This page covers:

   1. What are GMOs?
   2. What is wrong with them (and the Roundup used on them)?
   3. What we can do to get them off the market?



Say NO to GMO – Here’s Why This is SO Important and How We Can Do It  

What IS Genetic Modification of Food?

GM plants, animals and hormones have had genes from a totally unrelated life form spliced into them (or otherwise altered) in a laboratory with a "gene gun". Most of the major food crops of the world have now been modified, including corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beets, possibly wheat, also hormones fed to our farm animals and a number of fruits and vegetables, salmon, grass seed, microbes, etc. Cows and other animals are also being genetically modified directly. For a more complete list of GM ingredients and how to shop to avoid them, see the last section of this article.

GM involves a poorly controlled blending of genes from two vastly different life forms, such as corn blended with a bacterium that kills insect larvae. This process could never happen naturally. The method is imprecise. It is estimated that 5% of the genes are changed when only one change was desired, which means that every genetic modification will have many unknown consequences.

The new plant is then patented by the corporation that made it. The seed cannot be saved from year to year. It must be purchased every year from the GM corporation. Roundup and other herbicides made by the same corporations must be purchased also.

Over 90% of corn, soy, canola, cotton and sugar beet production worldwide is now GM, which means over 90% of the control of these major global food crops is in the absolute control of a small handful of corporations.

Think about the implications of this statement.

You may have heard that this is what humans have been doing for millenia, breeding crops to improve their ability to resist pests, diseases, drought, etc. Please understand that this form of breeding involves crossing two plants of the same type (such as corn and corn) by encouraging the pollen of one plant to be taken up by the other plant. The crossing of unlike species does not happen in nature, so using a gene gun to cross unlike life forms is NOTHING LIKE what humans have been doing for millenia.

GMOs were touted as the answer to world hunger and a way to use less chemicals on crops. Well-run organic farms can produce more food per acre than GM or conventional farms, using NO chemicals. GM crops are requiring more chemicals, mainly Roundup, each year.

The FDA, EPA, USDA do not regulate GM crops in any way. All safety testing is left up to the GM corporations. There is no evidence that they are actually doing safety testing. How can this happen? Well, most of the top people at these federal agencies worked for these companies before they were hired by these agencies, and history shows us that they often return to their corporations when they leave the agency. (Go to http://media.mercola.com/ImageServer/public/2012/january/study1-big.jpg to see a list.)

80-90% of all packaged and prepared food products (including artificial sweeteners, baby formula, baby food, gum, beverages, and vitamins) now have genetically modified ingredients in them. They are very often labeled as “natural” and “healthy”. Right now, the only way to avoid GMO food is to buy items marked 100% organic or "Non-GMO Project Verified", and even that is at risk from GM contamination (see below).

Labeling Wars

California had a proposal (Prop 37 on the November, 2012, ballot) to label GMOs. GM and food corporations waged a massive ($45M), dishonest, some are saying even fraudulent, campaign against Prop 37. It was announced on election night that Prop 37 had failed by 500,000 votes, even though early polls had shown that 80% of Californians favored it and at least 4 million votes had not yet been counted. CA law requires these votes to be counted by early December. Let’s hope they are counted…

More than 60 countries all over the world DO require GMO labeling, including the EU, China, Russia and India, despite fierce GM industry resistance. In these countries, because of this labeling, food companies generally make their products GM-free. GM seed and food corporations are based in the U.S. and Canada, so they have most fiercely fought labeling here and in Canada. But, even if future labeling propositions pass, it has been predicted that they will be tied up for years in the courts, which have historically almost always ruled in favor of the GM corporations in literally thousands of cases based on many different complaints.

As of this writing (June, 2014), at least 15 states have attempted to pass GMO labeling laws. Despite fierce opposition and the expenditure of many millions of dollars to fight these efforts, this movement on the state level keeps growing. Vermont passed the first state-wide labeling law. Massachusetts is considering one, and Connecticut has said it will follow suit if other local states pass this law. Some counties in Oregon and Washington states are also working to require labeling.

The media rarely says anything about this issue, presumably because they fear losing advertising dollars from food corporations, among other reasons.
 

What is wrong with GMOs (and Roundup)?

Here some of the problems with GMOs, Roundup and the corporations that produce them, followed by a proposal for what we can do to get them out of our food ASAP. Please read each of these points carefully. This is but a brief summary of a much larger story.

