Thursday, February 03, 2011

An Education...Part 2

Hopefully now you all have a good understanding of what Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) or Genetically Engineered (GE) product is. So now you may be wondering why this is a bad thing? Really, if a fish hormone can produce more tomatoes, rice soy, or other plant, thus ending world hunger, why is that a bad thing? Well, first off, let me ask you this- in the past ten years since GMO's have been on the rise, has there been a drop in world hunger? Any wasteful, gluttonous American (yes, I know that's harsh, but I'm guilty too) can testify that the amount of food produced is not the problem. (Also, a lot of GMO food aid is from the US is refused in other countries).

So...What are the risks of GMO's? Aside from being just plain weird...

1. Health risks are unknown and impossible to track. You have no idea how much GE produce you have eaten in your lifetime. Nor does anyone else, because law does not require labeling. When you change the structure of a cell, it would be logical to assume that one is not getting the same health benefits as a cell grown in nature.

2. The risk- or inevitability- of contamination with other non-GE crops. If one farmer grows a non-GMO corn crop next to a GMO corn crop, seeds will blow over and cross pollination will occur. A farmer then cannot be really sure what he is growing and selling.
2a. This is part of reasons for the huge fight over alfalfa. Alfalfa grows and cross pollinates faster than even other crops. Also, it is used in almost all animal feed. This means even if you decide to not eat alfalfa anymore, you still will be if you eat any form of meat. (In fact, even the grass fed meat I preach constantly could be contaminated, because GMO alfalfa could blow over into grazing pastures as well.)

3. The scariest implication is this: Each and every GMO seed is patented and owned by the company that created it- 99.9% of the time, that company is Monsanto. This means that Monsanto can do whatever they want with those seeds and crops. When Monsanto's corn seeds blow over into a competing farmer's land and the farmer sells those crops, Monsanto takes those farmers to court, proves the farmers were growing GMO corn (whether knowingly or unknowingly), and sues the farmers out of business. This happens over and over again. Eventually, when there is no distinction anymore between GMO and non-GMO corn, Monsanto will literally own all the corn in the world. And if they want to make it illegal for you to grow corn in your own backyard? That's their choice.

That's enough for today. Digest.
If you want to read more, I like this article.

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