Are you noticing the increasing prevalence of the NON-GMO stamp on food packaging? Many companies have taken it upon themselves to proudly proclaim their product free of genetically modified organisms.
Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) and the four other biggest pesticide companies in the world know that people don’t want genetic interference with food. These chemical companies have lobbied hard to avoid having to label genetically modified ingredients on packaging.
Dalhousie University recently estimated 75 per cent of food consumed in Canada now contains GMOs, mostly made from corn, soy and canola. Gulp. Genetic modification is much different than hybridization wherein plants are cross-pollinated using their own natural reproductive systems. Genetic modification happens in a lab where genes within one species are altered or are artificially inserted into the DNA of another species.
Independent studies reveal unexpected collateral damage during this process. Genes don’t neatly snap into place like Lego and then behave as we expect.
For example, in GMO soy, there is nearly seven times more trypsin inhibitor, an allergen, compared to a natural soy plant.
Why are chemical companies inserting themselves into the food system? They altruistically claim that with genetic modifications they can reduce world hunger by increasing crop yields and food nutrients.
Additionally, they 'kindly' engineer crop resistance to the chemicals used in their weed killers to reduce farm labour.
Although this was supposed to make life easier for farmers, the chemicals have had health impacts on the workers, yields are lower than natural seed crops, and the weed killer has fostered the evolution of super weeds.
Dr. Jeff Ritterman suggests the entire enterprise amounts to nothing more than “making plants tolerant of poison so we can use a lot more poison.”
Who stands to gain with ever more herbicides being purchased? You guessed it.
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was discovered to be a great weed killer by accident. It was formulated as a chelator, a substance to clear the metal buildup out of industrial pipes. When it spilled out and killed plants growing nearby it claimed its starring role as an herbicide. It turns out it is harming more than weeds. Scientists have discovered it is far more persistent in the environment than was promised.
As a chelator, glyphosate interferes with the absorption of minerals that our bodies need to function properly.
As an antibiotic, it appears to be causing damage to our intestinal micro-biome where so much of our brain health originates.
As an endocrine disruptor, it can impact our hormonal balance, leading to disease, reproductive and developmental problems, and birth defects.
Glyphosate has recently been classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization. The United Nations, the World Bank and hundreds of scientists have concluded that GMOs are not the solution to world hunger. Glyphosate has been cited as the cause of cancer in three consecutive lawsuits against Bayer, costing the company over $2 billion in compensatory and punitive damages. There are 13,400 further lawsuits in the queue. It seems the tables are turning for these multinationals.
The best way I can think of to avoid tangling with these chemical giants? Grow, preserve and seed-save from our own chemical-free gardens and choose organic and NON-GMO labelled foods whenever possible.