|Photo courtesy ofhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/throwing-biotech-lies-at_b_803139.html|
The Institute for Responsible Technology lists 10 Reasons to Avoid GMO's. You can read the full article here but below is a brief summary of its key points:
- Animal studies showed organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune systems disorders, accelerated aging and infertility. In addition, GM corn was found to be present in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn babies.
- GMO contamination is indefinite. Cross-pollinating GMO seeds are starting to infect organic crops.
- GMO's increase herbicide use.
- GM plants can create a whole host of new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.
- The FDA does not require safety studies of GMO's or labeling.
- The only testing being done on GMO's is from Monsanto funded research.
- 3rd party research and reporting is attacked and suppressed.
- GMO's are reducing bio-diversity in land, water and air.
- GMO's do not increase crop yields.
- Vote with your dollars. By not buying GMO products you are telling Monsanto- No thank you!
What exactly is a GMO? It is an acronym for Genetically Modified Organism. The definition from nongmoproject.org states:
"GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding."
Meaning that they can take the DNA from a fish and splice it with DNA from a tomato plant. (Yummy- not.) I have heard the argument that crossbreeding is the same as GMO's but it is not. In crossbreeding you are working within the same species of plant or animal. Never mixing the two. Not only that but it has been time-tested as safe since humans have been doing this for hundreds of years. GMO's are mixing plant DNA with animal DNA with viruses and bacterial DNA, as well. This has never been done in the history of humanity and there have been little to no official safety tests done on GMO's. Even more, we have no idea what foods we buy that have been genetically modified because there is no labeling! Why is this you ask? First we have to take a look at the company that created GMO's- Monsanto. (Starts playing Darth Vader's theme song…)
Monsanto is an American chemical and agricultural company which is the leading producer of GMO seed. This company has also brought us such favorites as: DDT, PCB's, Agent Orange and recombinant bovine somatotrophin, a.k.a rBGH. (I highly recommend watching this video.)
In the last year there have been two bills proposed to label GMO's that are in our food and both failed to get passed. Monsanto donated $4.2 million to kill Proposition 37 in California and $4.8 million to kill I-522 in Washington state. (If that ticks you off as much as it did me then you can join Food Democracy Now, an online grassroots movement for safe food and let your voice be heard.) One would hope that if GMO's were truly dangerous to people then the FDA would put the kibosh on it. It turns out this GMO business is just a little more nefarious than one would believe. The video below is an excerpt from the documentary Food Inc. and quickly highlights what is called the revolving door between our government offices and Monsanto:
- Look for foods with the Verified NonGMO Project seal (as seen on the right). It is a 3rd party verification that the food you are purchasing doesn't contain any GMO's even if it is not organic .
- 80% of corn and 90% of soy in America is GMO. Only buy these products and products containing these ingredients if it is organic or Verified NonGMO. Yes, corn and soy is in everything packaged, it is estimated that 80% of package goods that are not organic are GMO. Another reason to make things from scratch and not out of a box.
- Do not purchase non-organic meat that is fed a grain diet. The grain is GMO and it does get passed down through the animal to you. Meat that was grass-fed is always the best option.
- Other foods with high GMO probability: sugar, aspartame (I really hope you are not consuming this in the first place but here is another reason not to), papayas, canola oil, cotton, dairy, zucchinis and yellow squash. Until labeling becomes law, buy these items organic to be safe.
It is sad to note that when it comes to the developed world, the United States is severely lagging behind when it comes to safety regulations of GMO's. Here are some of the countries that ban the use of GMO's: Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, and newly joined Poland. There are 27 countries in all that have banned GMO's and 50 countries that require labeling of GMO's. With the higher-ups in key positions through out our government the only way we will get our labeling is to hit Monsanto where it hurts. By not buying their messed up GMO products and by letting your voice be heard by petitions and even by contacting your local state representative. Together we can make things happen.