Conservation ban GMOs

Published on September 25th, 2011 | by Lynn Fang


The Problem With GMO’s

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GMO corn

Have you eaten non-organic food recently? Unfortunately you probably ate some genetically modified foods. Over 70% of corn and soy are genetically modified, and there’s more GMO foods coming to your local grocery store.

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. You might see GE (Genetically Engineered), or GM labels as well. At this point, it’s rather difficult to actually avoid GMOs, simply because they aren’t labeled. Your best guarantee against GMOs is to eat organic food.

What’s the beef?

GMO food is produced for only two reasons: (1) to produce a toxin, Bt, that kills pests; (2) to be resistant to herbicide, such as Monsanto’s RoundUp. The compounds produced by these novel genes are harmful to the human body as well. Bt is an anti-microbial, so it can destroy beneficial bacteria in your digestive system.

What’s more, a novel gene can only be inserted with an antibiotic marker, in order to distinguish between native and transgenic lines. This is part of a standard research protocol in genetic cloning experiments. So anything that is genetically modified, will also produce a small quantity of antibiotics. These antibiotics will also destroy beneficial bacteria in your digestive system.

Because GMOs aren’t labeled, doctors cannot trace food allergies back to GMO products, so no database of GMO health effects can be created either. There have been a multitude of reports on food allergies related to GMOs, usually only because experts followed the patient’s diet back to a processed food containing GMOs. For most people? They won’t know what caused their food allergy.

Aside from food allergy, international scientists have also reported increased likelihood of obesity, cancer, neurotoxicity, and organ failure due to persistent daily consumption of GMO foods.

Because the genetic modification is in a living organism, a plant, which reproduces, organic crops have a high likelihood of getting contaminated by GM crops. Herbicide-resistant superweeds are also increasing because of GMO contamination.

Aside from the scientific issues, there are also a host of political and economic issues associated with GMOs.

What can you do?

Your absolute best bet against GMOs is to eat organic. Unfortunately this isn’t a realistic possibility for many people, whether because of logistical or monetary access.

The Non-GMO Project has a really great brochure for consumers, which explains the basics of GMOs and which products to avoid. On their brochure, they pinpoint the following as high-risk foods for being genetically modified:

  • alfalfa
  • canola
  • corn
  • cotton
  • flax
  • papaya
  • rice, soy
  • sugar beets
  • zucchini
  • yellow summer squash

Also considered high-risk by the Non-GMO Project Standard are animal derivatives such as milk, meat, eggs, honey, and other bee products.

Non-GMO Project Brochure

What more can you do?

In my next post, I’ll be talking about various activist groups to support, ballot initiatives to require GMO labeling, and other causes that support labeling or extermination of GMOs.

Stay tuned!

What’s your experience with GMO’s? What other questions do you have about GMO’s? Please share them below.

[CC Image by illuminating9_11 via Flickr]

[CC Image by Non-GMO Project via Non-GMO Project]

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About the Author

Lynn Fang is an eco-conscious writer, thinker, and Conscious Business Coach. She writes about sustainable living, social change, and personal growth at her blog, Upcycled Love. Follow her on Twitter or Google+.

3 Responses to The Problem With GMO’s

  1. Pernille says:

    Hi. The picture with the maize and the hand that you are using? Its mine. Please remove it, right now, as I do not support your case. The picture was meant as a joke, and has nothing to do with research.

    • Lynn Fang says:

      Hi Pernille, I apologize for the confusion. Your photo is the #1 search result for CC-licensed Google images on a search for “GMO corn”. I have removed your photo as per your request.

  2. Harrison Davis says:

    You know, I get sick of these arguments. Yeah, eating organic is “great” and all but think about it: GE benefits massively outweigh the cost. First, the scientific issues you outlined are skeptical at best, and are not backed up by any sources with the exception of a single link. Here’s the thing: GEs help people. Lets say you take a plot of land and plant organics in it. You harvest your crop, and naturally you don’t get everything you planted to grow, but that’s ok: you have a substantial yield. Now, take the GE version of that crop, one that’s not only pesticide ready, but can produce a higher amount of crops in the same space of land. These GE crops are indistinguishable from the organics, and are much healthier for you too, thanks to genetic engineering. The thing is, Ms. Fang, you’re not a starving person. Judging from your picture, you seem to be a very healthy young woman. You and I are a part of the small percentage of people that can actually turn down food. Lots of other people, like children in Sudan or people in sub-Saharan Africa have to struggle every day to get just one meal. I’m glad you have the choice (and the income) to choose organic: America (and the free world) is all about exercising choice. However, posting articles like this only further the damage that organizations like Greenpeace and the Organic Consumers Association are doing. You know what would happen if the world were to use only organics on all the usable farmland from now on? About 1/3 of the world’s population would die. That’s right: and all organic world would only sustain about 2/3 of the population on Earth. Now, i’m not saying that’s what you’re advocating, but articles like this help support those that want to see an “all organic and green world.” I’m sorry if this comes off like a rant or an attack, but i merely wish to inform you. Any anger directed my way is understandable.

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