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GMO V.S ORGANIC FOODS
Please watch video Food Inc.
Fundamentally, farming is a simple process: plant seeds, grow crops, harvest crops, and gather seeds from the plants for the next season. Sadly, GMO companies like Monsanto take this last step away from farmers and raise expenses even further by forcing the farmers to continually buy the premium-priced GM seeds every growing season. In fact, as was shown in the Bowman v. Monsanto court case, it is illegal in the US for someone growing a Monsanto crop to harvest the seeds and use them later. The Bowman case went all the way to the Supreme Court and, despite public outcry, the 70-year-old farmer was unanimously found guilty of patent infringement after he purchased and used second generation Monsanto seeds. Preventing farmers from harvesting seeds means big businesses could eventually have total control over the world’s seed supply and prices. Currently, just three mega companies control over half of the global seed market, which has caused prices to skyrocket. For example, the average price of planting an acre of soybeans has gone up 325 percent since 1995. Things get even scarier when you consider Monsanto has developed and owns a patent on a “terminator gene” which can make a plant produce sterile seeds–but don’t worry, they’ve promised not to use the technology.
One of the major problems with GM crops is they are difficult to contain, which means they could be extremely hard to get rid of if we later decide they are a bad idea. Scientists have yet to figure out a way to control cross-pollination, so no matter how diligent a small, organic farmer is in using natural growing methods, he can’t stop pollen from a GM farm from blowing in, fertilizing, and turning his crops into hybrids. While it’s fairly easy to reduce contamination in some plants, with others–like canola and corn–it’s nearly impossible. Early on, Monsanto and others claimed cross-pollination wouldn’t be an issue if farms were sufficiently spread apart, yet this proved inaccurate when they found pollen could travel much farther than expected (several kilometers or more). As GM crops grow in popularity, we may not be able to choose between consuming or avoiding them as all plants will be “infected.” Even buying food with an organic label doesn’t put you totally in the clear as some governing agencies, like the USDA, don’t revoke a farm’s organic status if a few plants were cross-pollinated with a GM crop. It seems there’s a basic flaw in how GM crops are governed. For one, they’re illegal to own unless you buy them directly from an approved distributor every season, but on the other hand the seeds and pollen from these plants are flying around everywhere.
What happens to a farmer who, from cross-pollination, unintentionally grows a Monsanto plant? While Monsanto has never sued anyone for having trace amounts of non-purchased GMOs in their fields, they have sued farmers who claimed to be growing large amounts of patented crops by accident. For instance, Percy Schmeiser, a 74-year-old Canadian canola farmer, was sued by Monsanto when it was discovered a majority of his crop contained the patented Roundup Ready gene. Schmeiser said he didn’t know how his fields became contaminated, yet he suspected it was from a neighboring farm that grew GM crops. His best guess was the plants closest to the neighbor’s farm were most likely to survive his own herbicide treatments and those were the plants and seeds his hired hands unwittingly harvested. In the end, the courts sided with Monsanto, saying Schmeiser “knew or ought to have known” his seeds were resistant to Roundup. Complicating matters further, farmers often buy “commodity” bags of seeds that come from a mishmash of sources–including GMO farms. So, if a farmer plants a Monsanto seed that was randomly mixed in with the rest of the bag and later harvests more seeds from the plant, he can be sued for not paying royalties to the GMO giant. This is exactly what happened to Vernon Bowman in the Bowman v. Monsanto case. 64 countries–including China and the European Union–require labeling of genetically engineered foods, the United States (the largest producer of GM crops) still has no such laws. This makes it incredibly difficult for people to choose whether or not they want to consume GM foods, as many folks aren’t even aware when they’re eating a GM product. For instance, the USDA says 94% of soy and 75% of all corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. When you consider some type of corn, corn syrup, or soy is in just about every pre-packaged food, there’s a good chance Americans are eating a lot more GMOs than they realized. On top of that, many farm animals are consuming these engineered foods and passing them along in their meat. Many people would like to have a list of GMO foods to help them when deciding what foods to purchase while they’re wandering through the produce aisle of their local grocery store. GMO stands for ‘genetically modified organism’ and usually refers to plant or animal products that have had their DNA altered in order to make the food higher in nutrient content, resistant to disease, or to confer some other benefit (or alleged benefit) for either the farmer or the consumer.
GMO Foods List: Top 10 Worst Foods
1.Corn One of the most prominent GMO foods, avoiding corn is a no-brainer. If you’ve watched any food documentary, you know corn is highly modified. “As many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for Monsanto are using genetically modified corn,” and much of it is intended for human consumption. Monsanto’s GMO corn has been tied to numerous health issues, including weight gain and organ disruption.
2. Soy Found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil, soy flour, and numerous other products, soy is also modified to resist herbicides. As of now, biotech giant Monsanto still has a tight grasp on the soybean market, with approximately 90 percent of soy being genetically engineered to resist Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. In one single year, 2006, there was 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate sprayed on soybeans alone.
3. Sugar According to NaturalNews, genetically-modified sugar beets were introduced to the U.S. market in 2009. Like others, they’ve been modified by Monsanto to resist herbicides. Monsanto has even had USDA and court-related issues with the planting of it’s sugarbeets, being ordered to remove seeds from the soil due to illegal approval.
4. Aspartame Aspartame is a toxic additive used in numerous food products, and should be avoided for numerous reasons, including the fact that it is created with genetically modified bacteria.
5. Papayas This one may come as a surprise to all of you tropical-fruit lovers. GMO papayas have been grown in Hawaii for consumption since 1999. Though they can’t be sold to countries in the European Union, they are welcome with open arms in the U.S. and Canada.
6. Canola One of the most chemically altered foods in the U.S. diet, canola oil is obtained from rapeseed through a series of chemical actions.
7. Cotton Found in cotton oil, cotton originating in India and China in particular has serious risks.
8. Dairy Your dairy products may contain growth hormones, since as many as one-fifth of all dairy cows in America are pumped with these hormones. In fact, Monasnto’s health-hazardous rBGH has been banned in 27 countries, but is still in most US cows. If you must drink milk, buy organic.
9. & 10. Zucchini and Yellow Squash Closely related, these two squash varieties are modified to resist viruses. The dangers of some of these foods are well-known. The Bt toxin being used in GMO corn, for example, was recently detected in the blood of pregnant women and their babies. But perhaps more frightening are the risks that are still unknown. Even while these foods should be on your GMO foods list so that they are avoided, you can buy 100% organic to be safest. With little regulation and safety tests performed by the companies doing the genetic modifications themselves, we have no way of knowing for certain what risks these lab-created foods pose to us outside of what we already know. Read More:
11. Tomatoes Tomatoes were the first GMO food to reach the market. They are a part of the GMO food list because they are modified specifically to avoid rotting so quickly. Moreover, as Discovery.com explains, “The original GM tomatoes were resistant to antibiotics. This raised concerns the gene might be passed on to humans, making us more resistant to antibiotics and in turn less capable of fighting infectious diseases.”
12. Potatoes: In 1995, Monsanto introduced genetically modified potatoes for human consumption, but after pressure from consumers, McDonald’s and several other major fast food chains told their French fry suppliers to stop growing GE potatoes. The crop has since been removed from the market.
These are three big items on any list of GMO foods, but several others exist as well. In no particular order some of these include:
Oils (like Canola)
Each one of these is commonly genetically modified for its own specific reasons. If you do not want to eat GMO foods, then the best course is to make sure the foods you purchase have a specific non-GMO label.
Educate yourself and your family! Read labels!
Please watch video Food Inc.