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Monday, June 24, 2013

Organic Lifestyle | What are GMOs?

Let's begin with a thorough understanding of what genetically modified organisms really are...

One thing to note off the bat is that GMOs are not to be confused with cross-breeding. Cross-breeding in dogs is easy to understand. We mate dogs with different dogs to get the result we desire, but we don't go into the gene and alter it to create human cells to create a fetus. Cross breeding does not alter genes. It is merely a mating of plants to make a different species.

Genetic modification means the scientist alters the DNA sequence to create a life not normally found in nature. Genetic modifications can occur when splicing open a plant gene by either inserting a bT toxin into the DNA, combining the splices together, creating plant cells to create a "seed" which is grown OR by splicing in another trait like cells from a cold hardy plant into a warm weather plant to help it grow. The second type of genetic modification is preferable than the first because no bacterial toxin is inserted into the gene.

The advantage for scientists, for the GMO with bT toxin, is that heavier pesticides can be sprayed down onto the plant. The pesticides are so heavy that when it's sprayed it covers the area with so much toxicity that it kills absolutely everything including the weeds and the insects. Insects eat a tiny bite of the plant and they die or they evolve into superbugs. Weeds begin to resist and then evolve into super weeds.

Herbicides and pesticides have been scientifically proven to cause cancer and a lot of other diseases. Monsanto owns approximately 80% of the world’s seeds. Currently, there are heavy amounts of GMOs in corn, soy, sugar beets and canola. There are many other varieties that have been introduced but, over 90% of the above mentioned are GMO and it is advisable only to purchase these organically. GMOs are not new and have been grown in the Hawaiian islands and elsewhere since the 1980's.

Glyphosate, the main herbicide used in Roundup, is a deathly toxin. Glyphosate was quickly adopted by farmers, even more so when Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant crops, enabling farmers to kill weeds without killing their crops. In 2007, glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United States agricultural sector and the second most used in home and garden market. With its heavy use in agriculture, weed resistance to glyphosate is a growing problem. While glyphosate has been approved by regulatory bodies in the United States, and is widely used, concerns about its effects on humans and the environment persist.

In 2013, the United States' EPA raised the amount of allowable pesticides due to the super weeds and super bugs that have become resistant to the previously allowed amounts of pesticides. Monsanto has since developed a 2, 4-D GMO strain which uses the same toxin sprayed in the jungles of Vietnam as Agent Orange and is more effective at combating super weeds. This should give us all severe cause for concern if you've seen the pictures of children who are still severely crippled with birth defects in Vietnam.

GMOs are bad for us because the pesticides and herbicides are creating disease in our bodies. Our bodies do not recognize the plant because it is a foreign substance. Our bodies resist anything that is unnatural in our bodies and, therefore diseases like gastrointestinal disorders, Parkinson's, Autism, Alzheimers, Cancer and many more have been directly linked to GMO consumption.

Points to Consider:
  • Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
  • In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-lead research on the long-term effects of GMO products.
  • Last year the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
  • For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
  • Monsanto's GMO seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have caused colony collapse among the world's bee population.

What are solutions we advocate?

  • Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
  • Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
  • Demanding GMO labeling in your state.
  • Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
  • Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
  • Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto's secrets.
  • Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won't take these injustices quietly.

(1) Download an App for Your Smart Phone!

Non-GMO Project's Shopping Guide App
Fooducate App
Center for Food Safety's True Food App

(2) Look for the Non-GMO Product Seal at the Grocery Store!

(3) Use this Produce Decoder at the Grocery Store!

(4) Shop Local!


“Why can’t we just eat organic?“

The problem is that...let’s say there’s a hill. At the top of the hill Monsanto is cultivating GMO corn. At the bottom of the hill there is an organic corn farm. At night Monsanto employees spray their GMO corn with pesticides. A little later on it rains. The rain comes down on the GMO corn and then streams down the hill to the organic farm and into the soil where the organic corn is growing. Scientists have tested that organic corn. It is no longer organic. It is a GMO.

That’s where we’re at concerning fruits and vegetables. Now, let’s add the GMO soy into the mix. 90% of the soy purchased is used for animal consumption. When ranchers feed their cattle, chicken and pigs they feed them that soy. Then they butcher them and put them in our super markets. Then we eat them without knowing because the food is not labeled. We’ve just eaten what that cow ate. Our bodies have just ingested chemicals that were not made for us. 

“We can just eat grass-fed animals.”

Well, that’s an interesting theory. My response is two-fold. One, remember the hill? Those GMOs will seep into the grass that the animals eat. Two, who is going to guarantee that the animals we eat are grass-fed? We also now have to be concerned with the type of grass that the cow is eating. Is it GMO free? GMO grass is now a reality.

“Then I’ll eat fish.”

Sounds good, except that they created genetically modified salmon. These salmon grow at an unnatural rate so that they will be big enough to harvest. Now we can only eat wild fish. But, remember that hill? That same water that contaminated the organic corn will stream into the oceans. How long before all fish are inedible?

“Won’t the USFDA label them so I know which ones are GMOs?“

Probably. And we will pay more for it and buy it. But, there is no guarantee that it is what it’s labeled. Remember the hill? Plus the USFDA can’t be trusted because Monsanto owns the USFDA. Yes, the deputy commissioner of the USFDA was a previous VP for Monsanto. And Hillary Clinton, a candidate for President in 2016, was formerly on Monsanto's payroll. The government is not going to stop promoting big corporations unless we start voting out the politicians that like to be paid big bucks.

“The President of the United States will do something, right?”

Actually, President Obama, that I trusted enough to vote for, signed The Monsanto Protection Act guaranteeing that they will never be sued. They will not be held accountable for poisoning a world full of people. President Obama is gong out of office soon and we need someone strong enough to stand up to business. That isn't going to be Hillary Clinton who has come out publicly with support for GMOs.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks CC! Good information!



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