GMOs . . . The Reality of It – by Jeffery Burke of Garfield County, Colorado

Genetically Modified Organisms

Throughout history, there have been changes made to our food sources to increase productivity of food supplies. Some of these changes have been beneficial, but the increase in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is more harmful to our society than it is helpful. Throughout this essay, the destructive effects of GMO’s will be explained in further detail.

In the agricultural society, plants are being genetically modified for many reasons. Some benefits of this procedure are, “increased crop yields, reduced cost for food and drug production, reduced need for pesticides, enhanced nutrient composition and food quality” (Theresa Phillips PhD). By advances in this field the crops are also maturing faster. Let’s look what God says: “Genesis 1:11 And God said, Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit-trees bearing fruit after their kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth: and it was so and the earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, wherein is the seed

Thereof, after their kind: and God saw that it was good” (NKJV). God created the plants and animals in a certain fashion, and said it was good. Man should not be changing the natural order of God’s creation, especially when these changes will cause problems for mankind.

Americans get sick more often than Europeans and people in other industrialized countries. The changes made to crops and meat produced in the U.S. are producing unknown and possibly devastating consequences. According to Gmo-awareness.com, “Modifying one segment of DNA does not have a single direct result; instead it can cause a spiraling effect of unintended consequences”.

The modifications that many companies are making on crops, especially the Monsanto Corporation, are tremendous. They have introduced three specific types of strains; Bt Corn, Bt Rice, and GR Soybeans. These new strains have been brought about to prevent pests from eating the crop by killing the pest after taking a bite from the crop, such as “Monsanto’s “Bt” (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn, which was genetically modified to produce a protein that ruptures the stomach when ingested by pests” (Theresa Phillips). Imagine just what that might do to humans.

As early as the 80s, Monsanto and Novartis teamed up to over-power the farmers. “In the 1980’s U.S. multinationals (e.g., Monsanto and Novartis) bought small start-up companies developing genetically modified varieties of staple crops and prepared to commercialize these products within the next decade” (Chaia Heller).

It has been done, the small farm is just about gone in this country. In 1998, companies won the right to patent genetically modified seeds. This prevented farmers from sharing or saving seeds purchased from these companies. “One-time use agreements break a centuries-old tradition in which farmers save, select, and share seeds gleaned from plants, during harvest time (Chaia Heller). This has been the way farmers have done it since forever and it worked very well. By altering seeds genetically, large corporations have taken control of the natural process of food production.

“Modifying one segment of DNA does not have a single direct result; instead it can cause a spiraling effect of unintended consequences” (Theresa Phillips). Consequences, that possibly cannot be imagined. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) states the environmental impacts of GMOs will include an “uncontrolled biological pollution, threatening numerous microbial, plant and

animal species with extinction, and a potential contamination of all non-genetically engineered life forms with novel and possibly hazardous genetic material” (Theresa Phillips). This means, that when hiking in farm-land and wanting to pick apple’s to eat, how can one tell if it will be safe for consumption?

The following quote shows the effects of injecting the seeds of corn to create a new type of plant that acts as a pesticide, “Bt corn hybrids contain genetic material from one or several strains of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Bt is a naturally occurring soil-borne bacterium found world-wide.  Bt forms asexual reproductive cells, called spores, which enable it to survive in adverse conditions. During the process of spore formation, Bt also produces unique crystal-like, or ‘Cry’ proteins. When eaten by a susceptible insect during feeding stage of development, (as larvae), the crystal acts as poison” (Gerald C Nelson). By altering these plants with a contained insecticide, and then feeding animals and humans with the fruit from the plant, what are the consequences to the human population? It has been documented that this process can cause allergies in humans, also Cancer and by a fast food diet, it is more likely to cause diabetes.

Another example of the changes brought about by the introduction of genetically modified plants is in the Corn Belt. A recent study by the University of Iowa states that the pollen from Bt Corn could be detrimental to the milkweed plant, which is the larval plant for the Monarch butterfly. Two researchers stated in the ABC News article GM Corn Harms Monarch Butterflies, “John Obrycki and Laura Hansen said their research showed Monarch butterfly caterpillars were seven times more likely to die when they ate milkweed plants carrying pollen from Bt corn, compared to conventional corn” (Study). This is another example of the unseen harm brought by genetically modified plants.

