please see this video taken from the documentary “The Corporation" --full movie link). Moreover, in what many have termed "the revolving door," Monsanto hires and recruits politicians and government officials from the FDA. Many of the executives at Monsanto are former big wigs in U.S. government positions, and vice versa. The government officials they hire know the legal system, and their "former" employees go to the FDA and continue to advance Monsanto's agenda. In some instances, former Monsanto employees have even approved their own reports when they later go to work for the FDA! (See photo below for the names and titles of some of these double agents)
Some say Monsanto is “feeding the world”. To rebuke this claim, it is widely known that about 1/3 of the world's food is wasted each year (!) according to a UN report in 2013. Therefore, as much as Monsanto would like everyone to believe that it's goal of “feeding the world” is so very noble and honorable, it's factually incorrect, and driven by greed. Rather, solving world hunger requires an improved logistical system of getting food to the ones needing it.
Here’s something else really scary about Monsanto: This corporation has invested in scientific processes which alter the genetic makeup of seeds.
That’s right -- that awe-inspiring mini package of life-- the humble and perfect seed, wide-ranging in its biodiversity, subhanallah-- created ALONE by Allah Al Muqit (المقيت The Nourisher), Al Mubdi' (المبدئ The Producer, Originator, and Initiator of all)-- is now, and has been for nearly 2 decades, been changed through a scientific process called genetic engineering, This process includes splicing "desirable" genetic traits into a seeds’ DNA (the blueprints for life) and is then mass-produced. This gene manipulation of an organism can and does include the insertion of gene traits which have built-in resistance to chemical pesticides. This means that the corporation is able to distribute and profit from both the seeds and the chemical pesticide(s) it has been formulated to withstand. The resulting products of genetic engineering are called GMOs (genetically modified organisms). And remember, THIS PROCESS IS DONE BY CORPORATIONS who are out to make PROFITS by their very nature. Ethics play very little role, if any, in their operations. The scientific experiment that are GMOs is being carried out now in much of the foods that we consume every day in the United States and globally. Some countries have even banned the importing of foods containing GMOs (below).
Further disheartening is the funding that the Grocery Manufacturers Association has funneled into campaigns to defeat the mandated labeling of products containing GMO’s. (here's an example of corporate donations given to fight legislation in California) Literally we do not know which products we eat do and do not contain GMOs. But knowing that profits are the number one concern of corporations, I think it’s fair to assume that cheaper and more inferior ingredients will be a part of the corporate plan to increase profit margins.
Let’s look at what Allah SWT says about His creation: In the Qur'an, surat Al Mulk 67:3-4 translated to say: "Who has created the seven heavens one above another? You can see no fault in the creations of the Most-Beneficent. Then look again: 'Can you see any rifts?' Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out." (see a beautiful recitation of this in video below)
To Allah and Allah alone will I rely on to provide the most perfect sustenance which has been, Subhanallah, feeding mankind since the Prophet Adam (AS) via the life-sustaining seeds that He alone has created. Anything else which has altered this perfection I deem to be defective and certain to threaten our health and existence, as mankind could without a doubt could never come even close to the perfection of the creation of the One and only Creator.
There’s really so much more to say on the subject of ethics in the food industry, such as the wide prevalence of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), but perhaps I’ll write a post on that subject in the future inshallah. Clearly, though, such practices as outlined only briefly here clearly conflict with the bounty Allah has provided us for sustenance and good health.
Please visit the links within the post for more information on this important subject. For an excellent book with more information in much more depth , I suggest "The Unhealthy Truth" by Robyn O'Brien. She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Also feel free to comment. If you wish to counter my evidence here, please make well-informed comments and present your evidence. In Islam we deal in evidence for everything, so it's no less important here.