I’ve been kind of ho-hum about genetically modified foods, except, I believe we have the right to know what we are eating and whether it is genetically modified or not. The right to know is important. We’ve had genetically modified products for ages. Just hand pollinating or cross pollinating is genetically modifying a plant. Or, grafting a scion from a different fruit tree onto another, is an example. But, adding chemicals to seed is an whole other step. My feeling is that the company who modifies it should know the end result if the seedlings spread to the wild or cause unwanted changes.
One negative about genetically modified seed comes from a farmer who bought seed at his supplier and the supplier said he had some of this “new” seed from Monsanto that someone had ordered, then failed to pick up. The farmer bought it, planted it and was crucified when the company found out he had it. He was put through a horrible rigamarole because he hadn’t permission to use it from the company, nor paid the full price. They harassed him through two growing seasons for fear of patent infringement. The hapless farmer was pretty unhappy with the way he was treated by this mega corporation.
But, now comes information from a study that is disturbing. However, I don’t know the size of the study and who conducted it. I read about it on MoveOn.org.
Rats fed a lifetime diet of Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn or exposed to the company’s popular Roundup herbicide, in amounts considered “safe” in drinking water and GM crops in the U.S., developed tumors and suffered severe kidney and liver damage, according to a study released this week.
We may not develop the same problems as rats, but even rats are part of the environmental balance we need. What else will it affect? Birds? Or raptors that eat rats and gophers?
And this from the editors of On Earth Magazine, a publication that deals with environmental issues:
Carbon-fueled climate change is responsible for many terrifying things, but some normal-seeming rice plants in one recent study is a warning. Scientists from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture grew a feral, weedy from of rice alongside a cultivated form in controlled environments that reflected carbon dioxide levels of a century ago. As C0-2 levels went up, the weedy rice was better able to synchronize its flowering period to that of the cultivate rice, leading to cross pollination and resulting in a zombie-like hybrid with alarming characteristics. From the feral parent, came a diminished nutritional content and a weaker hull. But, the cultivated parent gave it a genetic resistance to weed killers. The weedy rice that always pops up in fields has been traditionally controlled by herbicides.
Now, add in climate change with genetically modified seeds with resistant chemicals in them? Could be a horror movie.
We don’t have corporate soil and private soil. It’s everyone’s soil. So, when we put something in the soil, it should first be proved harmless. Back off, Monsanto. Prove your safety. But, that isn’t likely to happen now, is it?
Isn’t it wonderful to know that corporations and conglomerates always have our best interests at heart?