GMO. Genetically Modified Organism. Huh? Yes, it can be a mouthful and even more difficult to possibly try and understand. I originally set out to write this article as a brief, yet simple, synopsis of what GMO’s are and how they affect everyday people like you and me. I quickly realized there is no simple or short way to explain it – GMOs are everywhere and in everything. Ok. So, what is a GMO exactly? What does it look like? Does it have a smell? What does it taste like? All of these questions would perhaps be considered a legitimate question because we, as in the general public, have been kept in the very extreme, isolated dark as to what GMO’s are and what exactly has made its way onto our dinner plates. I plan to write this as simply and briefly as possible so that anyone, including your children, will hopefully be able to get a better grasp on the poison that is a GMO. I would like to preface all of the information I am about to present to you with the fact that I am not a doctor, a scientist, or in any way, shape, or form associated with any doctors, scientist, and most especially not Monsanto. I am an everyday working class person like most Americans. I am a full-time college student who works full-time as a waiter/bartender and I live as healthy of a lifestyle as I can and my objective is to simply educate and pass along the information I have been able to find on GMO’s and the monster company Monsanto. I will provide plenty of references and links as we continue along, so get ready, strap in, and hold on – it’s a pretty wild ride.
GMO – Genetically Modified Organisms are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that DO NOT occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
To put things in a little more plain English: They are not natural. In fact, more than 60 countries around the world either have very stringent restrictions or downright ban the use and cultivation of GMOs. Some of these countries include Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union. GMOs were designed to either withstand the direct application of an herbicide, like the ever popular Roundup(which I will cover later on this article), or they produce their own insecticide. That’s right folks; they emit their own poison to repel bugs and were allowed to eat it! Want to know what’s worse? GMOs are in about 80% of all processed foods in America and there is currently not a law in place that requires the labeling of GMOs. Thus, we as a consumer never really know what we are eating.
- 95% of all sugar beets in US – GMO
- 94% of all soy in US – GMO
- 90% of all cotton in US – GMO
- 90% of all canola in US – GMO
- 88% of all corn in US – GMO
Herbicide – A TOXIC substance used to destroy vegetation.
Insecticide – A substance used for killing insects.
Yes, you read everything right. We are being fed a food, such as corn, that is releasing its own insecticide, its own insect killing substance/chemical.
RoundUp – RoundUp is the world’s most widely used broad-spectrum herbicide and its active ingredient is Glyphosphate.
Glyphosphate works by inhibiting what is known as a Shikimate Pathway – or more simply put: It blocks a vitally important metabolite in plants and microorganisms that allow for the synthesizing of key amino acids for survival. So basically, the Glyphosphate prevents the living organism from metabolizing food. If you care to read more about the Shikimate Pathway and how it works here is a scientific article on the topic. I will touch back on this key fact briefly but for now let us move forward.
So, if your head isn’t spinning yet I commend you. If it is, don’t worry, so is mine. The first patent on GMOs were issued in 1980 and then in 1982 the FDA approved the first GMO product available to the public, Humulin, an insulin treatment derived from an E. coli bacteria. Then in 1994 the first GMO food was sold in grocery stores – a tomato that took longer to ripen and thus had a longer shelf life. Just two short years later and Australia reports the first known Glyphosphate resistant weeds. You know, that poison I was talking about earlier that is supposed to destroy vegetation. Immediately after that discovery Europe implemented a mandatory labeling of all products containing GMOs – this happened in 1997 and the U.S. still does not require such a label. Now, let us jump forward to 2003 where we discover GMO resistant pest. Remember, some GMOs have been designed to release their own insecticide so that bugs and other pest will not ruin the crops. Just a decade later and some pest have not only become immune to it but they’re actually thriving on the poison now. These GMOs have created super bugs that are ravaging crops. Corn rootworms are literally growing larger, stronger, and even have a more voracious appetite than ever before and they’re feeding on the GMO corn that was originally designed to kill the worm. If you want to read more about this situation you can find a good article on that here.
So by now you may be asking yourself if GMO’s are safe to eat and why they are not labeled here in the United States. Do not worry my friends, I have more to share!
Monsanto is a BioTech company. In other words, they attempt to combine technology and agriculture for ‘the greater good’. Monsanto invented its famous weed killer Roundup in 1970 and GMO crops have been using it ever since. These GMO seeds are able to withstand heavy, direct contact with Roundup, or Glyphosphate, without taking any damage yet all the vegetation and bugs around these seeds die. The question is, whether or not the Glyphospahte is being absorbed into the very food we are eating and what is it doing to the Earth. In 1993 Monsanto administered its own scientific study in Europe on GMOs and the use of Glyphosphate and in just THREE short months it was concluded that GMOs and treatment with Glyphosphate were safe for human consumption and the U.S. moved forward with allowing the consumption of GMOs. Monsanto concluded in their own study that signs of toxicity were seen but they were dismissed as “not biologically meaningful”. Wait, what? That’s right, they saw all the signs of GMOs and the use of Glyphosphate being toxic yet they ignored it. Monsanto went one step further and said that Glyphosphate is not dangerous to humans because unlike plants and microorganisms, we do not have Shikimate Pathways. Sounds a little sketchy right? I thought so too, so I kept digging and BOOM! You might be surprised or down right pissed off at what I found next.
