Have you ever really thought about the food you eat? I mean really thought about it. Not just counting the calories, or checking the nutrition label. I’m talking genetic makeup, means of production and where exactly it came from. Think about the last meal you consumed. The tomato you had on that salad this afternoon was most likely grown a year ago, preserved with ethylene gas and flown halfway across the world. The milk you had for breakfast this morning was produced from a cow given growth hormone banned in five other countries, and that strawberry you’re about to snack on has been injected with genes from a fish. GMO’s or genetically modified organisms are organisms in which the genetic makeup has been altered to produce a desired trait and they are found everywhere in our country. From fresh produce to a greasy McDonalds burger, genetically modified organisms are present in almost 80% of food in the United States. Now i’m sure you’re asking what exactly are they? Many Americans have heard the term and assume the products are some science phenomenon that in no way affects them directly. Sadly this is wrong.
Heres the rundown-GMOs are the direct result of human manipulation of an organisms DNA or genetic makeup. Scientists take genes from one organism and insert them into that of another in order to produce a desired trait. This mechanism is used to cultivate desired traits in organisms that do not posses them naturally. When it comes to food the process involves stripping crops of their natural elements and replacing them with toxins and genes from completely unrelated species. Scientists have three traits in mind when it comes to their crops;
While these may be good intentions the means of production are reprehensible.
The number one concern surrounding the issue of GMOs is the health and well being of consumers. There is no doubt that GMOs pose a threat to human beings. The effects are evident before the food even reaches the shelves. Farmers working with the crops are required to wear full body protective gear. When I say full body i’m talking head to toe in an all out spacesuit. Should they neglect to wear the proper covering they would break out in vicious reactions. These reactions may include crippling illness, gruesome rashes and various bodily ailments. If these effects occur when the crops are handled hands on it is terrifying to consider the harm they impose on our bodies. As genetically modified organisms have only been on the market for a brief amount of time it is difficult to determine the long term effects, but there have been many direct links between various illness and the consumption of GMOs. Inflammation, kidney and liver malfunction, birth defects and worsened allergies have all been shown to have a direct relationship to GMOs. When we consume this food we are giving it the capability to thrive and flourish inside our bodies. The DNA and chemicals in the food reaches the bloodstream and opens up a door for potential harm.
The consequences span much farther than this. The production of GMOs leaves a devastating impact on the environment. From decreased genetic diversity to a rapid increase of chemicals, the environment has seen much better days. One of the main goals of producers is to cultivate a crop that is pesticide and herbicide resistant. Farmers are able to spray larger amounts of these chemicals without killing off their crops. More herbicides and pesticides means more chemicals and toxic substances in the atmosphere leading to increased pollution. This leads to the death and eventual extinction of many thriving species. Not only are populations dying off but the environment is losing its biodiversity. Genetically modified crops create uniformity among agriculture. The genetic diversity created through natural means of growth is being destroyed and a few staple crops are taking over the agricultural society. As a result the environment is more susceptible to crop failure famine and disease. Genetically modified organisms are key players in the destruction of the environment and should be eradicated.
If genetically altered crops pose such a threat to the wellbeing of consumers and the world why are they produced? What is the driving force behind the introduction of these eccentric products? The answer is simple and a common thread in our society. A profit. Major corporations such as Monsanto have introduced genetically modified organisms with the goal of creating a business. They have become the monarch of modern agriculture imposing a dictoral rule over the industry. With over 2000 patents worldwide they ensure they are the only farms producing genetically modified crops. A patent on a crop? Inserting toxins and foreign DNA does not constitute a creation. They are deceiving consumers into believing they are the creator and owner of all of agriculture. This is wrong and immoral. Seeds are a natural product intended to be bred naturally and available to anyone. Monsanto has impaired that opportunity. Small scale farmers have reported gruesome threats and intimidations by Monsanto in an effort to protect their patent. They impose relentless wrath on farmers until they get their way, some cases even making it to the supreme court. Additionally the company has spent millions of dollars in an effort to combat labeling acts. If genetically modified foods were safe labeling them would not be a problem. Monsanto clearly has something to hide. They are a ruthless company slowly destroying society while personally climbing a ladder of profit.
GMOs are lethal. They are toxic substances that pose a great threat to society. While it may not be feasible to completely eradicate them there are small steps we as consumers can take to diminish their impact.
The nongmo project has started a movement to label GMOs. As consumers we can check products for these labels and stray towards purchasing more of these foods.
Supporting local farmers is a huge step in moving towards a nongmo society. Purchase produce and fresh foods locally as often as possible.
It is important to advocate for the nongmo movement. Engage in the argument, make your opinion heard. A little goes a long way, even a small amount of support will aid in bringing an end to GMOs.
Now I will leave the ball in your court-
What will you do to strive towards a healthier society?