10 Reasons Why We Don’t Need GM Foods

September 12, 2012 | By | 8 Replies More

GMWatch
Waking Times

Genetically modified (GM) foods are often promoted as a way to feed the world. But this is little short of a confidence trick. Far from needing more GM foods, there are urgent reasons why we need to ban them altogether.

1. GM foods won’t solve the  food crisis

A 2008 World Bank report concluded that increased biofuel production is the major cause of the increase in food prices.[1] Biofuels are crops grown for fuel rather than food. GM giant Monsanto has been at the heart of the lobbying for biofuels — while profiting enormously from the resulting food crisis and using it as a PR opportunity to promote GM foods!

“The climate crisis was used to boost biofuels, helping to create the food crisis; and now the food crisis is being used to revive the fortunes of the GM industry.” — Daniel Howden, Africa correspondent, The Independent (UK)[2]

“The cynic in me thinks that they’re just using the current food crisis and the fuel crisis as a springboard to push GM crops back on to the public agenda. I understand why they’re doing it, but the danger is that if they’re making these claims about GM crops solving the problem of drought or feeding the world, that’s bullshit.” – Prof Denis Murphy, head of biotechnology, University of Glamorgan, Wales[3]

2. GM crops do not increase  yield potential

Despite the promises, GM has not increased the yield potential of any commercialised crops.[4] In fact, studies show that the most widely grown GM crop, GM soya, has suffered reduced yields.[5]

A report that analyzed nearly two decades worth of peer reviewed research on the yield of the primary GM food/feed crops, soybeans and corn (maize), reveals that despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase US crop yields. The author, former US EPA and US FDA biotech specialist Dr Gurian-Sherman, concludes that when it comes to yield, “Traditional breeding outperforms genetic engineering hands down.”[6]

“Let’s be clear. As of this year [2008], there are no commercialized GM crops that inherently increase yield. Similarly, there are no GM crops on the market that were engineered to resist drought, reduce fertilizer pollution or save soil. Not one.” – Dr Doug Gurian-Sherman[7]

3. GM crops increase  pesticide use

US government data shows that in the US, GM crops have produced an overall increase, not decrease, in pesticide use compared to conventional crops.[8]

“The promise was that you could use less chemicals and produce a greater yield. But let me tell you none of this is true.” – Bill Christison, President of the US National Family Farm Coalition[9]

4. There are better ways to  feed the world

A major UN/World Bank-sponsored report compiled by 400 scientists and endorsed by 58 countries concluded that GM crops have little to offer global agriculture and the challenges of poverty, hunger, and climate change, because better alternatives are available. In particular, the report championed “agroecological” farming as the sustainable way forward for developing countries.[10]

5. Other farm technologies  are more successful

Integrated Pest Management and other innovative low-input or organic methods of controlling pests and boosting yields have proven highly effective, particularly in the developing world.[11] Other plant breeding technologies, such as Marker Assisted Selection (non-GM genetic mapping), are widely expected to boost global agricultural productivity more effectively and safely than GM.[12] [13]

“The quiet revolution is happening in gene mapping, helping us understand crops better. That is up and running and could have a far greater impact on agriculture [than GM].” – Prof John Snape, head of the department of crop genetics, John Innes Centre[14]

6. GM foods have not been  shown to be safe to eat

Genetic modification is a crude and imprecise way of incorporating foreign genetic material (e.g. from viruses, bacteria) into crops, with unpredictable consequences. The resulting GM foods have undergone little rigorous and no long-term safety testing. However, animal feeding tests have shown that GM foods have toxic effects, including abnormal changes in organs, immune system disturbances, accelerated ageing, and changes in gene expression.[15] Very few studies have been published on the direct effects on humans of eating a GM food. One such study found unexpected effects on gut bacteria, but was never followed up.[16]

It is claimed that Americans have eaten GM foods for years with no ill effects. But these foods are unlabeled in the US and no one has monitored the consequences. With other novel foods like trans fats, it has taken decades to realize that they have caused millions of premature deaths.[17]

“We are confronted with the most powerful technology the world has ever known, and it is being rapidly deployed with almost no thought whatsoever to its consequences.” — Dr Suzanne Wuerthele, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toxicologist

7. People don’t want GM foods – so they’re hidden in animal feed

As a spokesperson for Asgrow, a subsidiary of Monsanto, said, “If you put a label on genetically engineered food, you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”[18] The GM industry has got around the problem of consumer rejection of GM foods by hiding them in animal feed. Meat, eggs and dairy products from animals raised on the millions of tons of GM feed imported into Europe do not have to be labelled. Some studies show that contrary to GM and food industry claims, animals raised on GM feed ARE different from those raised on non-GM feed.[19]  Other studies show that if GM crops are fed to animals, GM material can appear in the resulting products[20] and affect the animals’ health.[21] So eating these “stealth GMOs” may affect the health of consumers.

8. GM crops are a long-term economic disaster for farmers

A 2009 report showed that GM seed prices in America have increased dramatically, compared to non-GM and organic seeds, cutting average farm incomes for US farmers growing GM crops. The report concluded, “At the present time there is a massive disconnect between the sometimes lofty rhetoric from those championing biotechnology as the proven path toward global food security and what is actually happening on farms in the US that have grown dependent on GM seeds and are now dealing with the consequences.”[22]

9. GM and non-GM cannot  co-exist

GM contamination of conventional and organic food is increasing. An unapproved GM rice that was grown for only one year in field trials was found to have extensively contaminated the US rice supply and seed stocks.[23] In Canada, the organic oilseed rape industry has been destroyed by contamination from GM rape.[24] In Spain, a study found that GM maize “has caused a drastic reduction in organic cultivations of this grain and is making their coexistence practically impossible”.[25]

The time has come to choose between a GM-based, or a non-GM-based, world food supply.

