Wondering Why We Choose To Say No GMOs In Our Diets?
Our friends over at the Non-GMO Project have thrown down the gauntlet this month with a challenge to go GMO free for a day, a week a month, or for good. We support anyone going the distance to kick these Frankenfoods out of their diet. Why say no to GMOs? Research shows that GMOs are bad for body and planet. We’ll get to that in just a minute.
What Are GMOs?
First, just what is a GMO? GMO stands for genetically modified organism. For centuries farmers have genetically crossed one variety of produce with another in the same family to create a superior product (think, apples with apples). This is not what we mean by GMO. GMOs are created in a lab when scientists cross the genes of different species to make foods that grow faster or are resistant to certain toxins.
If that sounds X-Files, you’ve got the right idea. The genetically modified Aqua Bounty salmon, for example, is made by crossing the genes of an Atlantic Salmon with those of an eel-like species called an ocean pout. The genes of the ocean pout cause the salmon to grow twice as fast as wild salmon making it more profitable for farmers. That may be good news for them, but how eating such foods using GMOs impacts consumers and the planet is far more dubious.
10 Reasons To Kick GMOs Out Of Your Diet This Month And Every Month
1. GMOs are Covered In Herbicide Residue
These residues are far more toxic than others. That’s because the weeds these herbicides are meant to kill are becoming more resistant to their use. “Between 1996 and 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs,” reports Science in Society Archive. Monsanto has had to up the toxic ante to make their product work. Naturally, the company says that these toxins are perfectly safe for human consumption. We beg to differ.
2. We Don’t Know What They’re Doing To Our Bodies
How bad are GMOs for our health and is it worth the effort to truly go non-GMO? There has never been an independent human trial examining the impacts of GMOs. Today, it’s virtually impossible to conduct such research because we’ve all been exposed. In one study, Bt toxin, a bacteria that produces proteins that are toxic to insects and that is inserted into GM corn, was found in 93 percent of pregnant woman and their fetuses. That means, many children today are exposed to GMOs before they’re even born! What we do know is that numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996 including chronic illness, food allergies, autism, reproductive disorders and more.
3. GMOs Contribute to Global Warming
For a more global reason to choose no GMOs, consider this. Genetically modified crops require high doses of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, which are associated with nitrous oxide emissions. This greenhouse gas is 300 times more harmful than CO2. What’s more, producing these fertilizers requires high amounts of fossil fuels.
4. Cross Pollination Is Real
Like the seeds of any plant, when the wind blows, GMO seeds travel. This natural occurrence has led to irreversible cross-pollination and the loss of organic crops. “Overall, GMO presence cost organic farmers at least $6.1 million over four years,” reports Food & Water Watch. “This figure is 77 times that reported during the 2006 to 2011 timeframe—a staggering increase.”
5. GMOs Are Linked to Cancer
Milk from cows treated with rBGH, a genetically modified bovine growth hormone has higher levels of IGF-1, a hormone that helps cells grow. “Several studies have found that IGF-1 levels at the high end of the normal range may influence the development of certain tumors,” reports the American Cancer Society. “Some early studies found a relationship between blood levels of IGF-1 and the development of prostate, breast, colorectal, and other cancers.”
6. There Are Unknown Side Effects
“By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects,” reports the Institute for Responsible Technology. “Moreover, irrespective of the type of genes that are inserted, the very process of creating a genetically modified plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.”
7. GMOs Are Killing The Planet
Dumping potent herbicides on crops does not just kill weeds, these toxins also harm birds, insects and amphibians. In fact, after exploring the impacts of genetically modified crops on biodiversity in the UK, researchers determined that their harm far outpaced any potential benefits.
“The commercialization of GM beet and oilseed rape could be disastrous for birds,” noted Dr. Mark Avery, director of conservation at the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and member of the UK government’s Science Review Panel after the study. “The government is committed to reversing bird declines and has promised to ban GM crops if they damage the environment. The Farm Scale Evaluations show that two GM crops harm the environment and ministers now have no choice but to refuse their approval.”
As a result of this research, no GM crops were approved for cultivation in the UK.
8. GMOs Use Harsher and Stronger Pesticides
It’s not just GMO Herbicides that are getting stronger, companies are also upping the ante in genetically modified pesticides as insects become more resistant. Agrochemical companies just received USDA approval to grow corn and soybeans resistant to 2, 4-D — a chemical related to Agent Orange. If it kills bugs that eat it, just imagine what it’s doing to our bodies.
9. We’re Actually Allergic To GMOs
This topic is hotly contested, but it’s hard to deny the research. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies jumped 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. That was one year after GMOs were introduced. Coincidence? We think not – it’s time to say no GMOs.
10. GMOs Are Linked To Infertility
While the connection between GMOs and infertility is unclear simply because it’s virtually impossible to conduct a human trial (see reason 2), what we do know is that when fed to animals, genetically modified foods do result in infertility.
When genetically modified soy was fed to female rats, most of their babies died within three weeks—compared to a 10 percent death rate among the control group fed natural soy, reports Change.org. The GMO fed babies were also smaller, and later had infertility problems. When male rats were fed GM soy, their testicles actually changed color—from the normal pink to dark blue. Mice fed GM soy had altered young sperm. Even the embryos of GMO fed parent mice had significant changes in their DNA. Mice fed GM corn in an Austrian government study had fewer babies, which were also smaller than normal.
If these studies demonstrate the detrimental effects of GMO on lab rats, what more will it produce on humans?
Freaked Out By GMOs? So Are We.