Here is a definition of integrity from "The 8th Habit" written by Stephen Covey. In that landmark personal development book he writes "Integrity means you are integrated around principles and natural laws that ultimately govern the consequences of our behavior. Honesty is the principle of telling the truth. Integrity is keeping promises made to self and/or others."
"Principles and natural laws that ultimately govern the consequences of our behavior." Another way to say it might be we reap what we sow. Or perhaps more directly, there is a price to pay for bad actions and poor decisions. As parents we try to instill in our children that good choices will help them succeed. But bad choices could work against them.
Another definition of integrity is "Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code." We certainly would want our son or daughter to follow this direction. Would we not also want those in charge of overseeing the government and medical entities entrusted with important elements of our survival to follow that same course?
As I write this page, we are seeing violence in many parts of our world. We witness unspeakable acts of brutality and wonder how any human could do such a thing to another person. There are grave dangers in this world. We will need to take on these challenges. It will be a difficult battle, but I believe we will overcome this type of evil. Such incredible wickedness has been seen before and every time, the civilized world rises up to flatten the oppressors.
While in no way would I diminish this huge risk, I do not see it as our most dangerous, most insidious risk. No, that dubious pedestal is reserved for a major killer that is of our own creation. It has been allowed to flourish because of successive failures of appointed and elected officials to adhere to the definition of integrity as listed in two spots in this page.
We share our own part of this blame through our apathy and failure to see what is happening. We're distracted by advertising and corporate noise. And we've given up our ability to force change.
I see two components to this self-inflicted health tsunami. One is antibiotic resistance and the other is genetically modified organisms. We'll start with the first one.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, "Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections." I dedicated a specific page to the problem of antibiotic resistance. By the way, we were warned of this danger over 60 years ago.
Now we are facing up to a real possibility that once easily cured illnesses could become fatal. Despite all the warnings, our own Food and Drug Administration has done next to nothing to curb this danger. The biggest cause of this super bug growth is due to the massive amounts of antibiotics given to animals grown in factory farms. Just below is a thirteen minute video by a super bug expert. Please take the time to watch it.
The current head of the FDA is leaving soon. She was heavily tied to the pharmacy/ medical corporations before taking this FDA role. This seems to be a repeated issue within the FDA. The Monsanto conspiracy members have also benefited from past and future employees spending time within the government agency charged with protecting our food supply, regardless of how it affects specific corporate profit margins.
Our definition of integrity would insure us that our national interests could not be pushed aside in favor of profits. But only if that definition of integrity was put into practice.
According to a report in Rodale magazine " The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has known for more than a dozen years that use of antibiotics in factory farms is harmful to humans, yet the agency has taken no meaningful action to stem their use.
That's the conclusion of a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), published after the environmental nonprofit collected data from the agency through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The data came from an internal review on the safety of feed additives belonging to penicillin and tetracycline classes of antibiotics. The review started in 2001 and ended for unknown reasons in 2010. The findings: Twenty-six of the 30 drugs reviewed didn't meet safety guidelines set in 1973, and none of those drugs would meet the safety guidelines of today."
Yet factory farms continue to pump antibiotics to fatten up animals that we eat everyday. "Principles and natural laws that ultimately govern the consequences of our behavior."
A couple years ago Consumer Reports gave some more insight into the lax efforts of the FDA in this vital area. Here is that story.
Canada and America are two nations who have turned a blind eye toward the possible massive health risks of genetically modified organisms. Our two nations have placed themselves squarely in the cross hairs of this potential health disaster.
Once again a definition of integrity, "Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code" is being pushed aside. That same revolving door that shuttles corporate executives between seed giants and FDA positions ignore that ethical code all the while protecting corporate profits and shielding them from even seemingly obvious actions such as accurate food labeling.
Please click this link to find a detailed analysis of the potential dangers of these genetically modified foods. This is information that seems to escape the mainstream media. I'm not sure why this occurs. Surely national news entities would operate within the guidelines of a definition of integrity mentioned in this page. They wouldn't be influenced by advertising dollars? Would they?
As Dr. Covey wrote, "Just as trust comes from trustworthiness, trustworthiness comes from character and competence. When you develop both strong character and competence, the fruit is wisdom and judgement-the foundation of all great and lasting achievement and trust."
We don't trust so many of our elected and appointed officials because they have not developed character and competence. But it is also up to us to demonstrate those values. It is up to us to live by the definitions of integrity.
Our independent farmers can deliver what we demand. They are highly skilled. If we collectively demand an end to using antibiotics as growth hormones, it will be done. If we demand transparency in food labeling it will happen. It we insist on only buying food free of any modified genetics, it will become reality.
Please check out the very short video just below. It is in our power and part of our responsibility to expect adherence to the definition of integrity. We are integrated around principles and natural laws that will insure positive results from our behavior.