  1. GM seeds are patented. As of this writing (Autumn, 2012) 90-95% of soy, sugar beets, corn, canola and cotton (these are most of the world’s most important crops) are GM. Therefore, proprietary (sole) ownership worldwide of our largest crops is now in the hands of 3 or 4 companies, and this trend is increasing each year. Think about what this means.
  2. GM genes are spreading on their own, not only to non-GM crops of the same type (example: GM corn to non-GM corn) but also to related plants (example: beets to spinach and chard) and unrelated plants (example: corn to wheat via mixing of seeds during processing and storage). This confirms worst fears of many of the world’s top scientists, that the GM genes cannot be contained or controlled. With each passing year, more and more non-GM conventionally grown and organically grown food will have both GM and Roundup contamination.
  3. Medical doctors in Argentina have documented a sharp rise in birth defects, miscarriages, cancers, toxic liver disease, neurological disorders, renal failure, respiratory problems, and acute allergies that occur in direct proportion to Roundup exposure. (Roundup is the top herbicide used on GM crops.)
  4. Safety testing is very limited or non-existent. The FDA allows the companies to vouch for the safety of their own products with no independent oversight.
  5. Sows fed GM grain began giving birth to sacks of water instead of piglets. The farmers figured out that the only thing they had changed was feeding the sows GM corn. They stopped feeding GM corn, and the sows began having healthy litters again.
  6. Rats fed GM food for several generations lose their ability to reproduce, and their stomach linings become abnormal and pre-cancerous, other organs are damaged. (These were the findings of a respected scientist who was trying to justify the safety of GMOs – after reporting these results, he was fired.) More recent rat studies showed that GM food produced gigantic tumors and had many other health problems.
  7. Doctors who put their patients on GM-free diets see marked improvement in many health issues.
  8. Animals given the chance to choose between GM corn and non-GM corn will only eat regular corn.
  9. The nutritional values (especially minerals) of GMO foods are lower than those of non-GMO foods.
  10. Many GM crops are bred to form their own pesticide, and they keep making pesticides inside people and animals who eat them.
  11. Not just the intended gene, but a random 5% of the genes change, leading to unintended, unknown consequences.
  12. Conflict of interest is rampant: GM industry leaders move into top positions at federal regulatory agencies (FDA, EPA, NIH, USDA etc.) and vice versa.
  13. Industry secrecy, and lots of it. Known hazards have been covered up or denied. Whistleblowers in corporations, universities and the FDA lose their jobs and are otherwise vilified and threatened.
  14. Farmers whose crops accidentally cross with GM seed are sued, forced to cease their farming operation and placed under gag orders not to discuss the case. This has happened in many mid-western states and Canadian provinces. Why is there a need for gag orders???
  15. Poor farmers in many other countries are offered GM seed at below-market prices to induce them to buy it. They cannot save the seed from year to year as they usually would, so have to buy seed every year.
  16. Farmers are forced to purchase RoundUp (also sold by the GM corps), a very hazardous herbicide. RoundUp (yes, the same one sold for home use) is responsible for some weeds becoming “super-weeds.” They take over fields and are very difficult to kill, requiring even stronger herbicides than RoundUp. This means still more poisons in the soil, groundwater, on the food, and in us!
  17. GM seeds replace locally adapted strains of seed, thus reducing bio-diversity. Bio-diversity is important for many reasons, but the most important one is that it is nature’s guarantee that if drought, disease or insects become a problem in one crop variety, other crop varieties will likely be able to resist the pest or disease and survive. The risk here is massive crop failure.
  18. GMO crops are becoming more susceptible to diseases, some of which are also infecting farm-animals and people.
  19. GM Corn was designed to kill corn ear worm, but the ear worm is now resistant to the GM corn.
  20. We simply do not yet know what other long-term effects these crops will have on us, our farm animals, our pets, wild animals, insects, plants, soil, water or the environment.

We CAN make this happen!  Here’s how:

The solution is pretty simple. Corporations listen to what affects their bottom line.

1. First and foremost, call and email food companies. Tell them you want and will only buy GM-free food. Many companies are removing GM ingredients and joining the Non-GMO Project because of CONSUMER demand. 

2. Buy USDA organic and Non-GMO Project certified products whenever possible. Remember, we can pay a LITTLE more for food or a LOT more for health problems from eating unhealthy food.

3. Teach your friends and relatives about GMOs and encourage them to join us in taking these steps.

4. 
Be informed:  Get on mailing lists  the Alliance for Natural Health at anh-usa.org, the                 Environmental Working Group at ewg.org, organicconsumers.org,  labelgmos.org and gmwatch.org.