The Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods
Gmo, GMO. You hear it everywhere but what’s all the hype about? Let’s start by defining Genetically Modified Foods. It means Genetically Modified Organisms. (GMO) GMOs are a staple of many American food production companies. The chief among them is a company called Monsanto. It was their laboratory modifications of food in the 90’s that started the phrase “FrankenFood” after the fictitious monster of a similar name.
Its uses range from seeds grown for produce all the way up to modified livestock like chickens and cows.
But you’re probably wondering, “How is it modified, exactly?”
In its simplest terms, science takes an organism that has adapted to its surroundings (surroundings that include us) and changes how that organism exists on a genetic DNA level.
Companies like Monsanto are biologically altering seeds, livestock and food for profit. It happens through a process called biotechnology.
Basically, this biotech revolution that is presently trying to overturn 12,000 years of traditional and sustainable agriculture was launched in the summer of 1980 in the US. It was the result of a little-known US Supreme Court decision (Diamond vs. Chakrabarty) where the supreme court decided that biological life could be legally patented.
If a company could change a life form in a traceable and patentable way then they could own it.
That meant big money for Monsanto.
Fun Food Fact: The United States and Canada are the only two developed countries that do NOT require food distribution companies to disclose whether or not they sell genetically modified foods!
30 years, a few key government positions and a lot of lobby money later, Monsanto has altered most of the food we eat today.
Here is a graph showing a timeline of which crops were affected the most as provided by the USDA’s website.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has recently reported a link between genetically modified (GM) foods and adverse health effects.
A Monsanto official told the New York Times that the corporation should not have to take responsibility for the safety of its food products.
“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food,” said Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.”
But when you consider that the President-appointed head of the Food & Drug Administration is none other than ex-Monsanto executive Michael Taylor, it’s hard to argue that the FDA has your best health interests at heart. It’s like a fox guarding the hen house or appointing an extremist as chief of Homeland Security.
The folks at RawStory.com report that the government of Peru isn’t about to take its time thinking about it. They’ve already enacted a 10-year ban on all GMO products and imports. And the country of Hungary (no pun intended) went one step further. Not only did they ban GMO seed country-wide but then went and burned all GMO Maize fields found. It’s really important to be knowledgeable about just how your food is made and from what.