GMO. What is it? Why should we worry about it? Genetically Modified Organisms are plants and animals we, i.e. scientists, have altered for a number of reasons. I don’t feel that I can confidently address this with tons of research and facts and not just because research is lacking, though it is, along with lots of contradicting information.
At first, the big selling point was that GMO’s could save the world from starvation by improving crop yields or creating a new facet in foods like added proteins or growing medicines as in PHARMING vs. FARMING. Yellow or golden rice with vitamin A was pushed pretty hard initially, although now I don’t hear much on it. Oh, how well-meaning and awesome. At least that’s how it was presented.
I think the idea is great if it works perfectly! But what if there’s a mistake—what if we fry our food supply or the insects that pollenate our food—then what. Human beings control all of this—whether we program a computer to do it or we do it ourselves, it settles out that people will be responsible. People make mistakes all the time. You know, we’re HUMAN. Like, sometimes I have trouble getting my order correct from a fast food drive through yet this same species, is tampering with our food. I know, those scientists are perhaps smarter than a drive-thru peon, but people are people and people are HUMAN.
Now, when I say GMO, I’m not talking about cultivating a hardy root ball to graft some roses or other vegetation to make a hardier plant. I’m talking about getting together two completely different species and mixing their DNA to create something that could never happen. Ever. Or mixing some drug or toxin into our food’s DNA to make it resistant to certain bugs or certain toxins like– with glyphosate in Roundup.
Is it truly possible to know the outcomes? How will this food affect me? How will it affect the ecosystem? I don’t know the answers and I’ve looked around researching to find we don’t emphatically have the answers. We need to remember, a world without food is, well, unsurvivable. I find some comfort in knowing that if we truly mess everything up and the human race disappears, the earth will finally heal.
There is so much info, both pro and con for GMOs that it is not something I feel we can “figure out” today. For every pro there seems to be a con. GMO is in almost every food you eat. Don’t take my word. . .Google away!
Allow me to shift gears with an analogy: When I was pregnant, I asked my doctor if I could still take any OTC meds. The doctor said sure, BUT, if there are ANY problems during the pregnancy or birthing, that variable, the drug that I took, could not be discounted. And so it is with GMO.
I want to list a few of the GMO issues I have questions and concerns about:
- Terminator seeds from Monsanto. They grow and produce food but the seeds have trademarks and may not be used without consent from Monsanto. In places like India, farmers using said seeds are committing suicide in staggering numbers. In the last decade, approximately 250,000 farmers have committed suicide. Why? Is correlation causation?
- BT ready corn: bugs eat the corn and their stomach burst killing them. Did you know that corn is in almost everything? Look at labels: corn starch, corn syrup, dextrose, dextrin, maltodextrin and so on. Is it odd that people are having so many issues with digestion, like leaky gut where nutrients find their way into our blood undigested. Coincidence?
- Promoters. That’s something that GMO uses to turn on dormant or recessive traits in a plant. But will those promoters affect those eating that food? Will dormant, i.e. cancer cells, be turned on?
- And what about other “allergies”? This food we are consuming today is not the same foods we ate 100 years ago. These are new features to our food that are new to our environment. Some of these newly acquired characteristics, like engineering tolerances to certain pesticides might not be what we want in our life-sustaining FOOD.
- BT Roundup® ready corn. It’s immune to Roundup® . That’s good, right. We won’t need as much. No. Actually, the weeds and bugs are becoming resistant as with any poison. More Roundup® can be used without harming the corn or soy because these plants have been genetically altered to be glyphosate-tolerant plants. What happens to all that poison? Some of it is being excreted in mother’s milk to their babies. Could that be influencing childhood issues like cancers and autism?
- Yields have not significantly increased with the advent of GMO. Why are we now using GMO for zucchini/squash and other veggies?
- Did you know that we, Americans, throw out up to 40% of our food. I’m talking sheer waste, like we apparently don’t do leftovers. If we could learn how not to waste so much food, would we really have a need to increase supply via GMO?
- And my biggest question, if GMO is safe, why is the FDA so scared to label GMO as such? Are they afraid that informed people won’t buy those products? And if informed people don’t want those products, why are we not showing up in droves to vote against GMO and for labeling? Why, at the very least, can we not get the truth about all this? Who is in charge? The Government? Or WE the people?
I’m including this link: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers/65-health-risks/2notes as it asks questions and poses concerns that I could hardly believe I was reading. But don’t be afraid to read it. Acquiring this information is going to be each of our responsibility. We can’t wait. We don’t have time. One rogue spliced gene could be our demise. Once out into the environment, we might not be able to wrangle it back.
Think about some of the mistakes we’ve made like the cane toad in Australia. This creature was not native to Australia but was deliberately introduced so it could rid Aussies of another pesky creature, the grey-backed cane beetle. Well, as it turns out, meddling with Mother Nature, however well-meaning, resulted in native creatures dying from the Cane Toads’ toxin; a new toxin to their environment–and this prolific breeding toad is still wreaking havoc as they have very few predators. This has been ongoing since 1935. Oops.
I wish I had the answers, but I don’t. Opinions from scientists, doctors, consumers, activists are all differing. But the one thing we keep asking for and not receiving is just the courtesy of being informed if a product we are consuming is GMO. We should be able to convince the government WE put in office to abide by this concern for labeling and if we can’t, let’s get some other people in office that is not affiliated in any way shape or form with Monsanto as they have a very vested interest.
It’s okay not to be a victim. It’s okay to take control one bite of food at a time. And just like you were told as a baby, don’t play with your food (or your food supply).