What the Hell is GMO?

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I raised a question of would you want to know if GMO’s were in your food?  Of course, bypassing the obvious question of what are they?  Or what foods are we talking about?  The truth will set you free but is it from the right prison?  Overly deep end thought…

In the beginning, there was crops and they were good.  Then we bred two different similar species and got varieties.  Now fast forward crossing these variations with more and we get high yield producing plants.  Some inherit resistance to disease.  Some grow faster better for cold or dry climates.  Some are more heat tolerant.  Resist to pests is harder to control.  Similarities among varieties means one disease, blight, or pest kills large portions or affects large areas.  One farmer has many options.  Corn, wheat, soybeans, millet, sunflower, name your grain it’s been breed for specific traits.

Enter companies that produce wholesale seeds.  I choose Monsanto because they are large player in the field.  I even took a couple of their posted answers to their seeds and the GMO question on labeling.  Because it is the question of knowing.  They are a major source of Genetically Modified Organisms, as represented by the seed.

Monsanto uses plant breeding and biotechnology to create seeds that grow into stronger, more resilient crops that require fewer resources.  

On GMO labeling

“..ongoing studies by independent experts such as the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have shown that foods containing GMOs aren’t dangerous or inferior to foods that don’t. We don’t support mandatory labeling of GMOs, as we believe it will leave consumers confused about the safety and nutrition of the foods they enjoy every day.

Here is a full statement on GMO safety from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the world’s leading sources of experts on this subject. We do support a voluntary labeling approach – it allows companies who make GMO-free food to reach customers who choose to avoid GMOs.”

In fairness, their seeds are used throughout the world.  Bioengineered seeds are not grown is some countries due to legistalive actions within that country toward this question.  Companies like Monsanto have engineered seeds for commercial production.  These seeds have been researched by the same company that produces them.  No evidence of damage to human cells have been presented from their findings.  There is no direct agency tasked with forcing this research.  They offer more information at http://discover.monsanto.com

The other shoe is of course not on the same pair of feet.  This is the other side.  Between the European Union, Australia, Japan, and forty countries concerns remain.  The pollen of GMO seeds leave residue in other fields.  Insects that have been exposed to these crops have been killed by toxins held in plant proteins.  These can be beneficial or pests.  It does not discriminate.  The resistance to disease and pests does not leave the plant.  The same plant that produces the grains that feed us.  And what feeds what becomes feed for us (cattle, chickens, commercial fish, pork, goat, lamb, turkey, cavas, etc.).  

I choose an impact estimate from the Non-GMO Project.  They are their questions.

How common are GMOs?

In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food. For a current list of GMO risk crops go to http://nongmoproject.org

What are the impacts of GMOs on the environment?

Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs:’ which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.

This is a narrow view.  You don’t have the time or patience to read everything on my little blog.  Ok, I’m only giving a taste of the issue.  I have a distant
past with chemistry (organic with some research involved-NOT expert).  If it can kill a bug in sufficient quantity it will kill you!  The problem is we don’t know ten year, twenty year, thirty year impact on us.  Small quantities of chemicals that are difficult for our bodies to process add up.  How much to cause an increase in cancer, altering the stomach acid production, interfere with insulin, or destroy DNA? No one knows?  We don’t know if it can happen.  We don’t know how many chemicals are retained in the chicken that eats GMO grain.  

The balance of feeding an overpopulated world with less disease and lower child mortality rates, and our healthy food supply will be a give and take proposition.  If you go by surveys 80-90% of us want to know what are food contains.  50-60% would not purchase a product they knew contained GMO’s.  The U.S. Government has passed legislation in the House of Representatives to deny the labeling of GMO containing foods.  Main reasons are cost to the manufacturers and lack of public outcry.  

I want to know what I’m eating!  Do you?  Leave a comment.  Take a stand.  You have an opinion feel free to share.

21 thoughts on “What the Hell is GMO?

  1. Great post here. I have to agree that the effects of GO’S cannot be surmised right now, there isn’t enough evidence gathered. Look at DDT. What concerns me is the ability of a GMO crop to cross breed with other non GMO crops. In cases like this, which genes are dominant? Who is the winner here? Monsanto? I hope you get my drift..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually crossbreeding had led to Monsanto and others to sue farmers for using their seed stock. You can’t save the seed for next year either. The long term dangers are an unknown and anything you can’t remove easily may become an issue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It may be more then a theory. The biggest problem I have is the companies had to know about cross pollination. Why sue farmers for something they can’t control? The residue doesn’t leave the field. It also could stay in animals fed with it.

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      2. Exactly! With all of the research they did, they would have to know. Just makes me think they are creating GMO’s more for monopolization of the industry than to create better strains. Thank you for the great conversation. ☺

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  2. edit… I get that the likelihood that we will inadvertently create some foods that will hurt us instantly *is low*

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      1. I was thinking single celled organisms and even insects. We are also victims of a want for variety. But to live healthy we could do with much less variety. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There are algae used for food additives. You could make wafers or sushi rolls with them. Chocolate covered insects maybe. Insects are great source of protein. Dried and Ground no-one would notice probably. Yes we are victims of the next big thing.

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      3. My biggest problem is I don’t eat seafood and I’ve tried veggi sushi and can’t do the algae. I’m also not so sure if I could eat insects. But foods based with insect powders might work. If I could eat wheat germ, rice and cinnamon only I would be happy. Hah!

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      4. Cinnamon is safe for now. I’m not eating sushi anyone soon. Algae, I’ve raise fish seen where algae grows. Not sure. I’m wanting to know where it comes from. I’m against high fructose corn syrup because we aren’t made to digest it. So add layers and it’s not a good idea probably. We should study it first

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  3. My opinion is that there may be no immediate and obvious effect of GMO/food consumption either good or bad. My issue is that genetic modification is essentially manual trait selection. When we select for certain traits in animals and food we may outpace the speed at which these things happen naturally. Consequently, we don’t know the full impact these foods will have on our bodies long term. I get that the likelihood that we will inadvertently create some foods that will hurt us instantly. But over time, our bodies are tuned to evolve *with* nature. We may be making bigger, stronger, more resilient food sources, but at what cost to our bodys’ ability to continue digesting and benefiting from those foods? It’s a money game. I think it’s time humanity begins to consider new food sources instead of hyper-evolving the inefficient ones we already have.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Much to agree with here. The ingestion of an engineered protein could have unintended consequences. We build tissue from these proteins. Evolve also means our natural mutation made us bigger than our primal ancestors. The acreage harvests are extremely efficient historically. They just are not natural breeds.

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      1. One thing I disagree with is that farming was *ever* efficient. Perhaps when there were more smaller farms, feeding smaller groups of people. The destruction of land that comes with massive farms compared to the numbers that are fed is in my opinion dysfunctional.

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      2. Yes land usage is out of control. The waste products that turn water green and foul smelling retention pools aren’t pretty either. I meant amount of food on one patch of land by efficiency. No point is that good for the land

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  4. I want to know what is in my food. I also resent the fact that a small number of individuals chose for me what vegetables I should like and grow. The interference of man about ruined many varieties of apples (red delicious taste like potatoes without starch) and have almost caused the disappearance of many varieties of tomatoes.
    GMOs are hardy against known insects and disease but might not be so strong against new ones or mutations.

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    1. Thank you for responding. I agree old Apple varieties are awesome. There are heritage nurseries out there, but unless you live near an orchard growing your own is only option. I love your input. Great point about unknown. My ash trees never knew what an emerald ash borer was when they were seedlings. Now the trees are dying from a pest from China.

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