OMG, GMOs: The People Have the Right to Know

“The FDA does not require any safety evaluations for GMOs. Instead, biotech companies, who have been found guilty of hiding toxic effects of their chemical products, are now in charge of determining whether their GM foods are safe.” – Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds and Deception

Genetically modified foods pose an unprecedented threat to our future, the future of our children, and the future of all living beings on earth. They are becoming more and more common here in the United States, and people are getting sicker and sicker as a result.

gmo awareness

As Amanda alluded in her original GMO blog post, finding information about this threat can be difficult and frustrating if you do not know where to look (click on the “comment” link below her post if you want to see my critique of it). The internet is full of articles and studies supporting both sides of this issue. As you begin your search into Google and beyond, be especially critical of any information that has been funded by the “Biotech” industry. This is the industry that includes large and powerful corporations like Monsanto, Dow, and DuPont. Each has their own public image and dark history.

The documentary that got my attention was Genetic Roulette, and I would recommend it as a great place to start. If you are pressed for time here is a ten minute long version: 

Recently the public has been concerned, and rightly so, about recent legislation passed to protect the Biotech industry from proper scrutiny (see Lily’s post entitled HR933, Section 735 below). Unbeknownst to most, behind the scenes the main corporations that dominate this industry have been focused elsewhere. Dupont recently agreed to drop their lawsuit against Monsanto and pay them $1.7 billion to use their genetically modified soybeans. In return, Monsanto set aside $1 billion it won in a lawsuit from Dupont over patent infringements. Why? These corporations are required by law to make profits their first priority, and calling a truce is cheaper than fighting. The end result for the public is more serious and long term than that of the HR993 bill, which will expire and have to be renewed in six months. It will take a lot longer to successfully challenge and break apart the monopoly over GMOs that is being built.

Babies and young children are both examples of individuals that are negatively affected by GMOs but remain largely invisible to the public. Studies on the effects of GMOs that were funded by the Biotech industry used older animals because younger and more vulnerable ones would have led to more negative health effects. This is one of my biggest motivators for learning about GMOs and eliminating them from my life – I want to be a good father. What is the point of bringing a child into this world if their development is going to be hindered because I was too busy to learn about the food I am feeding them?

Unfortunately just because we are not babies or young children does not mean that our bodies can handle GMOs. Consumption of GMOs has been linked to various health risks including autism, reproductive disorders, and cancer. The ability of the Biotech industry to survive and profit despite such well documented examples of their products causing harm has been due in part to the existence of many myths about GMOs. One of the biggest is that genetic engineering is that it is a precise science. The reality is that gene modification is not specific, precise, or predictable. Another myth is that we need GMOs to feed the world.

I will end on a good note: if enough of us stop eating GMOs, we may achieve the GMO tipping point that occurred in Europe. Corporations were forced to eliminate GMOs from their products entirely or risk losing profits after the public realized how dangerous they are and stopped buying them. Calls to bring GMO labeling to America are getting louder, and awareness is increasing every day. So wake up, educate yourself and your loved ones, and become part of the solution!

5 steps

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4 Comments

by | April 19, 2013 · 2:48 am

4 responses to “OMG, GMOs: The People Have the Right to Know

  1. Brent

    Interesting but try to stay close to the scientific evidence. We need food safety but careful not to sensationalize things 🙂

  2. Dan Heyden

    In one of his last books, Kurt Vonnegut wrote that ”the modern nuclear family doesn’t stand a chance against the corporations & governments of the world”. When you see what’s going on with the likes of genetic modification you start to get clued in to what Vonnegut meant. When the foxes (corporations) are watching the chicken coop (corporations) you’ve got problems. I appreciate your shedding light on this and pointing my extended family in the right direction.

    – Dan Heyden, AIA, CPHC – Passive House

  3. Felix

    Here are 3 references from http://snopes.com which is a reliable source of balanced information on many issues. In this case, GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) or GE (genetic engineering) techniques. First is the Wikipedia entry, and then 3 references concerning legislation, etc., which are highly technical for those who want to dig deeper into the regulatory and awareness issues. Enjoy !!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food

    and http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/monsantocorn.asp

    and http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/mpa.asp

    and http://www.snopes.com/food/prepare/produce.asp

  4. Pingback: Environmental Treachery | local food systems

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