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Uncontrolled Experiment: Genetically Modified Food

21 Sep. 2011 Posted by Hannah Mich in GMOs, genetically modified, GM-food
Bt corn, GM-food, GM-maize, GMOs, genetically modified organisms

Our natural environmental was not created in a lab, but now with biotechnology our natural environment is being tampered with in a way unimaginable. It is called genetically modified foods or organisms, also called GMOs. Mind you that this is not a ploy to help create a better environment and healthier food, but to gain control over food sources and create large financial gains.

So what is genetically modified food or GM-food? Well, it is formed when the Deoxyribonucleic Acid, or DNA, of other organisms is combined with the DNA of plants, creating a new hybrid food. Corn, soy, canola, Apples and potatoes are among the many being genetically modified with other organisms’ DNA. The DNA of bacteria, for example, is being inserted into plants to repel and kill pests that are known to destroy crops. Other benefits of GM-food include more uniformed produce that is similar in size, color and taste; crops that mature more quickly; and possibly increase crop yields.

However, if you consume these genetically modified foods, you are consuming a food somewhat foreign to your body. Bt corn, for example, is not just corn anymore because it is has bacteria DNA and properties to it now. Sound appetizing, not to me.

So, who has been leading this giant disaster of an experiment with our food? Large corporations, such as Monsanto, have been forging ahead with biotechnology and genetically modified food paying little attention to the consequences; these consequences directly involve us. We, United States Citizens, along with citizens of other countries are the guinea pigs. Unfortunately, using us as part of an uncontrolled experiment has been going on since the 1990s.

So what do we know, or suspect, about the affects of genetically modified food on human beings and our natural environment? Well, not as much as we should, considering once GM-crops were planted in rural America there was no way of removing them from nature. And yet this “experiment” continues with little to no regulations. And comments like the one below from Phil Angell, do not give much hope that these corporations are willing to do business responsibly and ethically. According to a 1998 “New York Times” article, he states, “Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food, our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.”

Unfortunately, the FDA - Food and Drug Administration - has classified genetically modified food as “substantially equivalent” compared to non-genetically-modified food. Therefore, the government and large corporations claim it does not require further testing. On the other hand, genetically modified seeds [and crops] are different enough, I guess, that these corporations have patents on them. They have also sued farmer’s who supposedly plant the GM-seeds without a contract, too. So how can something that is considered virtually the same be worth patenting? Well, consider it one big scam with farmers and consumers worldwide being conned. GM- food being “substantially equivalent” and yet different enough to patent obviously contradict each other and it makes no sense. In fact, the only people it does make sense to are the people running these corporations because it is helping their bottom line.

The little research that has been conducted report some benefits and lots of concerns. Future concerns of GM-crops include mutated plants from the natural crossbreeding of non-GM plants and GM-plants, a decrease in plant diversity and crops that are more susceptible to disease and droughts. All of these concerns could lead to a drastic decrease in food production and with a growing world population this could be devastating. These GM-crops can also lead to an increase in pesticide use and super-pests and weeds, which, in part, defeats the purpose of developing and using some of these GM-crops.

Furthermore, these GM-foods may cause adverse health reactions in humans and other animals. Consumption of GM-foods may result in an increase in asthma, food allergies and impaired immune systems. As more research is performed on GM-food and human health, we may discover more adverse side-affects, too.

So what can you do? First and foremost, purchase foods that are organic and GMO-free. This ensures you are supporting companies and an industry that is not supporting the GM-food industry. Also, contact your local politicians about supporting legislation that discourages the unregulated use of GM-food. Lastly, support organizations, which are conducting or financing [third-party] research about GM-crops and food and the long-term affects on the environment and us.

Call To Action: 

Eat organic products
Look for products that are labeled "GMO-free"
Support regulations on GMO-food
Support GMO research

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References: 

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/25/magazine/playing-god-in-the-garden.htm...
“New York Times”; Playing God in the Garden; Michael Pollan; Oct. 25, 1998

http://truefoodnow.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/cfs-shoppers-guide.pdf
Center for Food Safety: True Food Shopper’s Guide

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FS/FS08400.pdf
University of Florida IFAS Extension; Genetically Modified Food; Keith R. Schneider, et al.; January 2002

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2952409/pdf/ijbsv06p0590.pdf
“International Journal of Biological Sciences”; Debate on GMOs Health Risks after Statistical Findings in Regulatory Tests; Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, et al.; 2010

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2706426/pdf/ijbsv05p0438.pdf
“International Journal of Biological Sciences”; How Subchronic and Chronic Health Effects can be Neglected for GMOs, Pesticides or Chemicals; Gilles-Eric Séralini, et al.; 2009

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3029317/pdf/pone.0016346.pdf
“PLoS One”; Immunological and Metabolomic Impacts of Administration of Cry1Ab Protein and MON 810 Maize in Mouse; Karine Adel-Patient, et al.; January 2011

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2793308/pdf/ijbsv05p0706.pdf
“International Journal of Biological Sciences”; A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health; Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, et al.; 2009

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2811247/pdf/10646_2009_Artic...
“Ecotoxology”; Demographic responses of Daphnia magna fed transgenic Bt-maize; Thomas Bøhn, et al.; 2010

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