In November of 2012 a scientific journal called the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology published a paper titled ‘Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize’. In this study Dr. Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team of researchers conducted the first, and still only, long-term study of possible health effects of GMOs and maize treated with Roundup. In four to seven months tumors were seen on the tested rats – quite contrary to what Monsanto would have us believe. Furthermore, female rats that were treated died two to three times faster than the controls and almost always had mammary cancer. All the results were sex and hormone dependent and the pituitary was the second-most disabled organ. Males had liver congestion and kidney failure. Isn’t it strange that all these tested rats, the females most notable, were suffering from mammary cancer? You know, breast cancer – something that is occurring more and more frequently among women in the United States.
About a year later this scientific and peer-reviewed journal was removed without proper cause. Why? Well one can imagine that a corporate giant such as Monsanto might not want that kind of press. So what really happened? To put it short, the publishing company Elsevier(which has been around since 1800) created a new position called Associate Editor for Biotechnology(GMO) about 6 months after the release of this journal and the gentleman who was given the job is named Richard E. Goodman – he’s a former Monsanto employee himself. Sounds too good to be true right? Just wait, it gets better. About 6 months after Goodman fills this position the journal was later removed from publication – something that is in clear violation of the Committee of Publication Ethics(COPE). Read more Here.
Oh and this isn’t the only time we have seen Monsanto using their lobbyist dollars to protect their own interest. Here is a nice little graph to help you understand the true scope of what we are dealing with and the revolving door between government and Monsanto.If you would like to read a little more about this obvious connection of interest then I suggest you check out this article and maybe Google a few of those names and see what comes up.
Monsanto demanded to have the raw data of Dr. Seralini’s research released and Dr. Seralini stated that he would gladly oblige if Monsanto would also release their raw data from their study back in 1993 – of course they refused. So, if these GMOs in conjunction with Roundup are safe then what exactly are they hiding? What are they afraid of? Well friends, until now that’s been of hot debate but I think we might finally have a pretty solid answer.
We should be afraid. We should all be very afraid of GMOs and Roundup and the devastating destruction that we are causing on our health and our home that we call Earth.
Just recently an MIT researcher by the name of Dr. Stephanie Seneff made an announcement that may very well change the future of GMOs and how we look at them. Dr. Seneff declared that by 2025 half of all children in the United States will be Autistic. Dr. Seneff had information presented that showed a remarkably consistent correlation of data between the use of Monsanto’s Roundup(Glyphosphate) on GMO crops and the ever increasing rates of Autism. Dr. Seneff went on to explain that in the 1970’s about 1 in every 5,000 children were Autistic and now today about 1 in 68 children are diagnosed as Autistic. This rise in Autism has happened incomprehensibly fast and there has not been a true valid reason or understanding as to why this is happening, until now. Dr. Seneff believes there is a direct correlation between the rising rates of Autism and the creased spraying of Roundup on GMO crops.
It should be noted that Dr. Seneff is not a stranger to the scientific community and has over 170 scientific peer-reviewed journals published under her belt as well as 10 different papers written, 7 of them with her being the lead author, for various medical and health journals on modern diseases, nutrition, drug side effects, and even impacts of environmental toxins on our health.
Dr. Seneff has used over three decades of information to compile her study and back her claims. Thirty years of information. Let that soak in for a minute. Now compare that to Monsanto’s three month study. You can read more about Dr. Seneff here.
Remember when I said I would get back to Glyphosphate? Well here we are: Dr. Seneff states that despite Monsanto’s claims of scientific studies, all of which have been performed by the giant itself in some form or another, Glyphosphate is indeed toxic and incredibly dangerous to humans – on multiple levels. First, Glyphosphate inhibits those weird pathways in plants and microorganisms that I mentioned before, you know, those Shikimate Pathways. Well bacteria are considered microorganisms and we as humans just so happen to have bacteria that live in our gut. These bacteria are actually quite crucial to our health and longevity and are essential for the synthesizing of amino acids that we need to survive.
Now, Monsanto also claims that the Glyphosphate is not being absorbed by plants and therefore not entering the food we eat and now this too has been proven to be false. Recently studies have shown that the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, Glyphosphate, is being found in American women’s breast milk at staggeringly high levels, such as 760 to 1600 times the allowable limit in European drinking water! Dr. Seneff believes that there are numerous side effects to using Roundup on crops, some of which are killing beneficial gut bacteria, allowing pathogens to grow, and of course interfering with proper synthesis of amino acids – i.e the building blocks of life.
