What is it to Genetically Modify a Crop?
It's a gene created in a laboratory the classification: Genetically Modified Organism - aka GMO. Many of the ingredients in the foods that we consume today are from GMO crops, also referred to as Genetically Engineered.
Simply put.. A genetically modified organism (GMO) is a plant, animal, or microorganism whose genetic code has been altered, subtracted, or added (either from the same species or a different species) to give it characteristics that it does not naturally have.
The desired “new gene(s)” is deposited by invading the “plant cell.” Should the plant cell not accept the “new gene,” a viral promoter can be used to encourage activating and promoting the growth of the “new genes” within the plant cell. Think of it this way.. The plant cell did not understand where or how an alien gene came from, so it reacts and tries to reject the gene hence the viral promoter.
So what does this mean to our food system? Here’s an example.. Corn, that has been genetically engineered has been modified to build a wall of tolerance and resistance against chemical- pesticides and herbicides that are being applied to the corn in the field. In addition Genetically modified crops silences genes in the insects that eat its roots, slowing and eventually killing them. This practice is to ensure the crop can maximize yield for market and profit. The image above is a drone sprayer in a corn field.
Perhaps I’m naive in thinking..
What right has a corporation that produces fertilizers and pesticides to be involved in our food system? Some of these corporations also create the GMO seeds for crops. Therefore it is with intention that their seeds are in compliance -to work in tandem with their toxic pesticides and herbicides supplied for Genetically Engineered crops.
Between the voices of the people- speakers- NON-GMO rallies and organizations we all carry the same message that the applications of GMOs and the synthetic pesticides applied to the food system are aggressively toxic not just to our food supply but the environmental impact that it bears too. Biotech-corporations have already started to shape our food industry in what they feel is a good fit for them. The future and the health of our food security is being compromised by unnatural- non traditional farming methods, that compromises the quality of life, at the cost and well being of consumers, livestock and our environment.
Cross breeding has been done naturally and successfully for hundreds of years however the bacteria; the desired genes from GMOs creates layers of complexity to our food system.
I’m by far not ridiculing scientific progress..
What i do object to, when it comes to our food system industrialized farming in this manner, has a harsh impact on every human being, from food allergens - antibiotic resistance- cancers- parkinson's disease- digestive problems- irritable bowel -gluten intolerance- soybean intolerance - dairy- the list of serious ailments and health problems seems to grow alongside the medical-health bills. I am of the opinion the prevalence of GMOs with in our food system has sparked the rise of medical-health issues and continue to rise.
I can't fathom how bread for centuries was considered a staple diet unfortunately many consumers now stand at a crossroad looking for gluten free bread steering clear from wheat.
By adding or subtracting the genetics of a seed when consumed as a complete product I am of the opinion it has created an intolerance for many people. Many people will not be affected however so many will. Hence the rising reactions for gluten intolerance, disease and allergies.
'Synthetic Agriculture' is in the people's food system to work in tandem to withstand the synthetic pesticides, it reflects a selfish act of madness, it's all about the profit and sticking their finger up to Mother Nature!
There’s a valid reason that a hospital in California treating Cancer patients prohibit the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides within the grounds of the hospital.
All their cancer patients are fed an organic diet, they had also brought out a cook-book reflecting an organic diet. As the old saying goes "you can't treat chemicals with chemicals." I personally believe your pantry should be your medicine cabinet.
With their hand of science, these Biotech Corporations have tightly grasped onto our food so, here's a couple of common genetic modifications. One is for herbicide tolerance: Plants-crops are given a gene that protects them from harm when a farmer sprays them with herbicides to kill weeds. The other added trait is a gene that allows plants to produce their own insecticide. Combined with the use of synthetic pesticides, crops continue to thrive and grow to full maturity and all other insignificant vegetation and wildlife can die off. How does wildlife die? there's a toxin built into the crop any creature that nibbles into it, becomes a statistic.
I am of the opinion that science is trying to outsmart mother nature. Why mother nature? When synthetic pesticides are released into the open air they also naturally leach into the soil, causing a devastating effect on our wildlife and then of course bees.. Bees are mother nature's pollinators and it's already started.. and It has been stated there is a noticeable decline of bees. Imagine this.. “half the bees half the food”- “No bees no food.”
Surely this can't be sustainable..
Can you imagine a world where some of our food source would start in a science lab using a syringe and microscope? Its happening already.. meatless food from a lab -but that’s a whooole story of its own..
Synthetic pesticides in GMO-agriculture pollute the air, can cause ground contamination- from soil right down to the root system, water contamination the run-off from these toxins spills on to roads, nearby drains and any nearby water systems.. The global and detrimental effects impact on the lives of farmers, farm workers and their families and neighbouring towns has not gone unnoticed.
2015 FDA approved the AquaAdvantage Salmon produced by AquaBounty technologies. The problem is they will also be looking to developing tilapia and trout for commercial approval. Unfortunately the human health impacts of eating GE fish are entirely unknown.
2020 the GalSafe pig, the pork from GalSafe pig is for people with Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) a rare disease that may have mild to severe allergic reactions to alpha-gal sugar found in red meat (e.g. beef, pork, and lamb). This particular line of pigs is the “first-of-its-kind intentional genomic alteration” (IGA) that the FDA has approved for both human food consumption and as a source for potential therapeutic uses.
Common food products derived from GMO seed unless stated Non-Gmo or Organic are:
Corn, Soy, Wheat, Canola oil, Tofu, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Cotton seed oil, Potatoes, Beets, Papaya, Rice, Zucchini, Aspartame, Alfalfa, Summer squash. There's more, so keep reading the labels and always ask questions.
Grain that is fed to livestock contains GMOs too.
It's happening in a Intensive animal feeding operation. In industry it's referred to as Confined Animal Feed Operation (CAFO) The duration of the fattening process is approx. 45 days or longer and there are approx. 450,000 CAFOs in the U.S each contain more than 1,000 livestock. The GMO grain is in the feed that is fed to the livestock then after the slaughter process the meat is sold to consumers for human consumption.
The USDA, FDA & EPA have ensured the public that foods containing GMO is safe for consumption.
Watch for my upcoming post on CAFOs.
In the meantime if you use traditional weed killer please check out options that are less toxic. Less toxic to your own health your children, your pets and neighbors. Toxic weed killers will drift into the air also cause ground contamination, water contamination and run-off into drains.
Every dollar you spend on food is a vote. If you're interested to help you decide which fruits and vegetables contain less pesticides on this years 2022 list, please feel free to download this flyer. Thank you.