Have you ever wondered how herbicides and pesticides kill weeds and pests but miraculously leave crops unharmed? Thanks to genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), farmers are now able to grow crops that are resistant to the same sprays that used to kill them. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Or is it?
GM foods are created in a laboratory by scientists who take genes from one species and splice them into a food-crop species such as soybeans, corn, sugar beets, cottonseed, and potatoes, to name a few. The genes come from animals, pesticides, and even bacteria and viruses that have never been in the food supply. Yummy.
Some GM crops are manufactured to produce their own pesticides. One of these pesticides, the Bt toxin, not only kills crop-damaging pests, but kills valuable pollinating insects as well. So much for letting nature work things out the way it has for millions of years. And hey! How do you feel about knowing that pesticides are INSIDE the food you eat? Good luck washing the Roundup off your tortilla chip!
Do you know that Americans have been eating genetically modified foods since 1996? In fact, it’s estimated that about 65% of the products available in your local grocery store contain genetically modified ingredients. Many of these foods are processed and use GM corn and soybeans. Don’t worry. They’re probably safe. We’ve been eating them for fifteen years and no one has gotten sick. Right?
GMO’s have never been studied in humans, but have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions in livestock and have damaged virtually every organ in lab animals. Hmm… never studied in humans? Isn’t the widespread use of GMO foods a large scale, unofficial experiment using humans as guinea pigs? Also, allergies have emerged due to the consumption of genetically modified foods. A study in 1998 cited that people who ingested soybeans produced for animal feed, developed a soybean allergy. Even if you don’t eat GM corn or soybeans straight from the field, what happens when you eat animals, or consume byproducts from animals, that have been eating genetically modified food? Does that mean these modified organisms are in everything from cheese to our Thanksgiving turkey? What if these genetically modified plants cross-pollinate with natural crops and their wild neighbors? Will they be forever altered? What happens when the insecticide and pesticide resistant crops are no longer resistant? Will we need to develop Super GMO’s?
Here’s my favorite genetic modification experiment gone awry. It will also explain the title of this post. In 1991, a group of scientists attempted to create a tomato more resistant to frost and cold storage. To conceive this tomato, they inserted a modified gene from a breed of arctic flounder known for its “anti-freeze” properties. Before you throw away those tomatoes you bought from the supermarket the other day, you should know that the experiment was not successful and the quest for a cold-resistant tomato was scrapped. No one has ever purchased a tomato or tomato-based product with fish genes… or have they? Muwahahahaha!
Who’s behind this GMO stuff anyway? The main player is Monsanto. You know… the good folks who introduced Bovine Growth Hormone. Many of their seed products are genetically modified to be resistant to their own agricultural chemicals, Roundup herbicide being one of them. Clever! Monsanto boasts that it is a farmer-friendly company whose goal is to improve lives by creating genetically modified seeds that produce bigger, better crops. To attain this goal, they’ve been buying up other seed companies for years and have now become the industry giant (bully?). I could go on and on about Monsanto, but will let you research that on your own, if you so desire.
The topic of genetically modified foods is extremely controversial, to say the least. Some people see no harm in genetically modified foods, presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama being two of them. Others think GMO’s will lead to the end of the world.
Better safe than sorry, I say. Look at what happened when Japanese Kudzu was introduced to the southern U.S. to control erosion? It is now a huge nuisance that is nearly impossible to control. This is just one example of the disastrous results of humans messing around with eco-systems.
THE MORAL OF THIS POST:
Unless you are willing to suffer the consequences, keep your hands in your pockets.
DAVID versus MONSANTO
This documentary is a MUST SEE for everyone on this planet! It is about a group of farmers who have been bullied and harassed by Monsanto. It’s also about YOU and the food you eat! Please watch this and see what is going on behind the scenes.
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