THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM WITH BUYING FOODS CONTAINING GENETICALLY-MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMOs)
In a recent article published in the Organic Consumers Association newsletter entitled “Food Poisoning, Monsanto Style”, Ronnie Cummins writes –
“Are GMOs bad for your health? The debate rages on.
“But no one disputes this fact: It takes tons of herbicides – hundreds of thousands of tons per year – to grow the GMO crops that end up in the world’s food supply, including in the food fed to the animals we eat.
“All that poison doesn’t just go away. It ends up on our food, in our soil, in our water.
“Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is the most heavily used herbicide on GMO crops. In 2007, the last year for which we have reliable statistics, U.S. farmers used 88,000 tons of glyphosate. Allowing for no increases, that amounts to 580,000 tons of glyphosate dumped onto our food and into our soil and water in the past six years alone.
“And that’s just in the U.S.
“According to new, reliable studies, glyphosate is causing chronic, long-term health problems for all of us, but especially for our kids. In the words of one scientist, the negative impact of glyphosate residues found in the Western diet ‘ . . . is insidious and manifests slowly over time, as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.’
“Here are two more alarming facts. Earlier this year, the FDA raised the limits for how much glyphosate is allowed to remain on your fruits and vegetables.
“And last week, the USDA opened the door for using even greater amounts of glyphosate by approving a new glyphosate-resistant canola, the first of several new glyphosate-resistant crops to be deregulated under a new, speedier review process.
“Where does it stop? It stops with us.
“When laws require that food products carry labels stating that they contain GMOs, consumers will find alternatives.
“When consumers stop buying foods containing genetically modified ingredients, food manufacturers will stop putting GMOs in their products.
“When consumers stop eating meat from animals fed GMO crops, farmers will stop growing GMO crops for animal feed.
“Truth be told, I already know how to avoid buying foods that contain GMOs. You probably do, too.
“But none of us can escape the danger GMO crops pose when the glyphosate required to grow them destroys the very foundations of a healthy, life-sustaining environment: soil and water.
“We have the power to dry up demand for Monsanto’s glyphosate by demanding GMO labeling laws. But do we have the will?”
Ronnie Cummins is the National Director of the Organic Consumers Association and Organic Consumers Fund. Their website may be found at http://www.organicconsumers.org/