Politics

Say No to GMOs

You find yourself wanting to make healthier choices so you decide to eat more salads and vegetables. You think you’re doing the right thing for your body only to find out that the food you’re eating isn’t really food at all. It is Frankenfood, some kind of genetically modified monster product that is actually giving you cancer or food allergies or something else.

So what are GMOs? Here’s where things get gross. Scientists take genes from something – and it could be anything, a virus, bacteria, bugs, animals, or even people – and force it into the genes of something else.

Want to know why scientists are doing this? Money. Supposedly, if they genetically modify seeds, they can make them hardier and grow better. That makes them cheaper and easier to take care of. And while that sounds great, consider this: they patent and manufacture the seeds. So if you’re a farmer living downwind of a GMO crop, you could be sued if you’re found selling cross-contaminated produce, even if it literally blew onto your land by the wind and was unintentionally grew where it landed or pollinated your own crops by bees.

Granted, we’ve been doing things like cross-breeding animals to create more useful species and we’ve been grafting plants in order to develop new and more beautiful flowers forever. However, we’ve never taken, say, a bacteria and spliced its DNA into a seed in order to make it toxic to bugs. And if it’s now toxic to bugs, what does that make it to people?

Another concern is allergies. If you’re allergic to something – like wheat, say – and scientists use genes from some wheat that has been found to be pest resistant in a new form of corn? Congratulations, you now have a corn allergy.

Now that I’ve told you how GMOs are made and why, let me tell you what products are the most modified: corn, soy, canola, and sugar beet. And while you might not necessarily eat a whole lot of, say canola or sugar beets, they’re hiding in your food. For example, sugar beets might be used instead of cane sugar in something you eat. Or it might be used in the feed given to the animals you eat.

And when I say hiding, I mean just that. While other countries – and most of the American public – agree that companies should be required to label anything made with GMOs, the United States government disagrees. Nobody has to tell you anything about that Frankenfood you’re eating.So you may think you’re eating corn, but really you’re eating corn with pig DNA. And they don’t have to tell you anything about it.

You know why? If you guessed special interest groups have lobbied to keep the American consumer in the dark, you’d be right! People don’t like to think their food has been messed with, so in order to sell it to you, they just don’t tell you what’s in it! You can read labels all you want, but they’re just going to say “sweetener” or “oils” or something just as vague. Heck, it can even say “sugar” on it for sugar beets – technically it is true!

You can’t even protect yourself against these monsters in your own food! And who knows what kind of long-term health effects there are going to be? It’s not like we have any idea what we’re really doing, shoving DNA where it doesn’t belong. How do we know that it isn’t going to cause damage to our own bodies when it has already created nasty byproducts like superweeds?

It’s just wrong, is what it is. And the people who benefit are the laboratories who make these monster seeds, not the farmers and certainly not the public! We should demand, at the very least, that these GMO foods are clearly labeled so that we all know what to avoid!