The Dangers of GMO Food Crops
GMO is an acronym for Genetically Modified Organisms. These are mostly produce crops but it also has been expanded to include fish and other living animals. Recently Environment Canada gave permission to AquaBounty in PEI to use GMO fish eggs to use in a fish farm. These "FrankenFish" grow twice as fast and twice the size of natural wild salmon. If that was meant to happen nature would have produced fish like this. In crops the seeds have been modified at the DNA level to be resistant to pesticides. This sounds good in theory but whenever humans have dabbled in modifying natural organisms the results are often not nice.
GMO's are often referred to as "FrankenFoods" in reference to Frankenstein written by Mary Shelly in 1818. The monster is often called Frankenstein but it actually had no name but most everyone calls it "Frankenstein." This tale tells of the disaster that followed when Dr. Frankenstein dabbled with creating a being using body parts and bringing it to life. Dr. Frankenstein's assistant was sent to a lab to retreive a brain. He broke the vessel that contained a normal brain and he brought back an abnormal brain instead that led to the tragedy.
Monsanto is the leader corporation in GMO technology. The modified seeds are pitched as a way for farmers to increase crop yields because the seeds have been modified to produce crops that are resistant to pesticides. The crops can be sprayed with powerful pesticides that are supposed to kill the weeds and bugs but the crops will be unaffected. This sounds good in theory but in truth it is proving to be quite dangerous. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave their blessing for these seeds to be marketed. Guess who did the testing? You guessed it (I hope) that it was Monsanto that did the testing and presented the findings to the FDA that gave their blessing that GMO crops were safe. This process is like asking the wolf to guard the sheep herd. Crazy? You bet! You would think that independent testing would be required.
Hugh Grant the Chairman and CEO of Monsanto eats organic. Doesn't he trust his own companies GMO crop products? Apparently not. Here is a quote from an interview:
Ryssdal: Do you ever buy organic food yourself?
Grant: Yeah, I do. Yeah.
Here is a lengthy video (just over an hour) about one Saskatchewan farmer who refused to be bullied by Monsanto and decided to fight back. The fight is not over but he had the guts to stand up to Monsanto for the rights to plant what HE wanted on HIS land. He has won some crucial decisions against Monsanto which has given hope and strength to other farmers to fight back. The whole issue started when Monsanto said they found GMO soy plants on his land (GMO seeds or pollen had blown over from a neighbouring farm) and sued him for patent infringement.
How was the testing done? Monsanto fed lab rats feed created from GMO crops for 90 days and all the rats survived and when examined none of the rats had anything wrong with them. This is the evidence presented to the FDA. BUT independent testing found that if the rats were allowed to live 120 days or more most of the rats developed tumours, many of them cancerous. See this web site for details of long term testing.
Most soy and corn crops grown in the U.S. are grown from GMO seeds. Most soy in Canada is grown from GMO seeds. A lot of food items on store shelves contain soy and corn ingedients such as corn oil, fructose made from GMO corn. Check this site for all the names for sugar, most of which is produced from corn that appear on labels instead of just saying "sugar." The list goes on. Here is a short video about two ladies going grocery shopping and one of them is educating the other about the dangers of GMO's and chemicals in our food. Click here. The bottom line is DO NOT buy any processed food containing soy products or corn oil from the U.S. because you can bet your bottom dollar that virtually all these products were produced using GMO crops. Here is another short video about the dangers of GMO crops. Click here.
Here is a list of crops in the U.S. that are grown from GMO seed:
Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Sugar Beets (approx. ...
Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx.
And here is a list of GMO crops grown in Canada:
Only 4 GMO crops are currently grown in Canada:
Cattle are fed GMO corn so the meat you eat from the U.S. contains GMO material. I will not even think of buying meat from the U.S. Its bad enough buying veggies from the U.S. in the winter. Canada does NOT have any laws about labelling produce or processed food containing GMO's. Scary?
Do you remember the Vietnam War? Monsanto brought out Agent Orange, a defoliant that was supposed to be safe for humans. The idea was to spray from the air huge areas of jungle killing off all plant life to give the Viet Cong less areas to hide. After the war most of the soldiers exposed to Agent Orange died of cancer, mostly leukemia. Cases brought to court were thrown out because it was stated that any conditions like this were "the result of wartime service." In other words if you were a soldier who served in Vietnam you also signed away any non-combat risk factors such as Agent Orange.
