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GMO Myths and Truths

September 13, 2012
GMO: Genetically modified Organism……. biotechnological changes made in a laboratory to the structure of the plants that become our food
With the coming vote in California about labeling products with GMOs, the amount of money being spent to fight this by major corporations is amazing. It has reached over 25 million dollars!The companies that are fighting it are ONLY concerned about their bottom line…they believe that if consumers know the food we are eating is genetically modified, we will chose not to eat it. They want to keep us ignorant!  They prefer to make money.

So, in a nutshell, what is the story here? If you want more background about GMOs read my prior series.

Time to Talk about GMOs-Part 1

Advantages of GMOs-Part 2

What are the concerns about GMO foods—Part 3

Are we eating GMO foods?—part 4

Genetically modified (GM) crops are promoted on the basis of a range of far-reaching claims from the GM crop industry and its supporters. They say that GM crops:
  • Are an extension of natural breeding and do not pose different risks from naturally bred crops
  • Are safe to eat and can be more nutritious than naturally bred crops
  • Are strictly regulated for safety
  • Increase crop yields
  • Reduce pesticide use
  • Benefit farmers and make their lives easier
  • Bring economic benefits
  • Benefit the environment
  • Can help solve problems caused by climate change
  • Reduce energy use
  • Will help feed the world.

However, a large and growing body of scientific and other authoritative evidence shows that these claims are not true. On the contrary, evidence presented in this report indicates that GM crops:

  • Are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GM crops
  • Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts
  • Are not adequately regulated to ensure safety
  • Do not increase yield potential
  • Do not reduce pesticide use but increase it
  • Create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant “superweeds”, compromised soil quality, and increased disease susceptibility in crops
  • Have mixed economic effects
  • Harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity
  • Do not offer effective solutions to climate change
  • Are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops
  • Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes – poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on.

Based on the evidence presented in this report, there is no need to take risks with GM crops when effective, readily available, and sustainable solutions to the problems that GM technology is claimed to address already exist. Conventional plant breeding, in some cases helped by safe modern technologies like gene mapping and marker assisted selection, continues to outperform GM in producing high-yield, drought-tolerant, and pest- and disease-resistant crops that can meet our present and future food needs.

And back to the issue of Proposition 37, I want to know what is in my food….I want to know that the cereal I am buying, the oil I use for cooking, the oatmeal packets my kid prepares for his breakfast do not contain modifications that have shown up in lab animals to be unhealthy. California has started the process asking for information and if you support the idea that information is good, then you need to support this!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    September 14, 2012 12:21 am

    Excellent blog! Thank you for making it so clear for us to understand! I will be following the election results to see what California does with this. I wish I could vote from Oregon!

    • September 14, 2012 10:28 am

      If CA is able to require labeling, the assumption is the rest of us will see the labeling since it would be difficult to have two different runs for packaging in the US.

  2. September 14, 2012 3:21 am

    I totally agree with Laura. Including the thank you part and wishing I could vote in CA.

    • September 14, 2012 10:26 am

      Getting the word out is important. Most people do not realize we have been eating GMOs since the mid 1990s.

      • September 14, 2012 6:10 pm

        and that’s no accident…

  3. September 14, 2012 7:08 pm

    Oregon had a referendum on labeling GMOs years ago. There was so much money and misinformation poured into the campaign that, sadly, it lost. The usual lies about how it would hurt that family farm and drive up food prices won the day.

  4. September 15, 2012 7:42 pm

    Here is the latest report about this awful bio-threat to our way of life……The Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods

    • September 15, 2012 9:41 pm

      I know Dr. Mercola’s interest in this and use other sources to verify what he reports. To me the worse part is that we went so long without know this. The need to know your farmer is even more important now!

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