So, its been a long day, your exhausted, really hungry, and don’t think too much about what you want to eat. You just know that you will go for anything tasty that is fast and easy to make. Choosing what we we want to eat in this way should be familiar to all of us, its the American way: We want it and we want it now, and it always has to be better, faster, and last longer. Due to our forever growing population this demand only gets stronger and stronger; alas our creation of genetically modified organisms.
The dominating corporate in charge called Monsanto promised to create this ‘miracle’ food that will feed countries around the world, last longer, and make our diets healthier. After finding out that these genetically modified foods can cause health problems and aren’t provided enough for the malnourished, third world countries, can we really say that the creation of GMOs are living up to what Monsanto is telling us? One of the main defenses for GMOs is to help out third world countries; places where starvation and malnutrition hit the hardest.
An article for Times magazine titled Grains of Hope illustrates all the excitement and hope that GMOs will solve world hunger. Reporting that the new GM strain in rice creates a new species of rice called Golden Rice. “This new rice produces beta-carotene, which the human body converts into Vitamin A. ” “ Nearly a million children die every year because they are weakened by Vitamin A deficiency and an additional 350,000 go blind” (Robbins, 2012, pg 1). You would think that this golden rice would be the answer to all malnutrition problems, but unfortunately it is not.
According to a New York Times article titled Can GMOs Help End world Hunger? , “golden rice will not grow in the kinds of soil that it must to feed the hungry. To grow properly, it requires heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides. For the poor, developing countries it is unaffordable. Plus the heavy amounts of pesticides could travel into the bloodstreams of people and make them resistant to essential antibiotics. Research shows that “an eleven year old boy would have to eat twenty-seven bowls of golden rice a day in order to satisfy his minimum requirement for the vitamin” (Robbins, 2012, pg 2).
The Monsanto Corporation and other biotechnology companies have invested billions of dollars to gain control over what we eat. Their main goal is not to feed the world but to retrieve maximum profit. Part of how their doing so is by ‘monopolizing’ farmers. They do so by creating a Technology Protection System. This system creates “terminator seeds. ”These seeds are altered so that they are sterile. Meaning that after the crop grows, it will not produce more seeds for farmers to harvest and grow next season.
Instead, they have to buy more seeds over and over again. Due to the corporate patenting and monopolization of GM seeds, farmers also have to use excessive amounts of chemicals on their crops. “It is frequently argued that the high debt incurred by Indian farmers and resultant farmer suicides (over 250,000 since 1997) have largely resulted from the need to purchase costly pesticides and expensive seeds each year because they contain a ‘terminator’ gene” (Todhunter,2012).
In the earlier times of GMOs, many farmers couldn’t wait to try out these products because the World Health Organization came out and said that they benefited agriculture productivity, human health and revived infertile crops. The World Health Organization stated in their article, Weighing in the GMO Arguments: For, “Genetically engineered resistance to pests and diseases could greatly reduce the chemicals needed for crop protection. Farmers are already growing maize cotton and potatoes that no longer have to be sprayed with bacterial insecticide. They also included that removing lignin found in trees will get rid of toxic chemicals in paper and wood made products, being healthier for people and the environment. WHO also goes on to add that “Genetic modification to become more tolerant of salt [found in infertile soil] and drought. ” An article I found to support these findings called GM crops ‘aid plant neighbours’ talks about a study done in china where they modified strains of cotton DNA so that the crops could make their own insecticide and solve pest problems.
The results were positive, the insecticide Bacillus Thuringiensis, caused a reduction in the use of insecticide because it got rid of the cotton bollworm, a major pest to cotton. The newly engineered cotton also created greater biodiversity by attracting more lady bugs, causing the population of aphids, another cotton pest, to decrease. In the article, an advocate for organic farming shares that she agrees with the modified cotton because “organic farmers avoid pesticides by using natural processes to encourage beneficial predators.
Getting rid of pests by introducing predators and reducing the use of pesticides is very similar to organic processes. ” The new pest resistant crop may have been beneficial for a little while but as time went on they are began to build up in our bloodstreams. A recent study done by researchers from the University of Sherbrooke Hospital Centre in Quebec, Canada found that ninety-three percent of maternal blood and eighty percent of fetal cord blood test positive for the Bt toxin Cry1ab, Proving that transgenic materials are not effectively broken down and eliminated during digestion.
Another harmful chemical 3-MMPA, showed up in 100 percent of pregnant women’s bloodstreams. The chemical 3-MMPA is produced when our bodies metabolize gluphosinate, also found in GMOs. A study done in Europe found that gluphosinate can cause cancer, DNA damaged, and reproductive toxicity. Another recent study done by European researchers found that after feeding rats a diet of GM corn through out their lifetime have developed tumors all over their body and died prematurely.
One thing Monsanto might try to tell you is that there are no long term affects to genetically modified products. Truth is, over years and years of Americans eating meat been changed overtime so that it is plumper and lasts longer has caused a growing epidemic that especially effects children. The additives we have been consuming were designed to have longer shelf lives, but the chemicals added also mimic human hormones that have estrogenic qualities and anabolic steroids.
Because of these increased uses in poultry production children are starting puberty earlier and earlier. The article, Additives and Hormones in Our Food: A Growing Epidemic that effects Our Children, Includes a table showing how the trend of the onset age for puberty decreasing; showing that in 1970 the onset age for puberty was 12. 6 years old. In 2000, that number decreased to 9. 8 years old. Another growing the epidemic that is not only effecting America’s children but America as a whole is obesity. And guess what, chemicals added to our food are linked to that too.
Based off of what Stephen Perrine, author of New American Diet, “We have all sorts of chemicals put into our newly, genetically engineered foods. ” The Pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones that make our food more resistant to diseases and environmental stress contain obesogens. According to Perrine, “obesogens can cause heart disease,diabetes,obesity and high cholesterol. Most of the obesogens come from pesticides, non-organic produce, and GM corn-fed beef and chicken. For many years, GMOs seemed to be a great idea because they benefited agriculture productivity, human health and revived infertile crops.
The whole intention for the creation of GMOs are great, they have proven to last longer and get rid of major pests and all but the fact that these modified organisms have caused major health problems to our people and haven’t benefited our poorer countries as they were suppose to, the invention of genetically modified organisms have done more bad than good. With that, people should be more careful about what they choose to eat. So, the next time you head out to go grocery shopping, look for labels for 100 percent organic foods, or go to the farmer’s market where everything is locally grown.
Courtney from Study Moose
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