To GMO or Not to GMO . . . (Hint: To Not)
Not too long ago, I watched a video about GMOs, called Why Are We Being Fed By A Poison Expert, and it got me all riled up again. I say "again" because this is one of those topics about which we are consistently fed contradictory information. And it's precisely as a result of this manufactured confusion that we shrug our shoulders and hope for the best. But seriously, who do we listen to? Who has our backs? The non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest supposedly has our backs, and they say "there is no reliable evidence that ingredients made from current GE crops pose any health risk whatsoever. " Just because we don't have randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, doesn't mean there's no evidence. We have a population with more allergies, digestive issues, autoimmune diseases, mental disorders, cancer, heart disease, and obesity than ever before. Isn't it time we take a hard look at our environment both outside and inside our bodies, and demand accountability? Indeed, why are we allowing ourselves to be fed by poison experts? And why isn't the burden of proof on THEM?
Now I want to be clear: I'm not against biotechnology or scientific innovation. I recall, it was not long ago that we were all hoping for that Zika vaccine to hit the market ASAP. What I am against, however, is the clandestine, willful deception and extreme arrogance that has plagued these advancements, supposedly in the name of feeding our rapidly growing world population. According to Jeffrey Smith, a leading spokesperson on the health dangers of GMOs, and Executive Director at the Institute for Responsible Technology where he directs the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America, there is in fact plenty of evidence that ingredients made from genetically modified (GM) crops pose health risks.
GM/GE For People Who Don't Wear Lab Coats
In simple terms, genes from bacteria are inserted into the DNA of plant cells (corn, cotton, soy, canola, sugar beets), which are then cloned or grown in tissue cultures where they proliferate. Jeffrey Smith explains that this process alone has massive side effects, causing unanticipated and unpredictable collateral damage within the natural DNA of these plants. To claim that this process of artificially rearranging the genetic code of living, evolving organisms, is safe is beyond arrogant and downright false. The process is inherently unpredictable; therefore, there's no scientific basis for the "safety" claims made by these companies and their hired goons, err scientists.
What We're Talking About: Two Main Types of GMOs
Monsanto's Roundup Ready soy, corn, cotton, and canola have been armed with altered DNA to withstand massive amounts of Roundup herbicide (active ingredient: Glyphosate). This poison not only drenches the crops, but also seeps into ground water and infiltrates the integrity of the soil and its nutrients, making farmers also reliant upon fossil fuel-based fertilizers.
Then we have the Bt crops, whose DNA have been combined with the Bacillus Thuringiensis toxin, which produces a protein toxic to many insects. This acts as a built-in insecticide by dissolving the insect’s gut lining. Gut lining, hmmm... I wonder what this could potentially influence in humans.
And let's not also forget recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), the artificial hormone that's injected into dairy cows to promote milk production, as well as cancer growth. Oops, did I say that? Yes, I did.
Poison - I Got It - So What's The Big Deal?
1. What Is It Doing Inside Us?
We are not just ingesting poison; we're also consuming food with unnatural, unpredictable genetic profiles, containing proteins that could be reproducing and transferring to our own genes and the genes of the billions of bacteria inhabiting our bodies, particularly our gut. When we develop an allergy or sensitivity to a GM crop, our genes could have interacted or changed from the GMOs in our system, and over time that could in turn cause reactions to other seemingly harmless compounds, due to the body's hyper-inflamed environment. The point is: because we don't know, should we still put it in our food supply?
2. There's The Politics of The Whole Scenario.
Farmers are locked into this vicious and unsustainable cycle of forcibly purchasing seeds from the same company that also sells their poison. They cannot save seeds; they must purchase them anew, every season, requiring massive and expensive infrastructure to administer the pest/herbicides and other unnatural products. Due to the nutrient depletion in the soil, farmers become dependent on fossil fuel-based fertilizers, which themselves have been found to contaminate ground water, among other things. This monoculture system has entangled farmers in an unsustainable cycle of relying upon government subsidies to support their livelihood. They are the unwitting launderers of government funds into the pockets of agribusiness.
3. Who Has The Unrelenting Audacity to "Patent" Life?
It is estimated that over 90% of corn and soy produced in America are genetically engineered. If you are one of the minority farms who refuses to cultivate these altered seeds, then you run the risk of becoming a pariah in your community, or possibly getting sued by a chemical corporation if any of their seed is found to have pollinated on your farm. That seems downright un-American to me.
OK, So What Can We Do?
I'm a firm believer in accompanying rants with solutions. So the most effective way for us to hope to have any effect is to take action:
1. Vow to eliminate genetically modified foods from your lifestyle, and be vocal about it! Ask restaurants about their ingredients; they want to know what's important to their customers. Make inquiries to your favorite brands. Submit reviews and comments online. The only way they'll know what we want is if we ask!
2. Be informed & share your knowledge! Don't take my word for it; read Jeffrey Smith's internationally acclaimed bestselling books Genetic Roulette and Seeds of Deception. And GMOInside.org provides a helpful, simplified FAQ if you want the quick-and-dirty.
3. Buy foods that are labeled organic or Non-GMO Project verified. Here's a helpful shopping guide, and if you're not sure, see point #1 above: Ask! Let's put an end to this guise of confusion, and get those poison experts away from our food.
4. Show support to organizations that align with your values. Whether you volunteer your time, donate your money, or sign petitions on change.org, connect your values with action! GMO labeling will NOT happen overnight; stay committed, and be heard.