By G.S. Luthra
Evolving for billions of years, plants have perfected their genome to adapt to their environment. However, forcefully injecting them with mammalian genes does not guarantee safety. In fact, studies suggest that plants have not adapted to handle such foreign genes and therefore, identify them as invaders since you are
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), has been a topic of much controversy on whether they are safe for human consumption or the environment. Many college students who study life science have no clue and think they’re good, because their trans-humanist professor told them so and if they disagree they risk receiving a bad letter grade. GMOs have been linked to cause various ailments including cancer and obesity.
Problems of the
Cows with bovine growth hormone increasing IGF-1, puss, and hormones in the milk which lead to increased risk to cancer. Additionally, GMOs affect the environment by killing off insects as the crops contain strains that make their stomachs explode upon ingestion. My genetics professor found that funny while explaining, but I don’t find it a laughing matter when entire ecosystems are compromised due to human greed. The major player in this industry is Monsanto, and investors advocate GMOs to increase profits.
Monsanto wants their crops to dominate because they patented seed strains and so that’s why they want to push organic and local farmers away.
A Brief History
Biotechnology essentially is making products from living tissue. It includes technological applications using biological systems and living organisms, or their derivatives to manipulate molecular processes. Supposedly it is supposed to enhance lives by promoting health, but its history shows a different shade.
Computer scientists have developed software that allows geneticists to sequence and analyze entire genomes of organisms where their genes can be identified and categorized based on their properties. Even though it shows potential, the practical applications of gene therapy have still not caught up as too many risks are present. Even CRISPR-Cas9 injection has yet to be perfected, and there are many unknown mutations that can result.
However, that hasn’t stopped Monsanto, the corporate leader on the field.
According to Smith, the effects have left America in a “Genetic Roulette”.
It started when Monsanto's scientists found bacteria growing in a chemical waste dump surviving their herbicide Round-Up. They then took the genes of this bacteria and put it in soy, corn, and cotton as they found it made their them more resistant. So Round-Up can be sprayed all over, but it won't kill Monsanto's crops. Since its discovery, over 300 million pounds more of herbicides were sprayed on American soil. Bacillus thuringiensis, a microbe that produces insecticidal endotoxin and has been used as a topical pesticide against insects since 1961.
An International Problem
America isn’t the only country affected as Monsanto has expanded its reach to India, where over 200,000 farmers have committed suicide. It got so bad that there was a suicide every thirty minutes. Vandana Shiva, a scientist-turned-campaigner, links the failures of cotton farming with the farmer suicides since 1997 when the Indian government removed subsidies from cotton farming. That is when genetically modified seeds were introduced.
"Every suicide can be linked to Monsanto," says Ms. Shiva,
Farmers who were hired to pick the cotton complained of suffering allergic reactions from the Bt cotton field residues. In the US, nearly all corn is genetically modified according the USDA. HT (herbicide resistant and Bt (insect resistant) are commonly used, and Round-Up can stay for three years and pesticide can reactivate them.
Monsanto has also been found to have illegally tested its genetically modified cotton in India. Karnataka farmers also responded and announced, "...we are making an international call for direct action against Monsanto and the rest of the biotech gang. This call for action will hopefully inspire all the people who are already doing a brilliant work against biotech, and many others who so far have not been very active on the issue, to join hands in a quick, effective worldwide effort."
France fined Monsanto thousands for lying about the safety of their herbicide Round-Up, and the concern is growing. The problem however, is that this corporate giant has dominated agriculture in poor nations thanks to their ties with the government.
The Laws are Rigged
If any new business wants to sell any food, they have to get approval and meet safety standards beforehand, but biotech juggernauts like Monsanto always seem to slip through thanks to financial ties to lawmakers.
Prior to joining Monsanto, former Monsanto legal representative, Michael R.Taylor, was Deputy of Commission for the FDA and in 1992, he signed for milk from cows given Bovine Growth Hormone not having to be labeled as such. He also became in charge of the food safety administration during Obama’s presidency. Additionally, Taylor worked for the USDA. Although Jeremy Rifkin charged him with having conflicts of interests, Taylor got out unscathed. His actions indicated he was in favor of biotech, and after his time in the government, he went back to Monsanto and became vice president.
Laws favor biotech giants as previous events of shown:
- Professor Arpad Putsztai was an expert in biochemistry and he did a study where he fed genetically modified potatoes to rats. He knew this feed was harmless to them. One group was fed normal potatoes and the another the GM potatoes. Only the GM group experienced health problems in only ten days. He presented his finding publicly expressing concern, but was shortly fired by the British government.
- Colleges in Iowa face massive academic discrimination as any proposed study that aims to the safety effects of GMOs receive no funding. Any time opposing science countering the claim that GMOs are safe, are shunned yet GMOS are being misrepresented as safe.
- GM canola has spread uncontrollably in North Dakota in areas much farther away from canola fields. The concern is that such plants may spread and become a disturbance in the ecological balance. When things get out of control, they become very much like a problematic weed that farmers have to constantly monitor and control. "We found transgenic plants growing in the middle of nowhere, far from fields," says ecologist Cindy Sagers of the University of Arkansas (U.A.) Nearly 300 of the studied plants found they contained man-made “stacked traits”, making them resistant to many pesticides. Since Monsanto is virtually free from regulation, their altered products are spreading like wild fire and there’s little farmers can do. There is the classic case of Monsanto’s seeds blowing off into farmers' fields and suing them for patent infringement. This is the mentality of this greedy corporation.
- Many of the so-called doctors that you see on the media and internet are fake paid scientists like Dr. Carol Lynn Curchoe stating in one of her articles on Medium, said that “Vaccine denial is one of the worst types of white privilege.”Of course she supports GMO. Thanks for the tip, “doctor”.
Not all doctors are on board the GMO brigade, but those who control the media push the viewpoints of their shareholders for financial interests.
Other countries don’t approve
Hungary burned GMO crops for fear of their dangers. Japan, New Zealand, the UK, and Russia have found problems too and do not permit such ingredients, at least not to the extent of what occurs in America. Vladimir Putin is committed to make all organic food in Russia GMO free.
If you go to McDonald’s for example in the UK, the food is of much better quality compared to the US, because they do not use GMOs in the beef and potatoes. America however, makes big use of corn and soy lecithin which can be derived from bio-engineered crops.
Stay away from GMO
It still is a risk and many allergies and ailments have been linked. For more free information, you can visit Jeffrey Smith's Institute of Responsible Technology. You can also test it yourself by consuming 100% organic food for a week or two and then switch back to GMO and see for yourself.
G.S. Luthra, MBA, BFA, is an author and artist. For more info, visit GSL Creations