Many groups have lobbied to have GMO's banned or at least have products labelled that contain GMO material. Monsanto and many large corporations counter lobbied with millions of dollars in propaganda information to convince the population that GMO crops are safe. Why would Monsanto and other corporations support the use of GMO seeds? Profit from seed sales and the promise of greater crop yields and the use of powerful pesticides produced by Monsanto that are supposed to kill weeds and insects that interfere with crop yields.
The problem is GMO seeds have been modified to be pesticide resistant but nature always finds a way. Some of the weeds survived and multiplied. The answer? Use yet more powerful pesticides that coat the crops and in many cases soak into them which we then are supposed to ingest. Guess what happened. They now have a host of "super weeds" to deal with. I saw a picture once of a farm worker dressed in a Hazmat suit (term for hazarderous materials safety suit) from head to toe, helmet and all, no exposed skin at all pouring pesticide (probably Roundup, a Monsanto produced pesticide) into a tank in preparation for crop spraying. If Roundup is safe for humans why would crop spayers have to wear Hazmat suits? Hmmmm.....
Here is a very short video showing an interview with a Monsanto employee. The interviewer was asking the Monsanto employee if Glysophate (the original name for Roundup) was safe for humans as many people in Argentina had been diagnosed with cancer after the introduction of Roundup. He said that Glysophate was completely safe and he would have no hesitation in drinking a quart of the stuff. The interviewer said they had some in the fridge and would he be willing to drink some of it on camera. Watch the reaction. Click here.
All these powerful pesticides also have a very dangerous side affect. When was the last time you saw a bumble bee or a butterfly? Not for quite some time I would bet even in rural areas. When I was a child (almost 60 years ago) there were bees and butterflies in abundance but today they are a very rare sight indeed. This is all blamed on pesticides. There was a book written in the 1960's called Silent Spring where a lot of natural life such as bees and birds were killed off and was not evident until spring arrived hence the name of the book. The book was written as a warning about the use of pesticides, in particular DDT which was finally banned in the U.S. in 1972. We are very close to making fiction a reality. Check this web site and be prepared to be concerned, maybe even scared. You should be.
There has been a steady increase in the number of children with allergies, Type II Diabetes and autism. And the numbers are climbing. Everything I have read on the subject points to the cause of pesticides and/or GMO's.
The bottom line is that people in America are being slowly poisoned to death or end up with the conditions mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Many processed foods that we eat come from the U.S. so cutting out processed food of any type is essential or we in Canada will end up in the same position as those in the U.S. The bottom line is to eat natural and eat local produce or organic when not available in the winter in Canada. I cringe when I go to my favourite produce store in the winter and wonder if I am buying GMO produce. I have written the company and they are well aware of GMO produce and make every effort not to buy GMO produce from their wholesalers although they cannot 100% guarantee that any of their produce is not GMO. The bottom line is in the winter buy certified organic or in some cases such as tomatoes buy hothouse grown in Canada.
One final note. DO NOT use vegetable oil as this oil has been produced likely from soy and corn oil and are VERY high in trans fats. Man-made trans fats are very high in omega-6 fatty acids which cause an imbalance in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This will cause arterial inflamation where cholesterol, a natural substance in our blood, will catch on the inflammed arterial walls. More will collect in the spot until a blockage occurs causing a heart attack or a stroke. The solution? Doctors prescribe statin drugs (cholesterol lowering drugs) as the solution. That's the way the medical and the pharmaceutical companies treat this and most any medical condition, go after the AFFECT of the condition rather than treating the CAUSE of the condition. Some natural products such as coconut oil (very good for you) contain a LOT of trans fats BUT these are NATURALLY occuring trans fats and are okay. Its the MAN-MADE trans fats in vegetable oils and such that you have to stay away from.
I read an article about GMO's from one of my mentors, Mark Sisson. I read the whole article and his conclusion the real worry is not GMO food crops that have been modified by inserting genes into the DNA of normal seeds. He says our bodies will adapt to these changes. He compares it to cross breeding of plants that has been done for centuries. Some of these are done by nature producing a new strain of the plant. The real worry (according to Mark) is the pesticide Roundup. The base of Roudup is Glyphosate but extra so called "inert" chemicals added to Roudup makes it 125 times as toxic than just Glyphosate. See this report for additional information. Some veggies can be washed to remove most of the Roundup pesticide. In crops like green peppers Roundup soaks into the inside of the green pepper from Roundup collecting in the top of the green pepper where the stalk connects to the pepper.