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Gmo Stranglehold Essay

1619 words - 7 pages

Food is an essential part of everyday life without it one could not survive. Every day we make choices on what we put in to our bodies and there are countless varieties of food to choose from to meet the diverse tastes of the ever growing population. Almost all of the food requires a label explaining the ingredients and the nutritional value allowing consumers to make informed decisions on what they are consuming. However, many may not be considering where that food is coming from or how it has been produced. Unfortunately there is more to food than meets the eye. Almost 90 percent of processed food in the United States contains genetically modified organisms or GMOs for short. Since 1992, “ ...view middle of the document...

Experimental technology is also creating foods that are nutritionally enhanced or have nutrients that a conventional plant would not normally have without being genetically modified. All of these advancements seem like a great idea but there are some problems. GMOs have not had extensive long term testing that is need to ensure the safety of those who are consuming them. Most of the testing that has been performed has been done so by the corporations that produces them and has the most to gain from their success. Companies such as Monsanto are at the forefront of GM technology and seed production.
Monsanto is a multinational chemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation that was founded in 1901. It has become the largest seed company owning 27 percent of the worldwide seed market. (Wholers) 91 percent of the soy beans produced in the United States is GM and more than 90 percent of those contain traits that have been patented by Monsanto. (GMO myths) Monsanto soy has become the most widely used because it is “Roundup Ready”. Roundup is an herbicide that kills everything except the Roundup Ready plant. Monsanto genetically engineer the soy to be able to withstand their Roundup herbicide which the main active ingredient is glyphosate. Although it was widely agreed that Roundup and glyphosate have a low toxicity those figures “ are based on outdated industry studies” Furthermore, independent studies “show that glyphosate are not safe but pose serious health risks…[which] include cell death and damage, damage to the DNA, disruption of hormones, birth defects, and cancer.” The studies allegedly proving these chemicals safe also did not take into consideration that glyphosate is not only used on farms but is much more widespread. It is used in places like gardens, on roadsides, parks, and schools increasing people’s exposure exponentially. It also must be taken into consideration that the chemical does not stay where it is applied but is carried through wind and rain water exposing the air, streams, and groundwater. (GMO myths) One of the key promises for the use of GM crops was to cut down on the use of pesticides and herbicides. Although this might have been the case when they were first introduced just the opposite is true now. “GM crops have caused farmers to spray 383 million more pounds (174 million kg) of herbicides than they would have done in the absence of GM herbicide-tolerant seeds. (GMO myths)
This significant increase in the amount of herbicides, including Roundup, has caused the growth and rapid spreading of “super weeds” and “super bugs”. These super weeds are growing increasingly tolerant to the use of herbicides even though farmers are some more than ever before trying to save their expensive crops from year to year. To solve this problem companies including Monsanto are developing crops that are able to withstand several different herbicides instead of just one. This is creating the potential use of toxic chemicals such as...

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