The Threats From Genetically Modified Foods

Genetically modified foods and crops pose serious threats to human and animal health, but Big Ag doesn’t want you to know that.

| April/May 2012

  • Crop-Spraying-Roundup
    Glyphosate, Roundup's active ingredient, has been linked to birth defects in birds and amphibians, as well as to cancer, endocrine disruption, damage to DNA, and reproductive and developmental damage in mammals. Roundup-Ready crops are genetically modified to withstand drenching with this weedkiller.
    PHOTO: DAVE REEDE PHOTOGRAPHY
  • GM Corn
    Genetically modified corn now accounts for 86 percent of all corn planted in the United States.
    FOTOLIA/LAMAX
  • GM Fruits And Vegetables
    Genetically modified versions of all of these foods have been in the supermarket for years ­— but they’re not labeled as such.
    USDA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE
  • GM Crops Chart
    GM crops include Bt cotton and corn, and herbicide-tolerant (HT) soy, cotton, and corn. Almost all soybeans grown in the United States are now genetically modified. This data is from two USDA reports.
    NATE SKOW; SOURCES: USDA ERS & NASS
  • GM Milk Cows
    An Ohio court ruled in 2010 that milk from cows injected with rBST is inferior to natural milk.
    FOTOLIA/INZYX
  • Non GMO Verified
    Buy organic whenever possible, and look for foods labeled “Non-GMO Verified.” The Non-GMO Project is an independent nonprofit that requires independent, third-party verification before awarding its label.
    NON-GMO PROJECT

  • Crop-Spraying-Roundup
  • GM Corn
  • GM Fruits And Vegetables
  • GM Crops Chart
  • GM Milk Cows
  • Non GMO Verified

Eighteen years after the first genetically modified food, the Flavr Savr tomato, came to market, the controversy about genetically modified foods rages. The call to label GM foods continues to build, yet the federal government has not responded. GM foods now illegal in many developed countries have been part of the American diet for nearly two decades. As GMOs have come to dominate major agribusiness sectors, a handful of chemical/biotech companies now control not only genetically modified seeds but virtually our entire seed supply (see the Seed Industry Structure chart).

(You may see genetically modified plants and animals referred to as GMOs, for “genetically modified organisms,” or GE, for “genetically engineered.” The terms are essentially interchangeable. We use GMO as a noun and GM as an adjective. — MOTHER EARTH NEWS)  

“Genetic modification” refers to the manipulation of DNA by humans to change the essential makeup of plants and animals. The technology inserts genetic material from one species into another to give a crop or animal a new quality, such as the ability to produce a pesticide. These DNA transfers could never occur in nature and are not as precise as proponents make them sound. 

Some genetically modified crops have been engineered to include genetic material from BT (Bacillus thuringiensis), a natural bacterium found in soil. Inserting the Bt genes makes the plant itself produce bacterial toxins, thereby killing the insects that could destroy it. The first GM crop carrying Bt genes, potatoes, were approved in the United States in 1995. Today there are Bt versions of corn, potatoes and cotton.



Roundup-Ready crops — soybeans, corn, canola, sugar beets, cotton, alfalfa and Kentucky bluegrass — have been manipulated to be resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broadleaf weedkiller Roundup.

These two GM traits — herbicide resistance and pesticide production — are now pervasive in American agriculture. The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service says that, in 2010, as much as 86 percent of corn, up to 90 percent of all soybeans and nearly 93 percent of cotton were GM varieties.

Sambasha
1/10/2018 1:28:43 PM

I can link higher cancer rates to an increase in snowfall if I look hard enough. Has the writer of this article read peer reviewed untainted solid scientific studies with regard to glyphosate? Just asking because most anti-GMO articles are easily picked apart by an educated biochemist. Who here is a scientist whose studies and findings have been reviewed and scrutinized? Spreading false information is what the anti-GMO gang has seemingly resorted to. YOU NEED SOLID SCIENCE guys......there is none offered from this side of the debate. Cheers!


Sambasha
1/10/2018 1:28:39 PM

I can link higher cancer rates to an increase in snowfall if I look hard enough. Has the writer of this article read peer reviewed untainted solid scientific studies with regard to glyphosate? Just asking because most anti-GMO articles are easily picked apart by an educated biochemist. Who here is a scientist whose studies and findings have been reviewed and scrutinized? Spreading false information is what the anti-GMO gang has seemingly resorted to. YOU NEED SOLID SCIENCE guys......there is none offered from this side of the debate. Cheers!


Szipher
8/5/2015 11:50:00 PM

Brawndo It's got electrolytes!






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