Genetically Modified Food: It's The End Of The World As We Know It

1712 words - 7 pages

In 1994, a company called Monsanto created and received approval for a genetically modified “Flavr Savr” tomato. Since then, 95% of the United States sugar beets, 94% of the soybeans, and 88% of the feed corn is genetically modified. Initially, genetically modified foods were created and marketed to increase yield, for drought tolerance, to enhance nutrition, and offer other consumer benefits. These GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are species of plants and animals that have been genetically altered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or from other species. None of the current GMO traits live up to what the biotech industry promised. In addition to that, the only approval system in place for GMOs is a voluntary consultation process that is overseen by the FDA. “Foods that are [genetically modified] are presumed to be safe unless the FDA has evidence to the contrary”, says Gregory Jaffe director of the Biotechnology Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (Weise). It is in the hands of companies like Monsanto to notice any harmful effects on the environment, animals and humans. People like Mike Adams and Jeffrey Smith help provide the general public with insight into the truth about GMOs. The use of genetically engineered organisms is harmful to humans and to the environment. Adams warns in an article, "Everything is at stake. If we do not change course, human civilization will not survive its own poisoning."
Nearly 100% of all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide. Over 75% of all genetically modified crops are considered Roundup ready (RR). As a result, use of Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. Glyphosate is the main chemical in Roundup (patented by Monsanto) which is marketed as a ‘safe’ herbicide (Antoniou, Robinson and Fragan 64). This false promise is based on outdated and largely unpublished studies by the manufacturers of both the GM crops and the herbicide. A report by physicians in Argentina showed an increase incidence of birth defects, miscarriages, infertility, cancers, DNA damage, neurologic developmental problems in children, kidney failure, respiratory problems, and allergies. This report was based on clinical data from areas where people were exposed to spraying of agrochemicals on GM soy fields. Another frightening statistic is that birth defects have quadrupled and the cases of childhood cancers have tripled in only a decade in areas where GM rice and soy crops are heavily sprayed. These issues are relevant not only to people living in regions where GM RR crops are grown, but for consumers who eat products made from these crops (Antoniou, Robinson and Fragan 64).
Genetically modified Roundup ready crops do not break down glyphosate, but absorb it. Some is metabolized into a substance called aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) however both still remain in the plant. Both are eaten by people and animals and both are toxic. The herbicide...

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