February 22, 2010

Post-humus porker

The Enviropig, the freakin franken porker that should only be a cartoon character, appears to be close to government approval, a Canwest News Service reported on Friday and confirmed here.

"The technology is simple, if you know how to raise pigs, you know how to raise Enviropigs!"
uh...depends on how ya raise a pig.
I'd compost that phosphorousy manure, feed the crops - let the oinkers have a bit of grass even.
But Enviropig is engineered to shit minimal phosphorous so the waste can get flushed (and not pollute waterways). Factory farming steps out of the circle of the farm.

From a 1999 Globe story on the lab chops: "After they get a handle on phosphorus, the scientists want to take a look at nitrogen, the other major pollutant found in pig manure and the one associated with its rank odour."

This kind of treason to our farm animal genome meets with so little pause, alarm or resistance because there are too many other distractions: wars, earthquakes, famine, olympics. We have no ethical roadmaps drawn out for the designers of our food. We as consumers and farmers need to start excercising our rights to choose what we eat.
The pig might help us do it. Who wants to eat it? 10-30% of Canadians? That isn't enough stakeholder to excite profits to the lifescience pioneers.

artist Nathan Meltz

A perfect factory pig is no surprise and has been talked about for awhile now. Water pollution and stink are the sticky bits in public interfaces and so the genes spliced in Ecopig are logical. But what else are they up to? Monsanto lurks in the wings and has patents on pigs. With declining numbers of small farms and pig breeds fewer and further between, the road ahead could look like porkicide.

Have we lost the right to eat food as god/goddess/motherearth made it, or shall we ride this ugly piggy to the courts before it goes to market?

We need to mobilize and take to the Supreme Court, the right to choose what we eat (labeling) as a matter of conscience and religion.

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