The debate surrounding genetically modified foods has no shortage of news. In fact, it seems that there is fresh information coming out on GMOs every week. New laws, new concepts, new causes – there’s a lot to keep up with. That said, amongst the articles, debates, and passionate comments, it can be a bit cumbersome when reading up on GMOs.
Let’s make that process a bit more simple! Here are 5 short facts on GMOs.
Number 1. GMO in the Farmers Market
Yes. It’s true. GMOs may be sneaking into your local market.
Though many attendees to farmers markets assume they’ll only find healthy, (perhaps) organic produce, that’s not always the case. Occasionally, farmers will bring produce that is actually genetically engineered, such as sweet corn and soybeans. Some markets have taken action against this, setting up “GMO Free Zones” and raising awareness with consumers.
Number 2. GMO…Meat!
So maybe you’ve heard about this before – they are turning cows into super animals where you can get beef, pork, and chicken from one source! Okay, that is a total exaggeration and I really hope no one takes it seriously.
But GMO meat is a real issue, just not in the sense of super cows. The vast majority of industrial meat producers not only treat their animals inhumanely, but also they feed them GE grains. This leads to reduced health and wellness, which negatively impacts quality, and means that some of our favorite sources of protein are essentially made up of GMOs. Though the animal itself is not engineered, its growth has relied on GMO foods. With the lack of scientific assurance behind GMOs currently, there isn’t much hope that animals fed GMOs are any healthier, let alone safe.
Number 3. Not for us – Other Countries and the Laws Protecting People from GE
Still wondering about GMOs and your health? One of the biggest deciding factors for me was that over 30 countries have already banned GMOs from the dinner table. Many have taken stiff action against the crops, being widely supported by their constituents. There have even been reports of people banning together and burning GMO seeds.
So much for the United States setting an example.
Number 4. 100% GMO
Here’s a spooky quote: “Monsanto executives described a world with 100 percent of all commercial seeds genetically modified and patented.”
Coming from a synopsis of Seeds of Deception, the author recounted a discussion during a biotech industry conference in January 1999. There, a representative from Arthur Anderson Consulting Group explained the thought process and strategies needed for such a goal, implemented by Monsanto. Even more troubling than the willingness to create a GMO-monopoly on commercial seeds is the fact there is no worry of crumbling biodiversity. Monstano – and indeed all biotech companies who would like to see this happen – clearly has no regard for the health and well being of the planet, which requires diversity, nourished soil, and room to flourish.
Number 5. No Return to the Old
Tied to the last one, the most troubling thing about GMOs (especially if 100 percent of seeds were GMO) is we often overlook the exit strategy. Here’s a cold reminder: unlike problems with carbon emissions, which we can offset, reduce, and ultimately defeat, genetic variation/dipping “our” feet in the gene pool is irreversible. As explained by the Natural Law Party of the UK, “Unlike chemical or nuclear contamination, gene pollution can never be cleaned up; effects of genetic mistakes will be passed on to all future generations of a species.“