January 11, 2010
Forbes magazine has named Monsanto, the company responsible for introducing genetically modified food into the food supply, Company of the year. It sounds like satire, but it sadly is not. The company responsible for crushing family owned farms and bioengineering the food that we eat has received an honorary award. Perhaps this is an early April fools joke.
Genetically modified foods been proven not only to be unhealthy, but deadly. Genetically modified foods been proven not only to be unhealthy, but deadly. The bioengineering process itself is quite ridiculous. Billions are spent each year to genetically modify the food supply, tainting it with genetically modified frankenfood. Genetically modifying foods requires one to tamper with the very genetic coding of the crop and/or seed. The process entails the* transfer of genes from one organism to another, such as taking particular genes from a pig and transferring them to a tomato. Not only does this defile nature, but it leads to a host of health problems.
Due to the complexity of a living organism’s genetic structure, it is impossible to track the long-term results of consuming genetically modified food. Introducing new genes into even the most simple bacterium may cause an array of issues, highlighting the complexity of even the simplest organisms. Introducing new genes to highly complex organisms such as animals or crops is even riskier.
When introducing the gene to its new host, it is essentially impossible to predict the reaction. The genetic intelligence of the host could be disrupted with the introduction of the new gene, creating an adverse reaction. There is truly no way of knowing the long-term effect genetically modified food, as there are too many variables. There is simply no room for science when Monsanto is involved.
Monsanto has inexorably pushed for widescale dominance of the world’s food supply by buying out competition and using FDA regulations to get around accurate labeling. In fact, labeling has protected Monsanto from excessive criticism for quite some time. Under the ludicrous labeling guidelines, food products in the United States do not even have to openly state that they contain genetically modified ingredients. While countries like Australia require products to labeled genetically modified if they contain an ingredient that is more than 1% genetically modified, the United States goes by no such precautionary code.
Besides Monsanto’s crusade to alter the very genetic coding of the food, they have been charged with discharging toxic waste that included PCBs into a west Anniston creek, and dumping millions of pounds of PCBs into open-pit landfills. The people in that area had no idea, and continued to swim and play in the creek. PCBs have been classified as a persistent organic pollutant, meaning they are resistant to environmental degradation. While they heavily pollute the environment, PCBs are also extremely toxic. PCB production was banned in 1976 by the U.S. Congress, and ultimately by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001.
Even if the frankenfood produced by Monsanto actually posed no threat to health, they still do not deserve the award given to them by Forbes magazine. They have sued many small-time family farms and monopolized the farming industry using genetically modified crops. The dishonorable practices of Monsanto continue to make headlines around the world, despite how hard the company tries to surpress them.
de Vendômois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Séralini GE. A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5:706-726. Available from http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm