15 November 2014 Genetically Modified Foods
Food is the lifeforce of all humans and animals. Our bodies need nutrient dense foods in order to thrive and live a healthy life. Today, especially in the United States, food or food like products are available on every corner, but instead of nourishing us, this food so easily available and mass produced, is harming us. According to the Center for Food Safety, a national nonprofit public interest and environmental advocacy organization, currently, up to 85% of U.S. corn is genetically engineered (GE), as are 91% of soybeans and 88% of cotton (cottonseed oil is often used in food products). It has been estimated that upwards of 75% of processed foods on supermarket shelves – from soda to soup, crackers to condiments – contain genetically engineered ingredients. In the last twenty years the American population has seen cases of allergies, asthma, autism and ADHD skyrocket, most significantly in our children. GMOs affect every individual, regardless of race, class or political leanings. In the past decade we have seen numerous studies showing that GMOs pose a significant threat to human and animal health, wildlife and the environment as well as farmers and the future of agriculture. Although biotech industry and governmental agencies argue that GMOs are not only safe but can end world hunger, we should not turn a blind eye to the severe damage being done by the production and consumption of genetically modified organisms.
A genetically modified organism is an “organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by inserting a modified gene from another organism into its genome” (Genetically).
In nature we find naturally occurring cross breeding, which is safe and natural, but GMOs or GE
(genetically engineered) foods are experimental technologies being placed into food and animal
DNA. This new technology takes the DNA from different speciesfor example, animals, bacteria, plants and even humansand merges that DNA with a completely different species. Combining
DNA of different species has unpredictable longterm side effects that can create new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies. The process of merging DNA that creates
GMOs is a very technical procedure done in laboratories far away from farms or any healthy food source.
Genetically modified foods have only been intentionally put into our food supply for around 20 years. In 1992 two very significant advances were madeCalgene's Flavr Savr tomato, engineered to remain firm for a longer period of time, was approved for commercial production by the US Department of Agriculture. and the FDA declares that genetically engineered foods are "not inherently dangerous" and do not require special regulationthus in one year introducing
GMOs into the U.S food supply and claiming their safety. However, Monsanto, the world’s leading GMO manufacturer is responsible for numerous harmful chemicals that have been released over the past 90 years. Monsanto can take credit for Controversial chemicals like herbicides 2,4,5T, DDT
, and Agent Orange
, the artificial sweetener aspartame (
), bovine somatotropin ( bovine growth hormone (BST)), and PCBs
. Most of these chemicals have now been banned due to their high toxicity among humans, animals and wildlife. Monsanto has created products and even created the market for these products.
Currently Monsanto manufactures Glyphosate, an herbicide used to kill broadleaf plants and grasses. It is extremely widespread in use, “Glyphosate was first registered for use in the
U.S. in 1974. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. People apply it in agriculture and forestry, on lawns and gardens, and for weeds in industrial areas”
Despite troubling and