Thursday, January 24, 2013
In the aftermath of the defeat of Proposition 37 in California, many more Americans are now aware of the existence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their unlabeled presence throughout the food supply. But with this awareness has come a lot of confusion, as the processed food and biotechnology industries have spent a lot of money and effort spreading propaganda and lies about GMOs. So to help set the record straight, we have outlined seven specific ways in which GMOs damage animals, plants, soil, and ultimately humanity.
1) GMOs disrupt digestion. Purveyors of GMOs claim that the human body is unable to tell the difference between GMOs and natural food. But a 2004 study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology tells a different story, having found that transgenic plant DNA actually persists in the human gastrointestinal tract upon consumption. According to this important study, which is the closest thing to a human clinical trial that has ever been conducted with GMOs, genetic material from GMOs actually transfers into the DNA of living bacteria in the gut, where it reproduces indefinitely. (http://www.anh-usa.org)
3) GMOs increase herbicide use. Contrary to industry claims, GMOs have not reduced the need for chemical inputs, but rather greatly expanded it. According to a comprehensive, 16-year review of chemical use in conjunction with the advent of GMOs in 1996, researchers from Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources found that herbicide use has increased by an astounding 527 millions pounds since GMOs were first introduced. To make matters worse, Roundup, the chemical of choice for many GMOs, has been found to persist in soils, waterways, and other environmental nooks and crannies, and sometimes it even ends up contaminating water supplies. ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com)
4) GMOs damage native species. A major point of contention with GMOs is that they can very easily pass their traits onto non-GMO, organic, and native crops and other plants, effectively destroying their very integrity permanently. Hundreds of farmers have actually been sued by Monsanto and other GMO giants over the years after their crops were inadvertently contaminated by GMOs. GMOs are also responsible for killing off bees, bats, butterflies, and other pollinators, whose bodies are unable to handle the onslaught of altered DNA and chemicals that are characteristic of GMO technologies. (http://www.naturalnews.com/035511_insecticide_bees_collapse.html)
5) GMOs pollute the environment. Mainstream scientists and industry spokespersons often gloat about the supposed environmental benefits of GMOs. But the truth of the matter is that GMOs and the chemicals used to grow them are a major source of environmental pollution. A 2011 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that the Bacillus thuriengensis (Bt) bacteria engineered into Monsanto's GM corn can now be found in hundreds of streams and waterways throughout the U.S. Midwest. Another study published in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry revealed that Roundup herbicide is also present in many waterways and groundwater sources throughout America as well. (http://naturalsociety.com)
6) GMOs deplete soil minerals, destroy beneficial bacteria. The presence of Roundup, Bt bacteria, and other GMO byproducts in our water and soil would only be half as bad if these toxins merely persisted as innocuous pollutants. But studies have shown that these chemicals actually degrade and deplete soils of vital minerals and beneficial bacteria, both of which protect crops from pests, viruses, and other threatening elements. Glyphosate, the active component in Roundup, also does not biodegrade, which means it is continually accumulating in the environment without restraint, perpetually altering soil composition and contaminating natural resources. (http://www.psrast.org/soilecolart.htm)
7) GMOs spawn crop-destroying 'superweeds,' 'superbugs.' The basic premise behind how GMOs work portends that artificially engineering crops with resistance to certain chemicals and exposures that would otherwise harm or kill them can improve yields and protect the environment. And this built-in resistance has allowed farmers to indiscriminately spray chemicals like Roundup on their crops without worrying about killing them. But this system is now failing, as the weeds and pests targeted by GMO technologies have mutated and developed resistance to crop chemicals and Bt toxin. As a result, pestilence and disease is on the rise due to GMOs, which spells eventual disaster for the food supply. (http://grist.org)
To learn more about the dangers of GMOs, visit the Institute for Responsible Technology:
Sources for this article include:
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