So at one point or another you may have heard the term GMO. You may know it has a bad connotation, but you are not sure why.
What is GMO?
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. Using genetic engineering, scientists alter genetic material in crops to make them resist insecticides, herbicides and make the crop yields higher. In United States, majority of soybeans, sugar beets, canola and corn have been genetically modified.
What is Monsanto?
On May 25th, millions of people banded together in 436 cities around the world to protest GMO and Monsanto. Why Monsanto? Monsanto is the world’s largest manufacturer of genetically engineered seed. It owns over 90% of all genetically engineered seeds.
Monsanto uses technology to modify crops, which in turn, allows Monsanto to patent them. By having patented seeds and crops, Monsanto essentially lawfully owns and controls majority of the food supply. Farmers who use their seeds are required to sign contracts that they will not save or reuse the seeds. Otherwise, they can and will be sued.
Monsanto crops are heavily fertilized with poisonous pesticides, fertilizers, etc.
Monsanto uses its 13.5+ billion a year revenue to create loopholes and new laws that allow them drive organic farmers out of business and contaminate the environment and food supply with genetically engineered foods. The company is making so much money, that it is simply buying out its competitors and forming a monopoly over the world’s grain trade.
Why should I care?
GMOs are banned in 27 and labeled in 61 countries. There must be a reason for this. While US is quick to jump to anything that will produce them more profit, not enough time is spent researching the side-effects of GMOs and its effects on our health before contaminating our food industry with untested foods.
Furthermore, GMOs have a very negative effect on the environment. The herbicides used by Monsanto and other similar companies to grow these crops, sometimes run off into neighboring farms, streams and populated areas. Which is poisoning our environment and us as well. They have been also linked to the recent bee colony collapse.
Companies like monsanto, producing GMOs, should have researched them for many many years before even considering releasing them into our food supply. Instead, we are the test bunnies. Not only that, after all this new research has shown the negative side effects, the companies not only refuse to eliminate GMOs but to even let us know that they are in our foods. Companies have spent over 35 million dollars in defeating Proposition 37 in California, that would have required the food industry to step up and label products that contain GMOs.
If Monsanto and GMOs are beneficial to our health, why can’t we know what’s in our food?
Why can I do?
- Avoid any products that contain GMOs. Here’s a useful website to help you find non-gmo products.
- Do your research and shop smart.
- Buy organic food that’s grown closest to you. Here’s a website to help you.
- Avoid and boycott companies that support GMOs.
- Spread and share the information.
Companies to boycott/avoid: