You may be wondering what Monsanto -- the world's largest seed company whose net income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 totaled $126 million (up from $9 million in 2011) --- has done to have earned such ire.
The list is long, easily enough for a novel, but to sum it up, biotech giant Monsanto has created some of the most dangerous products on the planet, including Agent Orange, dioxin, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH)… and genetically modified seeds.
The latter is one of the most pressing concerns because GM crops are now a mainstay of American agriculture.
Ninety percent or more of all US-grown corn, soybeans, canola, and sugar beets are genetically modified versions, which means that virtually all processed food items contain at least one or more genetically modified ingredients.
GM foods are, from what I perceive, one of the most significant threats that we have against the very sustainability of the human race. Why? In a nutshell, these toxins are being linked to a growing repertoire of assaults against human health and the environment -- and they are already migrating into fetal blood, which means future generations are now at risk.
Monsanto is Destroying the Food System Via Their GMO Crops
Virtually all of the claims of benefit of GM crops – increased yields, more food production, controlled pests and weeds, reductions in chemical use in agriculture, drought-tolerant seeds – have not materialized.
The Global Citizens' Report on the State of GMOs states:
Contrary to the claim of feeding the world, genetic engineering has not increased the yield of a single crop.
- Herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) crops were supposed to control weeds and Bt crops were intended to control pests. Instead of controlling weeds and pests, GE crops have led to the emergence of super weeds and super pests … Herbicide resistant crops such as Roundup Ready cotton can create the risk of herbicide resistant "superweeds" by transferring the herbicide resistance to weeds.
- Despite claims that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will lower the levels of chemicals (pesticides and herbicid es) used, quite the opposite has occurred, with 1.6 billion pounds of glyphosate (the active in ingredient in Roundup) being applied to American soil in 2007 alone. This is of great concern both because of the negative impacts of these chemicals on ecosystems and humans, and because there is the danger that increased chemical use will cause pests and weeds to develop resistance, requiring even more chemicals in order to manage them.
- Monsanto has been claiming that through genetic engineering it can breed crops for drought tolerance and other climate-resilient traits. This is a false promise.
- Among the false claims made b y Monsanto and the Biotechnology industry is that GE foods are safe. However, there are enough independent studies to show that GE foods can cause severe health damage.
Along with the environmental devastation, research published in 2010 showed that glyphosate causes birth defects in f rogs and chicken embryos at far lower levels than used in agricultural and garden applications. And numerous animal studies suggest reproductive problems are a common side effect of glyphosate exposure and the consumption of genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops.
Why GM Foods Should be Labeled with a Skull and Crossbones
Monsanto wants you to simply trust them because they're "experts" and because their industry-funded studies "prove" their GM foods are safe. But these same experts also told you PCB's, Agent Orange, and DDT was safe, and we now know those claims were far from accurate.
Of course, in terms of reliability, there's a big difference between corporate science, which tends to primarily favor and support corporate interests, and independent science, performed without preconceived bias. Scientists have, in fact, discovered a number of health problems related to genetically modified foods, including:
- An analysis of 19 animal studies revealed that nearly 10 percent of blood, urine, organ and other parameters tested were significantly influenced by GMOs, with the livers and kidneys faring the worst. Why test on animals if their suffering is not even taken seriously?
- A 2009 Brazilian study discovered that female rats fed GM soy for 15 months showed significant changes in their uterus and reproductive cycle, compared to rats fed organic soy or those raised without soy.
- A study performed by Irina Ermakova with the Russian National Academy of Sciences reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, while the death rate in the non-GM soy group was only 10 percent. Additionally, the babies in the GM group were smaller, and, worst of all, could not reproduce. In a telling coincidence, after Ermakova's feeding trials were completed, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55 percent.