For two decades, scientists have been creating genetically modified organisms by altering the core genetic make-up of plants and animals by adding new genetic material into DNA. Genetic manipulation gives scientists the ability to create any new trait they wish, or suppress natural traits they don't want. Genetic manipulation typically involves introducing genetic attributes to a host that are not from the host. For example, splicing genetic information from fish into corn. By definition, genetic manipulation is unnatural and the traits created by these radical alterations would likely never evolve naturally. In my opinion, toying with genetics is extremely dangerous and may affect your health; it's already affected the economy, the way the farm industry operates, and the world's food supply.
We're Being Kept in the Dark
In the United States, roughly 70% of processed foods contain GMOs and up to 80% of the crops grown are GMO. Corn, followed by soybeans, has become the most prevalent crop in the United States. This is not because corn on the cob, kernel corn, or creamed corn has become immensely popular. It is because the biochemical industry has significantly altered and monopolized corn production and the food industry uses corn in a way to create food the same way nurdles are used to create plastic goods. Corn… in barbecue sauce? Yes, check the label.
Despite the influx of GMO crops, it's often not clear which consumables have been genetically manipulated. This is because currently, in the United States, food companies are not required to tell you if their products contain GMOs. The federal government has declared it's their choice, not yours, to know what's in the food you eat.
GMOs are Bad for the World
Agro-chemical companies are seeking financial domination and GMOs are the ticket. When companies create GMO crops, the crops are no longer natural plants; they become the intellectual property of the companies that own them. This allows companies like Monsanto to control the world's food supply by owning the genetic makeup and seeds of all crops grown. Farmers can no longer simply grow crops, they have to grow Monsanto's crops and pay Monsanto for the privilege, negatively affecting humanity and the economy.
Furthermore, Monsanto and AstraZeneca have developed copy-protection-like traits, dubbed Genetic Use Restriction Technology (T-GURT), which can cause plants to produce sterile seeds (meaning farmers have to buy seeds and cannot harvest their own). And, even if this is not used, many biochemical companies require farmers to sign agreements that they will not save any of their seeds for re-planting. Essentially, farm management has been taken away from farmers and given, on a silver platter, to multinational conglomerate corporations.
Even worse, GMOs are bred to contain fewer natural traits, including defense mechanisms, and require more pesticides and herbicides. For example, if you've ever heard the phrase "Roundup Ready" it means the crop in question has been bred to resist endless amounts of Monsanto's well-known poison- Roundup. Unfortunately, the increased use of chemicals has also lead to super bug and weed strains that cannot be controlled at all.
The Health Dangers of GMO Foods
The problem with GMO foods extends well beyond the environmental, philosophical, and economical horrors. GMO foods raise significant health concerns and have since 1992 when Calgene introduced the Flavr Savr, the first genetically modified tomato that the FDA approved for use in 1994 - without requiring labeling. Even more troubling, the government decided that because the Flavr Savr performed "so well in tests" that its results would stand for any GMO produce and no further testing would be required before presenting it to consumers. The problem? The FDA suppressed reports describing deaths and stomach lesions in rats that had eaten the Flavr Savr®. The Flavr Savr failure has not been an isolated incident.
A study of people in the Philippines reported that their bodies developed antibodies to Bt toxin, meaning their body processed engineered traits and reacted to them. The same consumers of the GMO corn in the Philippines developed a resistance to ampicillin. Antibiotic resistance is something that science hadn't counted on, which is indicative of questionable experimentation. It makes me wonder if there is a bigger picture at hand. Maybe to create more illness and sell you more pharmaceuticals?
In 1996, it was shown that genes spliced from Brazil nuts into soybeans produced severe allergic reaction dangers, including anaphylactic shock which could lead to death.
GMOs are a black eye on America and some other countries want nothing to do with them. In 2006, Japan suspended long grain rice imports from the US after tests revealed that the rice contained trace amounts of GMO that were not approved for human consumption.
How to Eliminate Toxic Genetically Modified Foods From Your Diet
- Eat natural foods. Shop at your local farmers market. The majority of your food should not be packaged or include a barcode.
- Eat organically grown fruit and vegetables. Organic crops are grown using no genetic modification, toxic pesticides, or herbicides.
- Be specifically vigilant about only choosing organic varieties of popcorn and corn. Most corn has been extensively modified.
- If you're not in close proximity to industrial plants or bioengineered farms, start your own organic garden.
- If you consume meat or dairy, only choose hormone and antibiotic-free, organic, range-fed products.
- Avoid canola oil and cottonseed oil; use organic grape seed oil, virgin coconut oil, hempseed oil, or olive oil instead.
- Take action. Let your elected officials and grocery executives know that you want GMO free foods to be available and promoted.
Corn, soy, alfalfa (fed to cows), canola, and sugar beets are among the top grown GMO crops. It's also worth mentioning that with regard to sugar beets, over half the sugar beets grown are GMO and 90% of the sugar consumed in America comes from sugar beets- another reason to avoid sugar. It's up to you to do your own research. I recommend visiting the Center for Food Safety for a comprehensive list of foods and brands that contain GMOs.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.