Dr. Judy Carman of the Institute of Health and Environmental Research in Australia recently performed a study on the effects of pigs fed with GMO corn and soybeans. The doctor took a group of pigs and separated them for this study into two groups, one fed by GMO corn and soybeans, and the other a non-GMO diet. Here are her findings, Carman explains, “At a commercial piggery in the US, we took 168 just-weaned pigs and fed them a typical diet for the piggery, containing soy and corn, for 22.7 weeks (over 5 months) until the pigs were slaughtered at their usual slaughter age. Half of the pigs were fed widely-used varieties of GM soy and GM corn (the GM-fed group) for this whole period, and the other half of the pigs were fed an equivalent non-GM diet (the control group). The GM diet contained three GM genes and therefore three GM proteins. One protein made the plant resistant to a herbicide, and two proteins were insecticides. In short, this mixture of GMO foods led to a toxic mix in the digestive tract of the animals, leading to a reduced ability for GMO-fed pigs to reproduce. The pigs were studied from conception until slaughter (the first long term study of its kind) and all were all affected adversely” (No GMOS). The digestive tract of the pig is very similar to that of a human, and because of its shorter lifespan we are able to see an example of the negative effects of GMO foods on human beings.

According to the narrator in the movie Food Inc – a film by Robert Keener”, “The way we eat has drastically changed over the last fifty years” (Food). The McDonalds Corporation put such a strain on the beef market; in the 1970’s the top five beef packers controlled twenty-five percent of the market. Today the top 4 beef packers’ control eighty-five percent. It turns out they are genetically modifying the corn to mass produce and feeding it to the cattle. Please take note: cattle are supposed to feed on grass! Because the cows are feeding on corn the disease Ecoli has developed in the cows’ stomachs. The narrator goes on to explain that the fast food diet with this genetically modified beef is causing more cases of Diabetes.

Farms are mass producing the chicken and forcing them to grow so fast by genetic modification to increase the chickens’ breast size and the process results in chicken legs that are not developed enough to support them, and their organs also are not developed fully when they are slaughtered.

Many people will argue that GMO foods allow for greater production, and therefore, the ability to provide food to the third world countries. However, through-out this it has been explained that GMO’s can be harmful to the population.

Now you know the news on GMO’s it is your responsibility what you do with it. Just knowing what damaging food we are eating about makes me sick. My mind is telling me to do something about it, so here it is, please, please, please watch the movie Food Inc. and contemplate what you have watched.

Works Cited

(Theresa Phillips Phd). Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): Transgenic Crops and recombinant DNA Technoligy. www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/genetically-modified-organisms-gmos-transgenic-crops-and-732.  ND. Web.  29 NOV. 2014

(Chaia Heller).  “Food Farms & SOLIDARITY.” 293  Duke University Press. Pg. 1-325. Print.

(Theresa Phillips). Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): Transgenic Crops and recombinant DNA Technoligy. www.gmo-awaremess.com/all-about-gmo/gmo-risks/.  Web. ND.  29 Nov 2014

Gerald C nelson. “Genetically Modified Organisms In Agriculture”.   Economics and Politics. Pg. 1-294. Print

(Study): GM Corn Harms Monarch Butterflies. www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=120016 .  Aug 21. Web.  29 Nov.2014

(No GMOS). News www.nationofchange.org/first-long-term-study-released-pigs-cattle-who-eat-gmo-soy-and-corn-offers-frightening-results-13723  ND.  29 Nov 2014.

(Food).  A Film by Robert Keaner.  “Food Inc”.

(NKJV) Holy Bible

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About Max's Scout Services and Communications of the Americas, LLC

WRITER / MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT / SPORTS FAN / HUMORIST/ FOOD CRITIC / HORSE AND DOG OWNER / CHRISTIAN / MEMBER OF THE COLORADO GREEN PARTY / ALOHA SPIRIT /

Posted on December 13, 2014, in Agriculture, Food Glorious Food & Beverages, Politics, Socioeconomics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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