Image from Healthy Alter Ego
The biggest arguement I'm reading at the moment in regards to pro-GMO, is that they are solving the world's food shortage crisis. Without the use of this technology, how on earth are we to feed the ever expanding population? And, to a certain extent, it's a valid question.
Let's think about it.
If we want things to stay the way they are at the moment, where big corporations control most of the money and nearly all the food chain, then yes... mass produced chemically controlled staple cereal crops need to be produced much more efficiently and quickly than they are now. If we want to be slowly sedated, poisoned, and controlled by a small group of exceedingly rich people, then yes, your GMO's are the answer.
And you can stop accusing me of over-reacting: eating a piece of corn injected with Roundup is poison, drinking water with fluoride is sedating, and making people ill from additives and over processed foods causing them to be continually sick and controlled by medications... is control.
Let me spell it out for you: There is no food shortage. There is, however, a massive greed problem. If we only took what we needed, there would be plenty for everyone.
So, now that you've read the basics from GMO'S 101 ... it's time to get a little deeper.
Worldwide, there are A LOT of different crops using GMO technology. Tomatoes, Soybeans, Corn, Wheat, Rice, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini, Papaya, Canola, Cotton, Sugarcane, Sugarbeet, Plums, Squash (pumpkin)... plus many more.
Let's learn what they grow right here in Australia.
At the moment, us Aussies grow GM Canola and GM Cotton, and at the moment we are in the process of GM Wheat trials... but that deserves its own article...
You're probably wondering why GM cotton is such a bad thing, after all... we don't consume it! True, but what about the seeds? Let's take a step back and look at the big picture here. First of all, just because you don't eat cotton, doesn't mean the seed isn't produced. Cotton Seed Oil is used widely in cooking, and the seeds are also used in animal feed. Second, a GM crop of cotton does not mean it is not sprayed with any other chemicals (although, you would think that something as extreme as injecting a chemical into a seed to "protect" it would mean something...). Organophosphates are still sprayed on GM cotton crops in the later part of the growing season "because of the reduction in efficacy of Ingard plants" (Ingard being the patent name for the GM cotton).
Allow me to interrupt this post to bring you up-to-date information regarding Organophosphates (of which I will be blogging about EXTENSIVELY very soon). They are the basis of many pesticides, herbicides, and nerve gases. They irreversibly inactivate an enzyme in the body which is responsible for nerve function, and this has been shown to occur in insects, humans, and other animals. Even at very low levels, they can have an adverse effect on the neuro development of the body; especially in regards to unborn babies and children. It can be absorbed by the lungs, skin, or consuming as food. It is used extensively in agriculture. The USEPA lists it as a possible human carcinogen (stopping short of labelling it as such, which would mean it would have to be removed from use...).
Where was I??
Oh yeah... :)
You have to look at what is injected in the genome of the seed in order to predict what impact it will have on the body.
In GM cotton, the Bt toxin, and Roundup-Ready technology are inserted (according to my research). The Bt toxin is a bacteria designed to kill its host. It is a very effective pesticide.
In GM canola, Roundup-Ready (Monsanto corporation) technology, and InVigor (Bayer CropSciences) technology is used. They're both herbicides. Glyphosphate and glufosinate are very effective chemicals. And very potent. Stay tuned for posts relating to these technologies. I was going to put it in this article but for one, there is too much info to put in on post, and it's bloody hard to understand! So once I've deciphered it all, you'll be the next to know!
The bacteria that is injected into not only Cotton but other genetically modified crops too (especially corn), is an agressive pathogen whos specific job is to cause disease in its host. Yep, it might kill off the insects it is designed to kill during the growing process... but we're involved in that too. Insects are already showing a resistance to the GM technology - so even though the chemical is inserted into the seed, the bugs aren't dying. And that's after only a few seasons of growing it.
So, GM crops are injected with chemicals to resist weeds, bugs, and more chemicals. More chemicals need to be sprayed anyway to combat the unpredictability of the weeds and bugs that become resistant. Because these chemicals are within the food, we inevitably consume it. These grains are also fed to livestock. Here are links to studies I've found that show some of the effects of these chemicals on lab rats, animals, and humans in testing:
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22504123 - proves that glyphosphate (use in Roundup-Ready GM technology) is the main environmental factor in human neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's Disease and Motor Neuron Diseases.
