Six years ago, Americans began eating genetically engineered food. Surprised? That's because no one told you. While other countries require mandatory labeling of these food ingredients, our FDA has decided we don't need to know.
What are Genetically Modified (GM) Foods?
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is created
by means that overcome natural boundaries. Combining genes from different organisms is known as recombinant DNA technology, and the resulting organism is said to be "genetically modified," "genetically engineered," or "transgenic." GM products (current or in the pipeline) include medicines and vaccines, foods and food ingredients, feeds, and fibers.
Genetic engineering involves crossing species which
could not cross in nature. For example, genes from a fish have been inserted into strawberries and tomatoes. While the Food and Drug Administration insists that foods produced by genetic engineering are the same as foods from traditional breeding, their own scientists reported that, "the processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different and... they lead to different risks." (1)
Why are companies spending billions on this crazy idea? Because they want to own copyrights on a genes that no one else 'owns' - so that they can make billions of dollars from them.
In 2003, about 167 million acres (67.7 million hectares) grown by 7 million farmers in 18 countries were planted with transgenic crops, the principal ones being herbicide- and insecticide-resistant soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola.
In 2003, countries that grew 99% of the global transgenic crops were the United States (63%), Argentina (21%), Canada (6%), Brazil (4%), and China (4%), and South Africa (1%). Although growth is expected to plateau in industrialized countries, it is increasing in developing countries. The next decade will see exponential progress in GM product development as researchers gain increasing and unprecedented access to genomic resources that are applicable to organisms beyond the scope of individual projects.
RISKS? WITH FOOD???
Don't believe the people who say there is no evidence of the harm they do:
To give just a few examples:
1. Pesticides are now going to be INSIDE the food you eat!
The lifespan of ladybugs (ladybirds) was reduced to half when they ate aphids that had fed on genetically altered potatoes in Scotland, according to a London Times article (10/22/97) by Science Editor, Nigel Hawkes. The ladybugs also laid fewer eggs. Note that the ladybirds did not even eat the genetically modified food directly, as we are doing now. They ate something ELSE that had eaten the GMOs. The danger lived on in the food chain.
For more information.
3. A recent TV Show by PBS (Public Broadcasting) on GMO's showed how people have now created salmon that is several times bigger than normal salmon, and grows faster. Thankfully, these salmon are currently being farmed inland. However, to save a few dollars the salmon farm is currently seeking permission to farm the salmon in fenced off sections of the ocean. The problem is that if even a couple get away, they could cause the extinction of salmon, because wild salmon prefer the larger salmon because they assume they are better mates, and the resulting offspring have much less chance (if any) of surviving and reproducing.
4. The danger to many humans who are allergic to certain foods is guaranteed, because no one will know what they are eating. For example, say someone is deathly allergic to peanuts. A GMO may have a gene from a peanut in them. The allergic person could get a reaction from eating ANYTHING that contained the peanut gene. They wouldn't even know what caused it - because there are no labelling laws about GMOs.
5. An article in
Spectrum Magazine described a Polish experiment which showed that mice definitely prefer non GMO food to GMO food. And when forced to eat GMO food, the mice began to display bizarre behavioral characteristics.
The sad thing is that we don't even need GMOs to produce more food. There is already 2-4 times enough food on the planet to feed everyone. And if people want to grow food in their own area, the methods described in the book, "Secrets of the Soil" will give them the nutritional abundance they seek. But multinational chemical companies with billions of dollars to lose don't want you to know this.
Monsanto's View On GM Crop Safety
A Monsanto official told the New York Times, October 25, 1998, that the corporation should not have to take responsibility for the safety of its food products.
"Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food," said Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications.
"Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job."
Oddly though, the FDA only requests of firms that they conduct their own tests of new GM products in what Vice President Quale back in 1992 referred to as a "regulatory relief program." The FDA makes no review of those tests unless voluntarily requested by the company producing the product.
Here's yet another example of our FDA watching out for us... In 1994, the FDA approved Monsanto's rBGH, a genetically produced growth hormone, for injection into dairy cows – even though scientists warned the resulting increase of IGF-1 (a potent chemical hormone) is linked to
400-500% higher risks of human breast, prostrate, and colon cancer.