genetically mutated organisms

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Genetically Mutated Organisms

Genetically Mutated Organisms

A quick introduction

What exactly is a GMO? GMOs are organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This includes any plants, animals, or even bacteria that are altered in a way that cannot be found in nature or traditional cross-breeding methods.

The Crops The commercial use of GMOs focuses on four crops: Soy, Maize, Rapeseed, and Cotton. Below are the percentages of how much each crop cultivated worldwide is genetically mutated. Soy 79% Cotton 70%

Maize 32% Rapeseed 24%

Why GMOs? Companies involved in the biotech industry, such as Monsanto, DOW, Cargill, ConAgra and Syngenta, believe GMOs provide the following benefits: higher crop yields, bug and pesticide resistant crops, improved nutritional content and improved flavor.

Opponents of GMOsThe cons of consuming GMOs: GMOs are unhealthy. Doctors have cited animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal damage, and immune system disorders.Independent research is threatened, defunded, and suppressed by corporations. Government regulation is lax on GMOs. GMOs increase herbicide use.

The Companion Herbicide

Many of these companies have developed companion herbicides and pesticides including Monsantos glyphosate-based Roundup. Opponents of GMOs have linked Roundup to sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

Reap What You Sow The seeds are planted just like regular seedsexcept theres a catch. Farmers who plant GMO seeds sometimes get caught in a bind when they use what is called a terminator seed. This is a type of seed that only produces sterile seeds, forcing farmers to purchase new seeds each year instead of saving seed, a practice that has been apart of the farming community for thousands of years.

Patent Infringement

Some farmers have successfully saved seed. In turn, they fall under the hand of these large companies that decide to sue these farmers on grounds of patent infringement. Victims of these lawsuits have even happened upon these GMO seeds by accident, where the seed had drifted into their land from neighboring farmers.

Indias Harvest of DeathAccording to a report by the Daily Mail, the use of Monsantos BT cotton in 2002, one of their other GMO products, spiraled Indias farming community into a restless cycle of debt. The monopoly of the GM seed has forced farmers to buy Monsantos costly seed and pesticide. The high cost of the seed and pesticide as well as the huge reduction in crop value have left farmers in debt. According to DM, a farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes in India. In the past decade, more than 250,000 farmers have committed suicide. Some even resort to drinking Monsantos pesticide that is sent to the farmers for cultivating their crop.

Just Label It

Why Label? Unlike most developed other nations (28 to be exact), the U.S. does not require food to be labeled GMO or non-GMO. Supporters of labeling believe we as consumers have the right to know about what goes into our food.

The DARK ActThe Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act is backed by large biotech and food corporations to halt other legislation that would mandate food labeling. Opponents of labeling include corporation such as Kraft, Kelloggs, and Monsanto.