- http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/roundup-herbicide-toxic-fish-parts-billion-range - an article with many study links that shows Glyphosphate (found in Roundup and other herbicides) is extremely toxic in the parts per billion range; think of one drop of water in an entire swimming pool... a very small amount of this chemical. In this tiny quantity, Glyphosphate is still linked to genotoxic effects on animals and humans. Genotoxic means the chemical or other agent damages the DNA, resulting in mutations or cancers.
- http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/new-research-gmo-food-far-worse-we-think#comment-1135 - information on a recent study testing Roundup on human embryonic kidney cells, and rates between 1 - 20,000 ppm (parts per million - think about the one drop of water in a swimming pool. Between one drop and 20,000 drops... out of a million). They found that levels as low as 50ppm (50 drops in a whole pool) induced cell death. This is tested on human cells. The most amazing thing from this article was the statement "The researchers also found that the insecticidal toxin produced by GM plants known as Cry1Ab was capable of causing cell death at 100 ppm concentrations." This is the very specific toxin used in Bt GM technology.
- http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/surprise-monsanto-funded-research-finds-their-products-safe#_ftnref1 - be very aware of what research you read and where it came from. Seemily reliable sources often have their hands in the back pockets of multinational corporations who only want GMO's to succeed, regardless of the actual toxic impact on society. Yes, there are studies that say GMO's are safe - but they are lying to us. The studies are in no way accurate.
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670 - "This is the first study to reveal the presence of circulating pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in women with and without pregnancy, paving the way for a new field in reproductive toxicology including nutrition and utero-placental toxicities." This has the potential to explain why many more children are being born with allergies, diseases, DNA disruptions, and toxicity, and why many women are being affected by diseases and issues not seen in previous generations.
So the big question, what do we do about it?!
First of all, make a decision. If GMO's don't really bother you then good for you. At least you've made a decision. BUT, if the info you've read so far makes you a bit scared, angry, upset, or worried about your family's health, then you need to make some big lifestyle changes.
Do you use cheap margarine? GM canola in your favourite spreads.
Do you eat non-organic meat? GM ingredients in animal feed is very very common.
Do you eat foods made in other countries (especially in the USA, where GM crops are everywhere)?
Do you eat out of season produce? Because, although they may not be scientifically genetically modified, they are bred and altered to last longer, mature sooner, resist pests and diseases, all at the expense of nutrition and taste...
Do you eat a lot of foods out of packets? Processed foods almost always contain GMO derived ingredients, because it is one very effective way of keeping costs down...
Do you buy from companies who endorse GMO's? Or who financially support pro-GMO legislation and are against the GMO labelling campaign Right To Know?
Which companies are they?
In California this year, a bill was defeated in parliament (congress... whatever they call it) that was trying to get GMO products labelled. So the consumer could simply have a choice in what they were eating. Here are a few high end companies who DO NOT want you to know if you're eating a GM product or not (info from here):
- Bayer CropScience
- Dow AgroSciences
- Coca Cola
- Kellogg's (everyone's (ex)favourite cereals)
- Heinz (beans, spaghetti, canned foods)
- Sarah Lee (frozen desserts
- Kraft (dairy)
- McCain (frozen meals and soups)
- Campbells (soup)
- McCormick (spices and cooking)
- Hershey's (cookies and icecream)
- Wrigley's (chewies)
- Ocean Spray Cranberries (was my favourite)
I think it's AMAZING that the first four companies in that list are all manufacturers of GMO's. Why would you create a product that you would want to hide from the consumer? Why be ashamed of what you create to the point where you invest millions of dollars to keep their inclusion a secret? Why not be honest and open if, indeed, there is nothing to fear about GMO's?
THEIR BEHAVIOUR MAKES NO SENSE, AND WE SHOULD BE REALLY WORRIED IF WE SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING.
Step one, i know you'll hate me... but... BOYCOTT these brands.
Step two, is petitions. We have the right to know if our meat is being fed GM grains, and if our products contain GM ingredients, or derivatives. Let us decide with our wallets. But we deserve the right to choose.
Step three, stay in touch with this blog. Not only will you be getting info on what to avoid, but you'll be getting heaps more info on how to live the life you want, feel great, support mother nature, grow food without atrificial fertilisers or sprays... and whatever else you want me to research for you.
Let's do this!