If you live in Colorado or Oregon I’m sure you’ve had enough of the political ads against GMO labeling, but why all the fuss?
First, what are GMOs? GMO is Genetically modified Organism. Companies like Monsanto, Dow, and others have modified the DMA of corn, soy, and other crops to benefit the growers so they can grow more with less labor. So that sounds good right? If you planted GMO corn in your back yard next to conventional corn you probably couldn’t tell the difference and there may be no real difference when it is on the table. The danger comes when it is commercially grown.
There are two basic types of genetic modifications they’ve made to the corn, soy, and other plants.
Herbicide Tolerant plants
Can you imagine growing thousands of acres of corn or soy and having to manually weed the crop? Thousands of man hours of grueling work walking up and down rows pulling weeds. So one type of genetic modification is to make the plant resistant to herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. So now rather than pulling weeds they can spray the fields with toxic herbicides like Roundup and kill the weeds, but the GMO corn/soy won’t be affected by the poison. Still doesn’t sound that bad. But when you look at the crop that has been doused with poison it doesn’t kill the corn/soy, but it takes it in and absorbs it. So when they harvest the corn/soy all that Roundup is in each kernel or bean and it ends up in the food you eat.
Go to Home Depot and pick up a bottle of RoundUp and read the precautions label. That is in your corn on the cob and in your kids breakfast cereal, and in the foods sweetened with corn syrup.
Just recently the FDA approved another GMO crop which can withstand a combination of Roundup and Agent Orange. If you remember the Vietnam war, Agent Orange was sprayed on the jungle to kill the foliage. It also had severe health impacts on the troops on the ground. A good friend was a helicopter pilot there and is now a type1 diabetic because of the agent orange.
The other type of genetic modification is to have the plant produce its own insecticide. So rather than having to spray the corps with bug kilers, the plant produces its own and kills the bugs when they eat the plant. So eat the crop and you’re eating insecticide.
The one ad here in Colorado says there are already Organic and Non-GMO Labeling laws, but these are voluntary. Only if a company wants to say their food is GMO they can – which no company will.
So why are the major food producers, growers, and chemical companies spending billions to fight GMO labeling? Because if they had to admit what is in their foods, then many people would switch to non-GMO products. Now you can’t tell. Even if it says No GMOs, or Non GMO, or All Natural, it still has GMOs. Look at a very recent Consumers Reports study where they found that virtually everything includes GMOs unless it has the Organic Seal or the Certified Non-GMO seal.
So please research the facts and really understand the truth behind GMO labeling, then cast your vote.
In Colorado is it Prop 105 – Please vote Yes.
In Oregon it is Measure 92 – Please vote Yes.
Below are several references where you can read more about GMO produce, what it is and what it isn’t
Non GMO Project. This is the organization which provides Non-GMO verification for food products so they can bear the Non-GMO logo. This has pages on describing the types of GMO produce.
Earth Open Source – This has a good paper you can download which reviews much of the safety research on GMO foods.
Roundup Ready Controversy – This is published by MIT. It is factual and fairly neutral.
Environmental Sciences Europe – This is 2 year rat study which is what Monsanto published to get GMOs approved, but monsanto only ran the study for 90 days vs 2 years. In the conclusion they list the ailments seen in the rats – in general a two to three fold increase in mortality.
Food & Water Watch – Agent Orange Ready Corn – This lists the dangers of Agent Orange.
GMO Answers – To give fair balance, this is an industry site (Monsanto, food manufactures, etc) so the information is very pro GMO.
Manufacturing.net – This is a news outlet for the manufacturing industry, including foods. They have a good writeup on who is funding the anti-GMO labeling campaigns in Colorado and Oregon and why.
Graphic of who has contributed to each side of the GMO labeling campaigns – This is a great graphic by the Cornucopia Institute of which companies and organizations have contributed how much to both sides of the GMO labeling campaigns in Colorado and Oregon.