Not Nice to Fool With Mother Nature
Since the early 90's, agribusiness has been converting a large portion of our naturally grown food supply to one that is derived from genetically modified seeds. Some of these crops include corn, soybeans, potatoes and tomatoes, and approximately 60% of processed foods contain GMO's.
Many informed scientists express concern about the health and environmental risks associated with GMO's, and many renowned biologists contend that the claim by the biotech industry and the FDA that GM crops are not demonstrably different from those that have been cultivated through cross breeding and pollination and are therefore safe, is false. Genetic engineering has made it possible to combine genes from species that would never exchange genetic material in Nature.
During the genetic engineering of food, genes are taken from animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses and are artificially inserted into the DNA of food crops, which bypass the relatively slow natural evolutionary process, and in so doing, create opportunities for diseases and genetic weaknesses to cross over to completely unrelated species. Genetic engineering uses techniques that can allow genes to move spontaneously in the organism's genetic material, which can cause unexpected changes. These changes could have catastrophic consequences to humans and the environment. While it's true that naturally occurring mutations can have similar effects, the probability is greatly increased as a result of genetic engineering.
As an example of the possible harm GMO's can cause, studies have shown that genetic sequences survive digestion and can enter the blood stream through the digestive tract, and then enter cells where they can interfere with the immune system, or cause cancers.
Not only do genetically engineered crops pose a real danger to human health, they can potentially do great damage to the environment. GM crops can reproduce and cross-pollinate with non-GM crops, and with closely related wild species. If a genetically engineered plant creates unanticipated problems, it will be impossible to remove it from the environment. Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin said in a New York Times Magazine article (10/25/98)...
this isn't bad enough, the FDA and other regulatory agencies officially
see GM crops as "equivalent" to natural crops, so new products
containing GM substances have been approved with nothing more than a safety
assessment done by the company who intends to sell the product! Somehow
this does not help me rest easy.
now, the biotech industry was trying to keep consumers in the dark regarding
GM foods. But thanks to the uproar in Europe (which has led to an almost
complete rejection of GM foods there), and the growing number of protests
in the U.S. against GM foods, the biotech industry is endeavoring to win
you over with a powerful ad campaign to program you (via television programming)
with a positive attitude towards genetic engineering. You may have seen
the TV commercials about "Golden Rice".
The widespread introduction of GMO's into our environment will result in one of the most profound transformations of our delicate ecosystem that has ever occurred. There is currently no need for such a transformation. Efforts to create a food supply from mostly genetically modified crops only benefit the corporations involved. The rest of the population - who have had no say in this decision, either through the political system or as informed consumers - are unwitting guinea pigs in what is essentially a massive and potentially dangerous experiment.
Knowledge is power, and so is your dollar. Ask your grocer to inform their distributors that you don't want genetically engineered food. Write or email your representatives in government and demand that food items containing GMO's be labeled as such. For other suggestions, visit gefoodalert.org
Genetically Modified foods are creating a situation where "Oops!" could mean the end of civilization as we know it. I think that's a good reason to get involved, how about you?