We as a global people can not afford to continue to ignore the powerful facts and consistently overwhelming data linking GMOs and Roundup to multiple health and environmental issues. To ignore the very prevalent correlation of data between the rapidly rising rates of Autism with the ever increasing use of GMO crops and Roundup is insanity.
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein
But wait, it’s not over! Still wondering what GMOs look like? While you could look at just about every food we eat and question whether or not it is a GMO I can offer you a glimpse into what a GMO seed looks like. The seeds on the left are covered in poison and then planted in our soil to protect it from pest and other things that may ‘harm’ the seed during growth. Now, it’s pretty clear to me at this point what is wrong with this picture but it continues to get worse. These GMO seeds are disrupting soil fertility by reducing microbial diversity, which in turn decreases the fertility overtime – something that may be irreversible, we still don’t know. It is estimated that we only have about 60 years of topsoil remaining in the world; you know the dirt we plant stuff in? Yeah, it’s running out and it’s running out fast. That fact alone proves that these GMOs and Roundup are clearly not sustainable. GMO seeds are not only destroying us but our Earth as well. The devastating destruction that these GMO seeds in conjunction with Roundup are causing is very well documented damage and you can read more on that here.
I would also like to bring attention to Monsanto’s pledge of sustainable agriculture. Their slogan may be the biggest lie ever told. In fact, after 30 years of studying side by side comparisons of GMO crops VS organic crops the Rodale Institute has proven this to not only be false but also proved that organic crops are far more sustainable, adaptable, and better equipped to feed us now and the world in the future. It was proven that organic crops out perform GMO conventional crops (especially in times of rain) and these organic crops are also much better for the environment. Kind of a no-brainer right? To read more about this I strongly recommend visiting the Rodale Institutes website and study here.
When the earthquake happened in Haiti a few years ago Monsanto stepped forward and donated an abundance of their seeds to help aid the famine. The Haitians immediately took to the streets and protested Monsanto and their seeds and even led demonstrations where they burned the seeds. When asked why, the Haitians stated that the Monsanto seeds are evil poison that kills the Earth and will prevent them from having another crop. You see, that is where the business side of Monsanto comes in. These seeds don’t just use the soil, they destroy it. As farmers, Haitians view seeds as the sacred unity of life across the world. Growing their own food and passing this knowledge on from generation to generation is a cultural way of life for them. If they took and used Monsanto’s seeds the Haitians would have been forced to use the seeds and be stuck with these seeds and would have never been able to grow another crop on their own again. Monsanto has incredibly shady business politics and it is well documented that they plant crops adjacent to organic farmers and then later sue these same farmers the next season after cross-pollination has occurred. Sounds nutty right? I think so too but this is really happening and it’s not just in the United States, this is happening around the world. How you ask? Remember that GMO patent I mentioned at the very beginning? Yep, that’s right. Our government has allowed for the patenting of living material. Not just seeds are patented. Human genes are allowed to be patented as well – our government is allowing for us and everything alive to be owned by someone. A company like Monsanto is attempting to control the global food source.
If you control the food supply, you control the people. – Henry Kissinger
Over the last few years several voting polls have been administered by major news outlets such as The New York Times, MSNBC, Reuters, and the Washington Post and all of these poles showed that over 90% of all Americans who voted want GMOs to be labeled. It is mind boggling that the mass majority of Americans collectively believe that we have the right to know what we are eating and are also predominately concerned with environmental factors as well as health concerns. How can it be that the majority of people want to see these labeling initiatives happen, yet, somehow it never comes to fruition? Monsanto does not only sue farmers, they are also suing states such as Vermont and Connecticut for passing such laws. Pretty disturbing right? A corporation such as Monsanto has a lot to lose if they’re forced to label everything with GMOs. Imagine what the world would be like when everyone realizes that 80% of our food supply is genetically modified. If you would like to read more about the voting polls on GMO labeling you can visit this link and if you would like to read more about Monsanto suing states you can find more here.
So how do we avoid these GMOs? Well thanks to an ever expanding consciousness across the globe as to what is happening, it is becoming increasingly easier to avoid GMOs but it still requires diligence and paying attention to on everyone’s end. Anyone reading this needs to choose to buy as locally and organically as possible. Look for the Non-GMO verification project logo on items that you buy and avoid processed foods at all cost! Vote for GMO labeling initiatives and educate your friends, family, and neighbors. I hope that I have provided some key insight into the GMO world and what is really happening.
I will provide a few more facts and quick links for more information and your reading pleasure.
And remember friends: MARCH AGAINST MONSANTO!
– Kenny Sheafer
here is a link provided by the Non-GMO project that gives you a tri-fold pamphlet of the basic GMO questions.
Link for a book on GMO Myths and Truths.
Link 10 reasons we don’t need GMOs.
Link Roundup and Birth defects
Great Netflix documentaries: GMO OMG, Food Inc., Fat sick and nearly dead, Forks over Knives…just to name a few 😉