If you’re at the very least slightly tuned into the world then you’re probably well aware of the rise in GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. If you’re not familiar then here’s a brief explanation of what GMOs are:
The Institute for Responsible Technology defines it as “A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans.”
The Non-GMO Project explains it as “a GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified using recombinant DNA methods (also called gene splicing), gene modification or transgenic technology. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.”
In layman’s terms, scientist are the new farmers. They can literally crossbreed the genes of coldwater fish with tomatoes so that the tomato now can withstand freezing cold temperatures thus allowing more crops to be grown. Doesn’t sound so bad right? More food equates to more people fed…. Technically, yes. But what happens if the fish they are using are farm-raised fish? Farm-raised fish are generally kept in a small overcrowded pens and because they are marinating in such tight corners there is no real filtering of the water going on. So then these fishes become susceptible to diseases and corporate food companies can’t have that so the best thing to combat disease is to add in antibiotics to these fish farms. Need I say more? I think you know where that spirals into.
To be fair, let’s say these “GMO scientists” are not using fish genes. A different approach to producing more crops is to have herbicide-tolerant plants. No animal gene mixing involved there! The plant is engineered to withstand high levels of pesticides. Using pesticides on our produce is not a new concept for consumers but what is alarming is corporate food companies have been lobbying to raise the allowable limit of these chemical pesticides. So what! What’s the big deal? For one, these are linked to the same pesticides that are drastically killing our honey bees aka nature’s pollinators. Secondly, the crops that are being genetically altered to tolerate these chemicals have less nutritional values than organic crops do. This does more harm to us than not since American physicians have reported a majority of their patients having nutrient deficiencies thus leaving us susceptible to illnesses and abnormalities. In defense, these GM corporations have tried to modify the crops to have more nutritional benefits in them, but the only downfall to that is the human body does not absorb these nutrients in the same manner it would from a natural source. Lastly, the seeds of these genetically engineered crops are able to spread to other areas by way of the wind and have the potential to infect nearby organic farms.
Consumers who support genetically engineered foods for the reason that it can feed the entire world have the right to believe that. Personally, I haven’t seen such a thing happen. Even in terms of Americans having enough to eat, let alone the whole world. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t wish those less fortunate to have a choice between eating nothing and eating frankenstein food. It’s not fair. And it’s not fair that I have to be concerned about GM seeds infecting crops of organic farms. So next time you order popcorn and a Pepsi at the movie theatre just know what it is that you’re really ingesting.
More Information about GMOs: