OK, just imagine
this. You’re wandering innocently down your local supermarket aisles with
your basket. The items may look the same, may even taste the same…but they’re
not. Your breakfast cereal has cheetah genes, which will make catching the
bus easier. Outside the supermarket, there’s no more hunting for your car
in the lot, since thanks to the border colllie genes in the leather upholstery,
it comes when you whistle. And you’re pleased you got that firefly gene
toothpaste, because it will give you more than a glowing smile. It’ll also
be handy for finding the kids at bedtime.
(GM) food is all around—and in—us. And we’re told that in the interests
of our health and longevity, and because of the ability to feed more people, added shelf-life and
resistance of crops to weather and disease (which cuts down on pesticides),
GM is a Good Thing.
of GM has accelerated since 1999, when Saturn in Taurus formed the first
of several squares to Uranus in Aquarius, a pattern that lasts throughout
2000. Why do these two planets introduce such a new world order into our
and Big Bucks: Saturn
the ancient god of agriculture. In Taurus, it represents more than the
Earth and the food that grows from it and builds our bodies. It’s also
about who owns and controls Earth’s resources. And Saturn in
Taurus is very, very territorial. Saturn’s role in Taurus’ business is to consolidate
its own power in the marketplace. Note how Saturn wants to simplify things
and downsize—if only a few corporations own everything, that’s about as
simple as it gets. Huge conglomerates are circling the markets, trying
to establish top-dog position. They’re reinventing seeds and taking out
patents on life forms—in other words, staking out our genetic landscape.
Why? Big bucks. Saturn in Taurus has a miserly quality, so there’s nothing
altruistic about their intentions, although the mantra “feeding the world”
gets a lot of press.
in Aquarius means zero barriers. It’s something totally universal. It’s
about sharing the benefits of economic development and scientific advances
with all mankind (which is what the demonstrations against the WTO
were all about). Like the Internet, it thrives in the public domain, not
in private hands. This planet of lightning techno-discovery is giving
us the tools to remake ourselves totally, from the cells up. We’re standing
in our own garden of Eden, test tubes in hand, and the possibilities are
more than amazing, even freakish.
Owns What? Saturn and Uranus Square Off
knowledge and access to information. But Saturn, especially in Taurus,
is miserly with this knowledge, which is now called intellectual property.
So here we have two planets like boxers in opposing corners. Uranus is
democratic and humanitarian. Saturn is the alliance of big business, world
banks and big governments. And one of our prime concerns at the moment
is who owns this research. Saturn in this brave new global economy is
out to own this genetic Eden. None of it can be released without authorization
(Saturn). But do they really understand the consequences of the genetic
research? The scientists (Uranus in Aquarius) themselves aren’t really
sure what’s happening.
squared Uranus, genetic discoveries and their potentials were spawning
headlines and urgent questions about safety and ownership. Then, in May
2000, we had a lineup of six planets in Taurus, including a once-every-twenty-year
event, a Jupiter-Saturn
conjunction. Conjunctions like that signal a long-term trend,
just as appointing a Supreme Court judge sets a specific tone. It zoomed
in on the future significance of Saturn’s square to Uranus.
line-up leaned on the gates of our knowledge like a big bull in the paddock
and took the fence out. That Taurus bull is not going to be penned again.
It's going to keep pushing the limits of the food frontier through genetic
manipulation. With the “bull-headedness” of Taurus, we’re now squaring
up to Mother Earth herself and telling her that she’s just not up to scratch,
and we can do it better, bigger, faster. More than likely, she’s already
discovered what we’re up to. Some of the noticeable shifts in climate,
weather patterns and the new ability of viruses to cross the species barrier
may be her way of letting us know she’s not too happy.
and Saturn at cross purposes, we’ve already got accidental (Uranian) leaks
where GM crops leap fences. When GM animals follow suit, we could see
the rebirth of real centaurs (Sagittarius) and fishtailed goats (Capricorn).
That crucial conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus will give priority
to fiery debates for at least the next two decades, like privacy (think
Internet, think databanks), global warming, genetic therapy, cloning,
new viruses and old plagues.
GM is a diplomatic
way of saying genetic manipulation. Crossing natural barriers allows more
than just surface alteration. We’ve long bred livestock for docility and
ease of handling, but it takes generations to come through. Now we can
do it instantly (and give chickens four legs at the same time for kids
who like to eat on the run). Genetic techniques incorporated into our
food can mold us. What’s to stop us from breeding people (clones) for
intelligence, for resistance to nerve gas, for working blind in salt mines,
for organ donors, for beauty or humor? Ideals are dangerous. They are
written in sand, and vary from age to age and culture to culture.
not all bad news. If you’re worried about glowing in the dark from eating
rabbit, or about tipping 300 pounds from too much salmon, well, there
is one solution…why not bypass eating completely? With chlorophyll inserted
into your skin cells you can sit and photosynthesize while you’re cruising
Bermuda with all the money you’ve saved. At lunchtime, city parks will
be thick with CEOs spread out like starfish on the grass, doing the new
power lunch. It’ll be easy being green after all.