GMO Backlash in Europe, Monsanto Victory in the US: What You Can Do About GMOs
For over a decade world populations have been consuming increasingly more genetically modified foods, in most cases with little awareness they are even doing it, much less understanding what GMO or GE (genetically engineered) foods are. Genetically modified foods are created by isolating a trait gene from a plant, animal or other organism and inserting that gene into another plant in order to transfer that trait. New DNA is created for that plant in the process and we eat the genetically modified food with little knowledge of its effects.
GMO industry leader Monsanto claims on its website, “There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans. So long as the introduced protein is determined safe, food from GM crops determined to be substantially equivalent is not expected to pose any health risks. Further, it is impossible to design a long-term safety test in humans, which would require, for example, intake of large amounts of a particular GM product over a very large portion of the human life span.”
So because it’s impossible to test, we’ll just assume it’s safe. The latest research, however, suggests otherwise.
The people and governments of Europe have united to hold GM food corporations accountable, provide labeling and in many cases have banned GM foods in their countries. French courts recently declared Monsanto guilty of poisoning a French farmer. BASF, the last firm developing genetically modified crops in Germany, pulled out of the country in January, 2012, in the face of widespread European opposition.
Unfortunately, here in the US, a Manhattan judge ruled just last week that our small organic farmers are the ones guilty of patent infringement against huge corporate giant Monsanto when their crop fields are contaminated by floating GMO pollen and they start producing GMO corn in their previously pristine organic fields. Monsanto has the right to sue these farmers for stealing their patents, and in many cases, put them out of business.
Even more disturbing is the connection of the philanthropic Gates Foundation sowing all of India and Africa with GM crops under the guise of philanthropic efforts to reduce world hunger, when Bill Gates owns 500,000 shares of Monsanto and has invested heavily in GE development. There can be no denying that Gates has a direct interest in seeing Monsanto succeed in spreading GMOs around the world, and he has the money and positioning to promote that agenda aggressively.
What can you do about GMOs?
- Become aware of the issues and shop for non-GMO food by using the Mer cola Non-GMO Shopping Guide or The Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Guide to help you avoid GMO food or buy certified organic food, which by definition, must never intentionally use GE ingredients.
- Check your seed sources carefully when sowing your garden this spring.
- Insist on mandatory labeling of GM foods. Support the California GMO Ballet Initiative. California is the poised to be the first state with mandatory GMO labeling laws. A win for the California Initiative will be a huge blow to biotech and huge victory for food health and safety across the entire country. What happens in California will affect us all in a very important way.
Carol Bedrosian is the publisher of Spirit of Change holistic magazine and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org