Once again I got rejected from the Red Cross this week. Ever since the last blood drive I’ve been determined to get my iron up so that when the time came, i’d be ready to donate. I made a conscious effort to take my iron supplement everyday, although occasionally I admit I would forget, and I attempted to eat more iron rich foods such as spinach. Finally, the day of the blood drive came and I was feeling nervous. The nurse lead me to the preliminary testing booth and gave me a frown of disapproval. It was apparent she was skeptic when I told her how much I weighed, and from there on things just went down hill. Not only one, but two different nurses could not find my pulse on my wrist, and when they finally did find my faint pulse, it was barely high enough. My blood pressure was extremely low as well and don’t even get me started on my iron levels. The level you need to pass an iron test is a 12.5, I got an 11. Of course they retested my iron level again just in case the first test was a dud but the second time was no better than the first. I left the booth with two throbbing index fingers holding my letter of rejection and a damaged ego. It didn’t help that my boyfriend (BEN MALECKI) made sure to ridicule me for the rest of the day either. Even my internship overseer (HOT BOSS) got a kick out of my feeble attempt. I mean I was just trying to help the Red Cross, why did they have to turn me away?

Similar to the my iron deficient blood, GMOs are being rejected as well. The United States wants to help Africa through introducing them to the enhanced crop the same way I wanted to help the Red Cross through my donation of blood. But both Africa and the Red Cross have standards, just because help is being offered doesn’t mean that it should be accepted. In both cases, these groups are holding out for a better alternative or solution. Of course somebody could use my blood for a transfusion, but will it really help them if my blood is not up to par? Most definitely could GMOs help solve the hunger issue in Africa, but is it worth risking the health of the people and the agriculture system of their continent? I have to admit there is an admirable component to the stances that these groups take, and I have to respect the Red Cross for their decision even though I still feel the sting of their rejection in my index fingers. I suppose I will have to continue searching ways to improve my blood iron level, just as the United States will have to search for an alternative way to help solve the hunger issue in Africa. Who knows, maybe next time we will get it right.

 

Speaking on rejection, time to bring up the rejection of clothianidin and imidacloprid, the pesticides responsible for the decline in the honeybee population. The article “ Moe evidence links pesticides to honeybee loses” http://grist.org/industrial-agriculture/more-evidence-links-pesticides-to-honeybee-losses/ describes the various tests conducted surrounding the various effects of pesticides on the health of honeybees. One test conducted at Harvard showed that the pesticide imidacloprid, killed 15 out the 16 hives it was exposed to. The final conclusion that this research arrived at is that there is a direct link between neonics and colony collapse disorder. Imidacloprid is less toxic than the pesticide clothianidin, therefore hypothetically clothianidin should be even worse for the honeybees, and for us. It is no wonder that Africa is hesitant to receive our pesticide ridden GMOs in their countries. It seems as though there is no turning back for the US and our chemically enhanced crops, the first to go will be our honeybees and then us Americans. It looks as though the last ones standing will be the Africans, oh how the tables have turned.  

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