It is common knowledge that humans need nourishment to live. We need food and we definitely need water. Our food supply has evolved over the years we have lived on this planet. From primitive diets that consist mainly of meat to a food pyramid recommending that we keep our food intake balanced and healthy. In today’s global society the demand for food is increasing with the world population. Furthermore, our ability to handle more stimuli and our need to multitask is creating a demand for food at a very fast pace. Fast food has swept the planet offering a quick and filling alternative to a home cooked or healthy meal. Many fast food chains offer healthy food; however, the unhealthy element seeks to take precedence. Scientists are now working hand in hand with agricultural industries and other food production organizations to see what we can do about this growing problem. This form of collaboration has resulted in Genetically Modified Organisms, also known as GMOs. There is an enormous amount of controversy around GMOs and a huge uproar from the public to label them and stop GMO production. In this paper we will dissect GMOs to discuss what they are, who is behind them and why they are bad for our health.
What are GMOs?
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. This term represents food that is made for human consumption that has been genetically modified on the molecular level to enhance its properties. This occurs in a laboratory. The scientists cultivate beneficial traits from different organisms and cross pollenate them with food to infuse that positive trait into it. Genetic engineering is a specific science designed to provide these traits to the product in a short period of time. It is a step up from cross-breeding plants and is very precise. One of the main crops that have been genetically engineered is Corn. Almost all Corn, including organic in the United States are GMOs (Whitman, 2000). The organization that has spearheaded GMO production is called Monsanto. They produce over 90% of the world’s GMO seeds (Monsanto, n.d.). There has been a lot of negative media and uproars all over the planet due to Monsanto’s involvement in the food supply. Countries have outlawed GMOs and banned Monsanto from conducting business on their land. Mainstream scientists and media outlets argue about the benefits of GMOs. One of these benefits is that with the growing population, GMOs have created an opportunity to feed the masses and increase the food supply with giving the produce select traits. Some of these traits assist the crop in growing faster and bigger and others allow the crop to withstand high amounts of pesticides, so that the farmers can better protect them from insects.
History of Monsanto
Monsanto has a long history that dates back to 1901. They were heavily involved in WWII assisting in creating the first nuclear bomb in the Manhattan Project. Monsanto was a chemical engineering company until the 1990’s when they switched over to agriculture. They were they creators of Agent Orange that was used and sprayed onto American and Vietnamese troops in the Vietnam War. Agent Orange was created to destroy the wildlife so that the troops could uncover the enemy efficiently. This chemical caused harm to the troops. They slowly transitioned to becoming an agricultural company; however, they still based their products on chemicals that were designed to protect crops. There herbicide products were a continuation of their chemical engineering days. A chemical company began using the same products for food production. Their first food related creations where an artificial sweetener and MSG, which have both been proven to be harmful and unhealthy by today’s scientific research. In 1965, Aspartame was created and in 1985 Monsanto acquired the rights to Aspartame and used it as NutraSweet, an artificial sweetener. Aspartame is extremely toxic to human consumption and can result in death in high dosages. Chewing Gum has low levels of aspartame in it and studies have shown it affects the brain adversely. In today’s U.S. economy Monsanto is a colossal organization that is close to monopolizing the agricultural industry and are continuing to drive farmers out of business. They are insisting that farmers use their seeds and in many cases contaminating their crops forcing them to buy GMO seeds. Once a GMO seed is used on farm land, no other crop besides GMO will grow there. Monsanto also holds high ranking positions within the U.S. government including, the U.S. Secretary of State, Chief Advisor to Obama, USDA board and the FDA board (Sager, 2014). These positions have put them in a place where they have become their own oversight. The USDA and FDA Monsanto officials are in a position where they are able to approve their own GMO seeds and herbicides without any opposition. The opposition that exists is from the people; however, the American public has not yet been fully successful in making any change due to Monsanto lobbying within our own government.
What GMOs Do?
The argument against Monsanto and GMO seeds is due to the harmful effects it can have on an individual’s health. They have been created to help prolong ripening, increase the ability to withstand pesticides, make the produce bigger and in some cases increase the nutrient content. They are also designed to protect food from viruses and insects. The fatty acid composition is also changed in the majority of cases. There are unknown consequences to altering the natural gene expression. It is a form of cloning and genetic manipulation that is taking the produce out of its natural state. Preliminary tests have shown that the DNA and RNA within humans become damaged. The cells in GMO food do not remember its own identity and how to express itself. The DNA mutation creates an acidic environment in the body and also incites the creation of cancerous cells that is detrimental to humans. A Health Ranger, Mike Adams, insists that human DNA changes overtime from GMO consumption (underground).
Why GMOs Are Bad?
The AAEM (American Academy of Environmental Medicine) insists that doctors prescribe GMO free diets. Studies have been conducted on animals that show organ failure and leave deposits in the human body that can be harmful later in life. GMOs can transfer their toxicity to the bacteria that already exist inside the human body. The AAEM found GMO toxins in the blood of unborn babies that created complications during pregnancy (10 Reasons, n.d.). Chronic illness increased from 7% to 13% at the same time there was a rise in GMO production that resulted in 90% of the world’s crops being GMO. Once a GMO crop is cultivated in contaminates all produce around them. If there is an organic farm next to a GMO farm, the GMO crop will contaminate the organic farm forever. At this point only GMO crops can be created where the organic farm exists, no other seed can be planted (10 Reasons, n.d.). A major reason why GMOs are being used is to ensure that the crop can withstand more herbicides (Sakko, n.d.), which creates new toxins and carcinogens, as well as a lack of nutrients in the produce.
The toll on the planet is severe. GMO crops are non-sustainable. They pollute the environment, harm birds, insects, animals, marine life and pollute our water. Lastly, the governmental regulation and lobbying with Monsanto and the US government (Sager, 2014) is extremely suspicious and only makes way for more questions in relation to the purpose for GMOs and what the true agenda is behind them.
Monsanto’s Dark History. (n.d.)
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Phillps, T. (2008). Genetically Modified Organisms: Transgenic Crops and Recombinant DNA
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Sager, J. (2014). Monsanto Controls both the White House and the US Congress.
Retrieved from http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-controls-both-the-white-house-
Sakko, K. (n.d.). The Debate Over Genetically Modified Foods.
Retrieved from http://www.actionbioscience.org/biotech/sakko.html.
Whitman, D. (2000). Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?
Retrieved from http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php/%20.
10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs. (n.d.).
Retrieved from http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs.