Genetically Modified Organisms – What You Need to Know

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There is a growing public awareness concerning the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) in the supermarkets.  Unfortunately, produce and food products made with GMO’s are not labeled, so most people are buying and eating these foods without understanding the health risks that they pose.  It’s very important that everyone become aware of the risks associates with GMOs so they can make wise choices while shopping and to help stop the companies that create these Frankenstein foods.

You might be wondering, “What exactly is a GMO?” These are plants and animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants or animals.  These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional cross-breeding.  

Virtually all commercial GMO’s are engineered to withstand direct combination of herbicide and/or produce and insecticide.  Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits on the market offer increased yields, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.  In fact, a growing body of evidence connects GMO’s with health problems and environmental damage. 

Currently, most of the foods that are genetically engineered are corn and soybeans; although GMO wheat is starting to be introduced.  Currently 85% of all corn and 93% of soybeans grown in the US are GMO.  Based upon this high percentage, the chances you are eating something genetically modified produce is very high, and may be a ticking time bomb with your health.

The following are results from predominant use of GMO’s:

  • Cancer – The Seralini Study named after the professor leading the findings, provides solid evidence that GMO’s are processed by mammals far differently than natural foods.  According to this study’s findings, rats fed a lifetime of GMO’s sprayed with toxic Roundup (glyophosphate) herbicide developed serious tumors that took over their entire bodies.  A study published by the International Journal of Biological Sciences arrived at similar results, with the addition of organ failure as a symptom of GMO consumption.
  • Increase herbicide use – Contrary to industry claims, GMO’s have not reduced the need for chemical inputs, but rather greatly expanded it.  According to a comprehensive, 16 year review of chemical use in conjunction with the advent of GMO’s in 1996, researchers from Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources found that herbicide use has increased an astounding 527 million pounds since GMO’s were first introduced.  To make matters worse, Roundup, the chemical of choice for many GMO’s has been found to persist in soils, waterways, and contaminating water supplies. 
  • Damage native species – A major point of contention with GMO’s is that they can easily pass their traits onto non-GMO crops and other plants, effectively destroying their integrity permanently.  Hundreds of farmers have been sued by Monsanto and other biotech giants after their crops were inadvertently contaminated by GMO’s.  These plants are also responsible for killing off bees, bats, butterflies, and other pollinators whose bodies are unable to handle the onslaught of altered DNA and chemicals in the GMO plants. 
  • Spawn crop-destroying ‘superweeds’ and ‘superbugs’ – The basic premise behind how GMO’s work is that by creating crops with resistance to certain chemicals and exposures that would otherwise harm or kill them can improve yields and protect the environment.  This built in resistance has allowed farmers to indiscriminately spray chemicals like Roundup on their crops with out worrying about killing them.  But this system is now failing as the weeds and pests targeted by GMO technologies have mutated and developed resistance to crop chemicals.  As a result, pestilence and disease is on the rise, which spells eventual disaster for the food supply.

Most of the countries around the world have either banned GMO’s or at least forced food companies to label their products so people know what they are buying.  However, this has not occurred in this country.  Monsanto has stopped any attempt on bans or regulations, so you are left in the dark if you are eating pesticide/herbicide-laden foods that may be killing you slowly.  This is a sad fact because foods are meant to create life, not destroy it.

 

 

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