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April 18, 2021 | Learning, Nutrition | 0 comments | Author:

Maybe you’ve seen the letters GMO and wondered what they mean, or maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about. It stands for Genetically Modified Organism and they are part of our food supply every day, but they do not have to be labeled. Many people are completely unaware of GMO’s or what they are in or what they can do because of this sneaky lack of labeling.

The Center for Food Safety reports that up to 85 percent of corn, 91 percent of soybeans, 88 percent of cotton and 95 percent of sugar beets are genetically modified. Most simply stated, a genetically modified organism has genes from another organism transplanted into its genetic code to produce a desired effect. Most commonly, GMO’s are to make crops resistant to pesticides and herbicides that kill the weeds that may be present. This, much like antibiotic resistant bacteria, has produced “super weeds” that are resistant to these pesticides which, in turn, require more chemicals to be used on the crops. Glyphosate is a chemical that kills weeds that biotech giant Monsanto has created its crops to withstand. It is found in Round Up. This led to a huge upswing in the use of glyphosate and the emergence of glyphosate resistant weeds. At least ten weed species in 22 states have shown resistance which forces farmers to use a mixture of other herbicides until they are given more genetically modified seeds that are resistant to these other herbicides.

The FDA dos not have to approve genetically engineered foods before they hit the shelves of your grocery store. They must approve all additives in food like aspartame, but inserting a gene into a crop does not make the protein it produces a food additive, according to the FDA. One of the most immediate concerns of GMO’s is the introduction of allergens and toxins to food. For example, as stated on webMD, “In 2000, StarLink (approved by the EPA for animal feed in 1998 but not for human consumption because of concerns it contained a protein that could cause dangerous allergic reactions) turned up in many Kraft products, including their Taco Bell corn shells. Some corn crops were accidentally contaminated with the StarLink seed. Several people reported severe allergic reactions, and major recalls resulted.” This points to another problem with GMO’s. They can easily contaminate other crops nearby with their seed. Genetically modified plants can take over and choke out the natural species. In recent years, corn and soy allergies have skyrocketed. Wonder why.

Most animal feed today is mainly comprised of corn and soy, which are most always genetically modified. Most animals are not even meant to eat corn and soy, but that is another topic. So even if you avoid GMO vegetables, you could be eating them in your meat.

GMO’s are detrimental to the environment and that is the fault of the government and major corporations like Monsanto. Farmers are paid the most for high yields of corn and soy, and are insured to make a decent return even if the crops fail. This is not the case for other vegetables. This in turn, leads to the exhaustion of the land because farmers continue to raise the same crops on the same land. Instead of practicing crop rotation to replenish the soils nutrients, they just keep adding more and more fertilizers, pesticides and antibiotics, which make their way into our water supply. This is all in order to make the most money, without taking health or environmental concerns into account. In fact, Monsanto insists that farmers sign a document that they must buy all new seeds each season and cannot use the ones produced from the harvest. Monsanto will, in fact, sue small farmers if any traces of their patented GM seeds are found on their land. This happens frequently because of accidental cross contamination. Wind and animals can carry seeds to other fields, and smaller farmers are being punished.

The European Union forces all companies to label their products that contain GMO’s. Prop. 37 was a bill in California that would require the labeling of genetically modified products. Monsanto and other large corporations spent countless dollars on campaigns to stifle the bill—it didn’t pass. There is another similar bill currently in Washington state that hasn’t been voted on yet. The labeling law only calls for companies to inform consumers that there are GMO’s in the products. It’s interesting that the exact same companies can make non-GMO products to sell in the EU so they don’t have the label.

The evidence continues to mount that GMO’s aren’t as safe as these corporations would have you believe. From Edward Bonnette’s article titled, ‘The Revolving Door: FDA and the Monsanto Company’ on, “Over the past decade at least seven high-ranking employees in the FDA have employment history with the Monsanto Company.” Sounds fishy to me. Speaking of which, they are developing genetically modified salmon that could be hitting restaurants, without being labeled, within the next year or two. Super. These salmon are modified to grow extra large, extra fast. They are most likely farm-raised and fed GM corn and soy as well. No thanks, I don’t care how much money you save, giant companies.



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