I understand why corporate giants like Monsanto and Cargill have developed Genetically Engineered Foods. There’s a lot of money to be made. And, on the face of it, plants that don’t need as many pesticides seem like a good approach, right?
But then we run into the law of unintended consequences… corporate coverups, conspiracy, public health nightmares, etc. Seriously, reading about the behind-the-scenes of GMO foods is scary stuff. There may be many, many irreversible consequences. First of all, GMO plants have led to the growth of superweeds and toxin-resistant insects resulting in MORE, not less use of pesticides.. which have, invariably, made their way into our food and water supplies. (Source: DailyMail: How GM Crops Have Increased the use of Dangerous Pesticides and Created Superweeds) Secondly, not only do we not yet know how human beings are going to respond to GMO foods long-term, but the early research is very disturbing. Like – GMO foods may be modifying the human race’s gene pool and DNA – disturbing. Yes, seriously. As in – your body may not be able to absorb certain nutrients or produce certain hormones which leave it more susceptible to diseases like cancer and alzheimer’s as a result of consuming GMO foods – disturbing. For real. (Sources: The Atlantic: The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods, Deccan Herald: Deadly GM Food)
Heck, even Russia (no offense, Russia, but not a country that comes to mind for innovative agricultural policy) has suspended the importing of genetically-modified American corn due to possible cancer risk. (Source: DailyMail: Russia Suspends Import and Use of American GM Corn After Study Revealed Cancer Risk)
Corporations engaging in large-scale GMO food production have basically said, “don’t worry, it’s fine.” But there’s no reason to take their word for it. Actions speak louder than words. And these are the same corporations who are poisoning our soil and groundwater on epic scales through the use of legal, but cancer-causing pesticides (Source: MotherJones: USDA Scientist: Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide Damages Soil), and systematically strong-arming independent farmers who don’t want to use their products. (Source: PenBayPilot: Small Farmers Optimistic in Battle With Biotech Giant Monsanto)
So, what can you do about GMO food? Actually, it’s kind of scary how little you can do. But here are two things:
1.) Don’t eat food containing GMO ingredients. Which is actually really hard to do since the United States FDA does not require the labeling of such foods… which are, literally, EVERYWHERE in our food chain. Eat fresh, eat local as much as possible. In theory, the less processed your food is, the less likely it is to contain GMO ingredients.
2.) Speak Up! Contact your legislators and urge them to support GMO Food-Labeling legislation.
You can learn more about GMO Foods and the fight to label GMO Foods here: JUSTLABELIT.ORG – 8 THINGS YOU CAN DO ABOUT GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS.