GMOs are genetically modified organisms. This means that genes from one species are spliced into the DNA of another species.
GM foods are those which have been manipulated by this technology, which is of no benefit to the food supply, yet of great benefit to Agri-business.
For example, the 'Round-Up Ready' GM soybean was created to withstand several times the amount of 'Round-Up' herbicide without killing the plant. These soybeans first appeared on the consumer market in the fall of 1996. Monsanto created both 'Round-Up' herbicide and the 'Round-Up Ready' soybean; their profits of herbicides increase, as farmers can use more without killig their crop. Monsanto is also the creator of DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange and saccharine. Do we want this company owning our food supply?
From Monsanto's website:
"Today, over 60% of soybean acres in Eastern Canada are planted using the Roundup Ready system. And for good reason. Research shows that 95% of farmers who used Roundup Ready soybeans in 2005 were satisfied1. Higher satisfaction with more consistent weed control and less effort. It's why Roundup Ready soybeans are your clear advantage. The Roundup Ready soybean system has many benefits:
Convenience - Perfect for any type of operation, Roundup Ready soybean varieties contain in-plant tolerance to Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Just spray over the top from emergence through flowering for unsurpassed weed control, proven crop safety and maximum yield potential.
Efficiency - More time to spend where you need it most. With the Roundup Ready soybean system, you'll be able to take advantage of unmatched weed control, time savings and flexibility. The Roundup Ready system takes the guesswork out of application and makes weed control a snap - even with reduced tillage.
Input Savings - Since the introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans, the production cost of soybeans has decreased. Research conducted by the George Morris Centre defined the top four reasons growers use Roundup Ready soybeans.
Lower herbicide costs
Adoption of no-till practices
Yield - Research shows that the Roundup Ready soybean system has a yield advantage of 4.5 bu/acre vs. conventional herbicide systems. "
The above information is in direct conflict with that presented by other groups, as seen in this blog by Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer:
Beginning in the late-1990s, studies were showing that Monsanto's Roundup Ready soya was experiencing a 'yield drag'--and in the last four years alone, Greenpeace estimates the yield drag has cost American farmers more than $11 billion. And Monsanto's next generation of GM soya has other problems.
A 1999 study led by Charles Benbrook, a former science adviser for the U.S. government, found an average yield drag of 5.3%, and in some places, the top conventional soy out-yielded Roundup Ready soy by as much as 10%.
Another pair of studies published two years later and led by Roger Elmore of the University of Nebraska supported Benbrooks findings. One of the studies showed the yield drag was between 5% and 10%, and the other linked yield drag directly to genetic engineering (not other factors).
A Lot of Roundup Ready Soya The U.S. is currently the world's largest soya producer, though the Greenpeace report points out that Brazil is expected to surpass the U.S. in the near future.
In 2008, U.S. farmers planted 30.6 million hectares of Roundup Ready soya, and 80.54 million metric tonnes of the crop were harvested--and 95% of all soy planted in the U.S. is Monsanto's Roundup Ready.
According to Greenpeace, the losses are a staggering -- 4 to 8 million metric tonnes of soya. To put this in perspective, the U.S. exports 3.7 metric tonnes to the European Union and 3.6 metric tonnes to Mexico each year.
Monsanto Has a Problem The limited introduction of Monsanto's new 'Roundup Ready 2' in 2009 aims to fix the yield drag problems of Roundup Ready. The herbicide-resistant gene in the updated GM seed has been inserted in a different place, apparently correcting the problem.
But while Monsanto says Roundup Ready 2's yield is 7% to 11% higher than Roundup Ready, a petition submitted to the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in 2006 indicates Roundup Ready 2 plants are 5% shorter than the same type of conventional plants. "
From Dvorak Uncensored:
"A federal judge ruled the premature approval of the genetically modified sugar beets from Monsanto by the government as unlawful.
Federal District Judge Jeffrey S. White said that the lack of any thorough risk assessment of the transgenic plants, as required by law, makes an approval for commercial cultivation impossible.
The environmental consequences of the sugar beets were not assessed adequately by the Agriculture Department, but an approval was given despite this violation of the National environmental Policy Act. White, based in San Francisco, stated this already in a ruling in September 2009 and warned farmers to opt for conventional seeds. Apparently everyone ignored this earlier decision and warning, as 95 percent of all sugar beets planted in the U.S. are based on the genetically altered Monsanto seeds. The Agriculture Department “has already had more than sufficient time to take interim measures, but failed to act expediently,” White wrote.
The planting of these plants, which are resistant against the controversial herbicide Round-Up, also marketed by agro-industrial behemoth Monsanto, is now banned."
One can argue against any of Monsanto's listed 'benefits', yet one cannot dispute the absence of any mention of health benefits to the consumer of ingesting GM crops.
In fact, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine reports "several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food", including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. See our blog posts under 'GMO Foods' for more in depth information on the latest studies.
To protect yourself and your family, purchase organic foods or foods with the 'Non-GMO Project' seal.
The 8 GM crops legally in circulation are:
GM crops illegally in circulation are:
flax seeds (in Canada and several European countries)
sugar beets (grown in USA, but circulated as the final product: sugar)