To watch The Corporation documentary -written by Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott- is to delve into how word works in terms of both politics and business’s convenience. It denounces how the notion of corporation has built a powerful barrier to exploit the advantages of such legally safe position.
The worldwide power of corporations is due to its artificiality. It is legally an entity –like a person is- yet a corporation is not required to pay attention neither to ethics, nor consequences. To gain as much as possible is a corporation’s only goal. Nonetheless corporations need to maintain an appropriate facade, so to be seeing as a constructive part of society. The need to keep their power covered with a human blanked so to look like us. If people realize how much harm they do, corporations would lose their reign.
How do they work? After watching this documentary, it seams that corporations take what is already existent (e.g. natural resources, human resources) and manipulates them in order to makes profit regardless the impact. I mean by this that corporations see where a new source of money may be and take the most advantage of it. If people needs to eat –that is a fact- they will seek to produce as much as cheap and business-convenient food as possible. What happen if the product is not the healthiest? That does not matter at all.
From one hand one may agree that food is what nourishes and brings enough energy to the eater’s organism, so to function appropriately. But from a more money-driven point of view, food is whatever enters the consumer’s organism. Whatever satisfies the capitalistic expectations of eat. Therefore we encounter here different meanings of such significant concepts like nourishment, propitiousness, consumerism, and expectation. This misleading is triggered by a person-ality that does not have a moral commitment with nothing else than the own goals.
The food is being alterated. To create artificial food is to produce it by means of adding substances such as does Monsanto throughout injecting Posilac to cows. Milk as a food product is thus not just bad because of the addition of a non-natural element, but because of that Posilac hormone is “[bad for the cows, bad for the farmer, bad potentially bad for the consumer”. Food product is then an artificial aliment.
Where do the corporations work? To maintain and increase their power, corporations need to go to places where they can sell easily. Places where they can have a cheap manpower. The Corporation documentary denounces how further business-driven mentality goes in order to secure a low input. They place their factories where people are starving to death. They hire them with a minimal-income job so to then obtain maximum takings.
Such extremely smart tactic is done because a corporation knows that people need it; or better said, people think that need the corporation. People in poor places need to work –need the money- no matter what. They will work for almost nothing if is necessary.
It is frustrating to see that this is almost an unbreakable chain. Even tough we dislike corporations’ actions, we still buy their things. Most of the people do. The fastness of the modern Western society heritage maintains the individualistic behavior of apathy regarding other people’s life. Do I check where a bought product has been made? No. Do I care? Now, I certainly care more. How long would I care for? As long as it does not interfere with my life. Sad but true.
What is even sadder is that my disregard does not just continue a cruel chain that affects others, but also disturbs myself too. When I do not read labels, I am not getting involved with the specificities of the products. Not just to know where the products were made, but also what are the products made with. What am I contributing to when I buy this or this product? What am I allowing to enter to my body when I eat this food product?
It is urgent to not just ask these questions but also answer them. It is urgent to get a better sense of what are the consequences of our actions. Only throughout knowledge one can cut the inert chain of regardless consumption.
“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious“
To show if an aliment is a genetically modified organism is the aim of a GMO label. To label it is a good starting point so to raise awareness about food production (so to then be able to rebel!). If the final goal is to stop making artificial food –stop any artificiality actually- to start with differentiating what aliments are alterated is a good idea. Once we detect them and reflect what does such alterations do to our organism, we will be walking towards a more conscious way of being.
Nonetheless the label is not always a reliable way to build consciousness. Once again there is ways to twist information. It is not just necessary to start reading labels, but also to get involve, to read more and to wide the range of knowledge. The fact that a label says that the food is natural for instance does not mean that it has not been altered.
What is the difference between “natural,” “all-natural,” and “organic”? Natural and “all natural” should mean that no additives, synthetic substance or artificial flavor have being added. But that is not always true. Organic label refers to a product that at least its 95% of the product had not being modified.
To eat a genetically modified (GM) food is dangerous, we know. The discussion about how much GM products affect our dietary needs is still open because of the justification that GM food is substantially equivalent to a non-artificial one. But certainly its side effects increase allergies and the possibilities to have cancer. Endocrine disruptor is a chemical that interfere the endocrine system, preventing it to function properly. Endocrine disruptors are present in pesticides such as DDT, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Pesticides are used to artificially modify the growing of plants so to have a more productive crop.
What are we obtaining with such alterations? Do we have better crops? The discussion about how is global population being feed connects with the discussion of production. To mutate breeding is also a way to increase productivity. Mutagens are chemicals that make changes into the DNA so to manage its characteristics. This method is less known, but is similarly dangerous.
What can we do then? To raise awareness, and to encourage people to care about their actions is the goal. To be better involve of what are the counterpart of our actions. Unfortunately, my country (Chile) has not done yet its fights against artificial creations. GMO labels are not required yet. But that does not mean that people do not need to know, an even further, that people do not want to know. People deserve to know how does the world works.
To find our more about GMO risks, please go here
 Robert Morris, The Corporation, 13’ 38”: “The great problem of having corporate citizen is that they are like the rest of us […]”
 Noan Chomsky, The Corporation, 13’ 11”: “Corporations were given the right of immortal persons, but then special kinds of persons, persons that have no moral consciences”
 Jeremy Rifkin, The Corporation, 32’ 57”
 Please refer to The Corporation, case histories section from 19’ to 25’
 George Orwell, 1984, http://msxnet.org/orwell/print/1984.pdf, page 41