“If some people are allowed to choose to grow, sell and consume GM foods, soon nobody will be able to choose food, or a biosphere, free of GM. It’s a one way choice, like the introduction of rabbits or cane toads to Australia; once it’s made, it can’t be reversed.” – Roger Levett, specialist in sustainable development[26]

10. We can’t trust GM  companies

The big biotech firms pushing their GM foods have a terrible history of toxic contamination and public deception.[27] GM is attractive to them because it gives them patents that allow monopoly control over the world’s food supply. They have taken to harassing and intimidating farmers for the “crime” of saving patented seed or “stealing” patented genes — even if those genes got into the farmer’s fields through accidental contamination by wind or insects.[28]

“Farmers are being sued for having GMOs on their property that they did not buy, do not want, will not use and cannot sell.” – Tom Wiley, North Dakota farmer[29]

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Category: Activism, Agriculture, Body, Business, Community, Earth, Environment, Food, Ideas, Natural Health, Resources, Revolution, Science, Self, Society, Time & Space

Comments (8)

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  1. Steve B. says:

    GM crops serve only one purpose. They are created to control the food supply. Farmers can not keep their own seeds or even plant seeds they have had in a shed for years. If they are caught planting non-GM seeds they are fined heavily. So it’s not about the governments or corporations caring about the people. They use many was to poison us and dump nuke waste into our waters and pollute the air with coal and oil power plants, when all they have to do is grow hemp and do away with fossil fuels and nuclear power. Next year they could microwave the seeds and no food is grown and billions starve. Forcing farmers to grow GM seeds gives them many options to kill us by the billions.

    • joan says:

      Steve don’t give them any ideas although I don’t think we have to worry about that. I’m sure they’ve got many of them up their ” collective” sleeves!! We’re living in treacherous times and I’m not talking about terrorist! The culling of the masses comes to mind! Why is this being allowed to happen?? Someone asked this question on the net. There’ an old saying “the one with the most toys calls the game”! Money talks and bullish** walks! But eventually it will come back to bite them. Have to stay alert. Let’s hope “37″ on California’s agenda passes. Will be a step in the right direction!!

  2. Tail-Gunner says:

    The chatter in the local stores goes like this, “hey man did you see that whole foods gmo sting on youtube?”

    I know those words are hard to say, “you seen that whole foods GMO sting video on YouTube?”

    But I know I am making a difference when I hear, “Yeah I seen that whole foods GMO sting!” and then more people flag off with sub conversations on both the public side and discussion between working employees chatter. I can’t exactly document or explain this phenomena other than word of mouth is on fire right now. Get conversations going, ask people around you if they saw that youtube GMO sting video at whole foods.

    If this goes any father than these sub-discussions and then interest becomes lost again is unclear -imo. I hope it gets noisy as a hive of angry bees

    • Tail-Gunner says:

      Some of the side conversations turned to “have you seen that GMO rat video on youtube?”

      I am serious, get talking, next questions should be like, “what are you doing to protect yourself against GMO’s?” Whats your strategy? You know it kills and causes cancer and ugly giant growths, so are you going to be the rat in ten years?

      I dunno how your dialog should go. But please get it goin.

  3. Tail-Gunner says:

    Also I notice weird things like wholefoodssucks.blogspot.com being open… just sayin..

  4. mmazzi says:

    As a GMO-free activist it still never ceases to amaze me how deep these connections go. Donald Rumsfeld was responsible for getting aspartame into the food supply even though it had been rejected as a carcinogen. He told the staff when he took over at G.D. Searle in (I think it was) 1979 “if Reagan gets elected, I’ll get this passed”. Reagan was inaugurated Jan 1981 and replaced the head of the FDA within 6 weeks. The new FDA head looked at the studies again and actually removed some of the rat data to skew the results! (He later went on to make millions at the PR firm for Monsanto who bought aspartame.) It was in the food supply by 1984 (Diet Pepsi, etc. as Nutrasweet and Equal). I cringe thinking of how I drank it morning til night. By 1992 I ended up on Zoloft. Aspartame messes with the glutamate receptors in the brain. Apparently, drugs like Zoloft, Prozac, Effexor etc. soothe the glutamate receptors so it’s like a bandaid effect. Interesting how the timing was… those drugs hit the market just a few years after aspartame.

    A doctor I spoke to was at a conference and one of the doctors who spoke said it’s as if they put it into the food supply just to get that result. I am convinced of it. Look how many people are on these meds. Detoxifying from all artificial sweeteners, GMOs, MSG, etc. is a big part of the solution. If you have been in this situation, be careful. After 16 ½ years on those pills, my brain chemistry is such that some products which others find healthy can trigger migraines and/or unpleasant brain/electrical activity. High levels of glutamate can trigger these reactions. Protein powders, even natural foods like hemp powder, should be taken with caution if you were on these meds at any point.

    Just when I thought I’d heard it all, I read how Mitt played a major role in putting Monsanto where it is today. I’m not surprised! He’s a greedy opportunist with no conscience.

    http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/09/romney-monsanto-bain

  5. OhioRiver says:

    The first reason is sufficient with me ( 1. GM foods won’t solve the food crisis ), but the other 9 are just as valid. Somone has done some great research to make this article. THanks!!

  6. Jimmi Esspirit says:

    THANKS, GRACIAS, MUTOBRIGADOS!

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