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Thursday, September 1, 2016
There is a huge amount of controversy over GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms. GMOs were introduced to the agricultural market in the 1990’s. GMOs are created by the transfer of genetic material from one species to another. GMO’s and their introduction into our food supply has created a tremendous amount of controversy and debate. Issues of ethics; whether or not it is moral to patent lab created life, the ecological impact, and are they actually safe for human consumption.

Dr. Robert Fraley, the chief technology officer for Monsanto explains “We have 7.2 billion population today. That is going to increase to 9.5 billion by 2050. That means we have 35 years to basically double the food supply.” Genetic Engineering can increase crop yields, offer crop varieties that resist pests and disease, and provide ways to grow crops on land that would otherwise not support farming because of drought conditions, and depleted soils.

This seems like a valid reason to help nature along so to speak. However, the three biggest companies in the field of Genetic Engineering are Monsanto, Dow Chemical, and BASF. Monsanto is the same company that developed and created Agent Orange in the late sixties for the military. Roundup, a popular weed killer is also produced by Monsanto. Dow Chemical produces a product called Lorsban, an insecticide that is extremely toxic to humans. BASF produces a variety of fungicides, herbicides, and insecticide. The most shocking tidbit of information about BASF is that it partnered with Bayer in the 1920’s to form IG Farben Trust. The death camp Auschwitz; the largest human extermination facility in history, is a 100% subsidiary of IG Farben Trust. Let us take a moment and think about this. Why are companies that create these caustic chemicals and had a their hands in the largest mass genocide in history doing in the midst of Genetic Engineering?

Their brilliance to help along our food supply is rather interesting. Tomatoes have been mixed with a fish gene, particularly flounder so that it will be more resistant to frost. Bacillus thuringiensis or BT is a naturally occurring bacteria in soil and has been used for years by organic farmers because the sun breaks down when outside of the plant. The BT gene is spliced into corn making the plant in itself its own pesticide. So when the bug eats any part of the plant it dies. These are two examples of what genetic engineering is doing to our food. What does this mean for our food supply and our environment?
Dr. John Hagelin explains “If you can teach a tomato to produce enough flounder blood it will become more resistant to frost. Which is great, but what happens if you are allergic to fish?” Dr. Hagelin continues to explain “BT has been spliced into corn to create its own pesticide. BT is so deadly toxic to insects, the finest film from BT corn kills the monarch butterfly just by landing on it. What is the effect on us consuming BT corn? No one knows.”

Most farmers and gardeners know that when working with pesticides insects become resistant over time. Farmers have to find another solution to protect their crops. BT Corn will have the same outcome over time, creating super bugs. The same with weeds as well. Monsanto has genetically engineered seeds to withstand herbicides, but not just any herbicide; their own chemical Roundup. In Paraguay, Monsanto sells genetically engineered soy. There are a few problems with these seeds. The first is that you can’t save seed over for next years planting, an important part of farmers. The seeds produced engineered soy do not grow the following year. Forcing farmers to purchase more from Monsanto. The second problem, the seeds have their own spliced gene to withstand Roundup; also a Monsanto chemical. Farmers purchase Roundup to spray their fields now creating a super weed that the chemical can’t touch. To combat these super weeds and pests farmers are forced to use larger quantities of other more potent chemicals.

In the Arctic Circle the Svalboard Global Seed Vault is there to protect the bedrock of agriculture—genetic diversity. This seed vault is known as the Noah’s Ark of seeds because in the case of a global catastrophe this would be our last resort to replant earth. The seeds vaults director Cary Fowler states “The idea was to put an end to extinction for agricultural diversity. For thousands of years, farmers maintained genetic diversity by saving their own seeds. Without diversity, we face the potential for starvation. When we lose these traits we are in a waiting game for our crops to fail and fail permanently.” Today farmers are purchasing the same seeds from GMO manufacturers. Having the same monoculture could be a disaster waiting to happen. If something should happen; if one of those families should develop susceptibility to a new disease it could potentially wipe out that entire species.

To date, human clinical trials have not been done to study the effects of genetically modified foods on the human body. Currently, there is not enough research and studies to prove that genetically engineer foods have no long-term health effects for the human race. These biotech companies have produced seeds to coincide with other chemicals they also produce, effectively creating a round robin and a monopoly. Dr. John Haglin states that he is deeply concerned that life scientist is implementing bioengineering
without adequately understanding the lessons we have learned from the physical sciences. DNA is complex, nonlinear system and splicing foreign genes into the DNA can cause unpredictable side effects that could harm the heart of the human consumer.

This is completely terrifying. Big corporations in the race for money and monopoly have now tainted our food supply without first knowing what the consequences are. Nearly all processed foods are from GMOs. European countries recognize the issues of GMOs and have pushed for labeling foods that contain them, others have banned their use altogether.

Scotland announced on Sunday, August 9, 2015, that it would move to ban the growing of genetically modified crops throughout the country. Richard Lochhead stated that the Scottish Government has long-standing concerns about GM crops—concerns that are shared by other European countries. Japan is staunchly opposed to GMO crops and forbid GM seeds from being planted in the country, New Zealand is the same. Germany bans the cultivation and sale of GMO corn. France forbid cultivation of MON810 corn in 2008 and to keep GM crops out of the country. Switzerland banned all GM crops, animals, and plants on its fields and farms in 2005. The United States and Canada are the two countries that stand out that do not have current legislation or labeling of GMO foods.

A first world country United States currently does not have legislation in place banning the growing of, or product labeling of GMO foods. For as many people that know about the issues GM foods, there are multitudes that know of GM Foods but don’t know why they should be concerned. The health and ecological concerns regarding this hot topic need to be heard in order for the populace to make an educated decision regarding the food that is consumed. Wide and varied research needs to be done on an individual level, propaganda made by major companies in support of their own product needs to be taken with a grain of salt. GM foods has the potential to change our world. This change isn’t in the best interests of humans.

Betty Martini. Rense.com . Mission­possible­USA@altavista.net (published email), December 17, 2000. Website. August 2015
Brett Wessler, “Commentary: GMO­ oh no, no” Cattlenetwork.com . May 26, 2011. Website. August 2015.
Jennifer Ackerman republished from National Geographic. Science.nationalgeographic.com May2002.Website August2015.
Naturalrevolution.org . List of Countries that Banned Genetically Modified Food. February9,2015. Website.  August2015.
Natasha Geiling. Thinkprogress.org . August 10, 2015. Website. August 2015.
“Savior Seeds & India’s Water Crisis.” Vice Season 3 Episode 9 . HBO. New York. 08 May. 2015. Television.