I’m El and have lived in the USA for many years now, having moved from the UK to set up a natural smoothie bar. I would like to share my experiences and thoughts with what is going on in the USA regarding genetically modified foods, or GMO’s as they are known. It’s a lengthy subject so I will just cover the main points. GMO’s (frankenstein foods) have been in existence for 18 years.
What is genetic modification? It’s the manipulation of DNA by humans to change the essential make-up of plants and animals. The technology inserts genetic material from one species to another to give it a new quality, such as the ability to produce a pesticide. Some crops have been engineered to be resistant to glyphosate – the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broad leaf weed killer ‘Roundup‘. These two GM traits – pesticide production and herbicide resistance – are now pervasive in American agriculture. Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer are the main culprits of GM foods.
Surprisingly enough, GM foods are not labelled in the USA because the all powerful bio-tech industry has convinced the FDA that GM crops are not ‘substantially different’ from conventional varieties. No independent testing is done and unless we grow all our food or always buy organic, we are eating GM foods almost daily. Unbelievable isn’t it that our food is not labeled! Most of us interested in food simply want the right to know what is in our food. Many other countries require labeling (the European Union and Australia) and some have banned all GM foods. (Japan, Ireland and Egypt).
Why does the USA drag its heels with GMO foods? Multi-billion dollar agricultural corporations have restricted independent research on their genetically engineered crops and these companies are so powerful, they can lobby the government and get their own way. Money talks and the only people to gain, other than these huge companies, are the stockbrokers and investors in these bio-tech companies. The Oregon initiative for labeling was soundly defeated – the bio-tech companies poured money into fighting the ‘Just Label It’ campaign. How can these companies been allowed to get so powerful? What can we do?
- Buy seeds from GMO free companies.
- Buy organic and support local growers who refuse to use GMO products.
- If you have investments in bio-tech stock, move out of these funds.
- Get involved, everything we do as individuals helps change bad practices. We will talk about milk and the bovine growth hormone another time.
What are your thoughts on GM foods?
A post on Monsanto being blamed for the collapse of the bee population: http://theintelhub.com/2012/04/19/blamed-for-bee-collapse-monsanto-buys-leading-bee-research-firm/