Are GMOs really safe? That question has been unanswered and the subject of intense debate for the past 11 years, since GMO foods were introduced into our grocery stores. While there is still much controversy surrounding the subject, here are ten disturbing reasons that you should be wary -- at the very least -- of GMO foods.
Studies Suggest Some GMO Foods Cause Cancer, Other Health Issues
There have been dozens of disparaging studies on the effects of GMO foods in animals, many of which have been the topic of heated debate for years.
It began in 1999 when Nature Magazine published a study on the negative effects of GM corn in butterflies.
One study conducted by Australian and American scientists and researchers observed a significantly higher rate of stomach inflammation in pigs that were fed GMO crops.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine warns the public about the dangers of GMO foods by stating that "several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food," and goes on to list infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, and insulin regulation issues as some of the problems that could be caused by GM foods. Their list of notable studies include:
- 2012, France. Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen found that mice fed a specific strain of GM corn for long periods of time had fewer and smaller babies as well as kidney problems.
- 2010, Russia. Scientist Alexey V. Surov finds that Monsanto's GM soy lead to reproductive issues in hamsters.
- 2009. Canterbury finds that meat raised on GM food is different.
Monsanto Works to Cover Up Studies
Monsanto and many companies beneath it have been caught attempting to debunk studies proving that there are detrimental health effects of consuming GMO foods.
There is concrete proof that Monsanto actively works to discredit naysaying studies by unleashing the opinions of their own experts who, at first glance, seem as if they have no relation to the company.
Monsanto is also infamous for releasing their own biased studies which, unsurprisingly, always yield findings that coincide with bigger profits. Monsanto-funded research showed "no evidence" of harmful side effects from using their chemical pesticide Roundup, despite independent studies showing that the poison may be linked to Parkinson's, cancer and other health issues.
No Human Studies
There have not been any clinical trials of GM foods involving humans. We skipped that part entirely; releasing GMO foods into the public is the trial itself. It's hard to tell how GMO foods actually affect us, because we've released them into an uncontrolled environment from the start.
It is unrealistic to think that GM foods have absolutely no effect on those who consume them for long periods of time. To think that the internal DNA structure of the food that our bodies will break down, interact with and convert into energy does not play any part in the way that we interact with them internally is outright foolish, whether the change is negative, positive, or neither. There exists no circumstance when only one thing changes without effecting anything around it.
They're Banned in Europe
Not only are GMO foods largely banned throughout Europe, but strict labeling requirements are upheld. While American government believes that it is not profitable to do what they describe as "scaring away" the American consumer away from GMO foods, European countries focus on the fact that there are potential and unknown dangers in consuming GMOs.
The fact is that there are not enough substantial and irrefutable studies to say whether or not this is true, so precautions have been taken in Europe to defend against what we don't yet know.
Many say that this choice is political and in an attempt to keep produce locally sourced, and UK stores do not go as far as to label meat, egg and milk to inform consumers of the animals' GMO diet, although this is what research shows most consumers want.
Monsanto: The Most Evil Company in the World?
Monsanto was voted '2013's Most Evil Company'by 16,000 pollers, is the subject of over a dozen documentaries showcasing their evil tactics, lack of ethics and disregard for human life, and is generally responsible for a whole lot of death and awful stuff since as far back as the 1930 when PCBs were first introduced as coolants and lubricants in electronics; chemicals which are now banned for causing cancer, immune system disruptions, reproductive problems, and a slew of other health issues.
In the 1960s, Monsanto created < href="http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/agent-orange-background-monsanto-involvement.aspx">Agent Orange, a poison used in Vietnam which caused thousands of deaths, disease and disfigurements to this very day.
Monsanto patents its GMO crops and then relentlessly bullies small farmers whose crops may have been accidentally infested with the GMO seeds due to natural irrigation, going so far as to sue a 75-year-old farmer and causing him to spend $31,000 in legal fees defending himself. However, the multimillion dollar company was eventually awarded over $84,000.
Monsanto's unethical practices have lead to the suicides of thousands of farmers of unfairly treated workers in India.
Monsanto has gone on to spend millions of dollars lobbying against laws that would force the FDA to more closely regulate GMO foods and even to label them.
Side Effects are Still Unknown
Because of the controversy surrounding every study done on GMO foods ever, Monsanto's refusal to maintain any type of transparency, the FDA's failure to regulate GMO foods or studies relating to them, the way they were bluntly introduced into society without any sort of formal testing, and the complex process and results involved in tampering with a food's internal structure, we truly do not know the scope or to what end GMO foods effect humans and animals. The entire GMO debate is convoluted, filled with ulterior motives, and mostly about money. Society at large is not concerned with science but with profit, and as long as that is true we may never know the truth about the effects of GMO foods, be they good or bad.
Many Are Full of Toxins
600 billion pounds of chemicals are used on American agricultural crops annually. The National Academy of Sciences has found that 90% of those chemicals have not been tested for long-term health effects.
Many GMO foods are designed to contain pesticides within them so that crops are naturally resistant to crop-eating bugs. Others are engineered to be "Roundup ready," or to be naturally immune to harmful chemical pesticide Roundup. There exist Bt-potatoes, Bt-sweet corn, Roundup Ready soybeans, and Roundup Ready corn.
GM toxins can be found in nearly all women and children.
Since the chemical makeup of Bt-corn is not "significantly different" from non-Bt-corn, the FDA deems it safe and washes its hands of the issue. Since GMO foods are not in the same category as foods with additives, which do need to be tested and approved, they are literally labeled "substantially equivalent" and shrugged off.
The FDA and Monsanto
…And this is because of the relationship, or revolving door, between Monsanto, the FDA, and the American government. The FDA has had many of its key players also hold jobs at Monsanto, a definite conflict of interest.
In 1994 the FDA's deputy commissioner for policy, Michael R Taylor, penned the FDA's guidelines regarding milk labeling for growth hormone rBGH. It was responsible for making the distinction between products made with and without rBGH virtually impossible. He was later exposed as a former Monsanto lawyer.
Margaret Miller, deputy director of the FDA's Office of New Animal Drugs also worked for Monsanto as a research scientist.
Suzanne Sechen, primary review for rBGH in the Office of New Animal Drugs in the late 80s, previously worked for Monsanto as a researcher on studies regarding rBGH.
In 2009, former VP for Public Policy at Monsanto Michael Taylor returned to the White House to advise FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg on food safety.
The list goes on. Although Monsanto, as expected, publicly denies any allegiance with the US government, the conflict of interest is clear.
While saying that organic produce simply tastes better than GMO foods is a matter of opinion, it is undoubtedly true that organic foods taste different than GMO foods. It's just a small truth, that, on top of all the other creepy and unsettling facts about GMO foods, drives the other points home.