Monday, March 16, 2009

Super Human Fish Cow Potatoes

I would like to share with you an article written by a friend of mine, concerning genetically modified organisms and crops. I have heard very little on this subject but found it very interesting. I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have other resources on this subject. If i had heard of some of this stuff, i would've thought it was a joke.

Say No To GMOs!!!
by Laura Hoyt

Monday, November 10, 2008

Playing God with the Environment

Christians must realize that protecting the environment from genetically modified crops or GMOs is essential for today and future generations. First, genetically modified crops increase genetic pollution. Next, it is unknown how GMO crops will affect our health and our environment. Last, whoever is in control of the food will control the world. Christians must take a stand against this evil tactic.

Many Christians are unaware of genetically modified organisms. "A genetically modified organism is a plant, animal or microorganism whose genetic code has been altered (What is a GMO?)." This allows plants and animals that can not mate the ability to transfer genes (What is a GMO?). Scientists are making changes to God's creation by mixing and matching genes. The Center of Food Safety states, "…biotechnologist have engineered novel creations, such as potatoes with bacteria genes, "super" pigs with human growth genes, fish with cattle growth genes, and tomatoes with flounders genes…"

Genetically modified crops cause genetic pollution. More GM crops are being produced that are able to resist viruses and insects. They are also more tolerant to herbicides (Economist 63). This may sound wonderful but there are two problems. When plants with herbicide resistant traits from the engineered crops transfer these traits to other related plants it can cause super weeds (Shiva72). The article "Genetically Engineered Foods Should Not Be Produced" states, "Superweeds could lead to "bio-invasions," displacing local diversity and taking over the entire ecosystems (Shiva73)." The second problem is that farmers will have to use more chemicals to kill these weeds. Hightower offers this fact, "More than 100 pesticides are now in the ground water in 40 different states… (Taylor)."

There is no certainty how GM crops will effect our health or the environment. Farmers are growing these crops all across America and we do not know the affects on humans or the environment. In the article "Genetically Engineered Food" it says that up to 45 percent of U.S. corn and 85 percent of soybeans are genetically modified. It says that around 70 percent of processed foods at the grocery stores have genetically modified ingredients (The Center for Food Safety). It is not even known if there will be risk in eating these foods. The Center for Food Safety states, "…the use of genetic engineering in agriculture could lead to uncontrolled biological pollution, threatening numerous microbial, plant and animal species with extinction…" This is very dangerous because it could damage many cycles. In the article "Genetically Engineered Foods Should Not Be Produced" Shiva explains that Superpests are another problem with GM foods. She tells how Monsanto and other corporations are inserting a toxic Bt bacteria gene in plants (Shiva74). Shiva states, "This particular Bt gene produces a toxin that disables insects, and the genetically engineered Bt plants are thus able to produce their own pesticide (74)." This has been going on since 1996 (Shiva 74). Monsanto has made many believe that farmers will not have to use as much pesticides because of this Bt; however, the truth is they will need to continue using non-Bt cotton and pesticide sprays on these resistant plants. This just increases the use of chemicals. This will cause further extinction of many valuable insects used for pollination. Eight species of insects now have a resistance to Bt toxins (Shiva 75). Oleary states, "Playing God with creation of food may have dangerous ramifications for the environment." The Center for Food Safety says that congress has not passed any law to manage GMOs.

Many Christians do not even know about genetically modified crops. I was also, unaware of it until my baby began breaking out with sever eczema and constipation. The doctors claimed it was from detergents and soaps, but I discovered this was not the problem. His problem continued on for a year. Soon I started looking into my child's nutrition because of a Christian health speaker named Doug Kaufman at . We began to eliminate all the foods and add them back one at a time. Our discovery was amazing. We found out that our child breaks out anytime he eats a product with soy or peanuts. Almost all processed foods and even baby formula contain soy. This puzzled me, so I started to research about soy. That is when I found out that all soy is genetically modified. I learned that sometimes people are not allergic to soy but it may be the other genes that scientist are injecting them with. When scientist put genes into different species it can cause health risk (Economist 63). The Economist even goes as far as saying that soybeans that have been given brazil nut genes my produce an allergic reaction. Soybeans are in thousands of food products and if it is not spotted can cause life threatening situations (Economist 63). This is possibly why my son is unable to eat soy without an allergic reaction. This is dangerous because people who are allergic to certain foods will not know if there food has been altered are not. Imagine not knowing if an apple is really an apple or an apple with shrimp genes.

Lastly, whoever controls the crops will control the world. Seeds have already been patented and modified in America. In the article "Monsanto's Harvest of Fear" it explains how farmers have saved seeds for thousands of years. The United States Patent and Trademark Office would not patent seeds for many years because they considered them life forms. That all has changed since the 1980s. Monsanto has become the world leader in genetically modified seeds and has over 674 biotechnology patents (Bartlett and Steele). Unfortunately it does not stop there. Monsanto is still trying to access more patents and take more control. The article "Monsanto's Harvest of Fear" shows how powerful this company really is. Farmers who by the patented seeds from Monsanto are required to sign an agreement that they will not save the seed produced after the harvest. They are not allowed to replant or sell the seed to other farmers. This means that farmers must now buy seeds every year. Monsanto has produced modified seeds for soybeans, corn, canola, and cotton. They are working on sugar beets and alfalfa (Bartlett and Steele). Bartlett and Steele state, "This company is also seeking to extend its reach into milk production by marketing an artificial growth hormone that increases their output, and it is taking aggressive steps to put those who don't want to use growth hormone at a commercial disadvantage." This is very scary. The article also states that the company, Monsanto is buying up seed companies. They have paid big money for these large seed companies. As of today, Monsanto is the largest seed company in the world (Bartlett and Steele). Bartlett and Steele state, "Whoever provides the world's seeds controls the world's food supply."

In conclusion, it is clear that there is a need to protect the environment from GMO crops. Christians should not sweep this under the rug any more. In Genesis 1:28 God said, "…Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth…(New American Standard Bible)." God has given us the authority to subdue and dominate his creation. We have the responsibility as overseers of God's creation to protect it. We must speak out and let others know about the secrets that are hidden in our food here in America. It is also important to write representatives about GMO issues. We must be aware of future modifications that will continue to go through congress on a daily basis. We also need to pray for our representatives to make wise choices. We may not be able to go back to the way things once were but each family can start taking action in their own homes. Start growing gardens with non-GM seeds, and learn how to save the seeds to pass down to future generations.

Works Cited

Bartlett, Donald L. and James B. Steele. "Monsanto's Harvest of Fear." Vanity Fair

May 2008.

Economist. "Genetically Engineered Foods Should Be Produced." 2001.Cothran 63.

Cothran, Helen, ed. Global Resources: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003.

New American Standard Bible, La Habra: The Lockman Foundation, 1995.

Oleary, Denyse. "Genetically Engineered Foods – Unholy Harvest?"

3 Nov. 2008. .

Shiva,Vandan. "Genetically Engineered Foods Should Not Be Produced." 2000.

Cothran 72-75.

Taylor, Monette. "Jim Hightower Attacks 'Monasanto's Intimidation' of Farmers

and Their Crops." Say No to GMOs. 18 Oct. 2001. 3 Nov. 2008 .

The Center for Food Safety. "Genetically Engineered Food." 3 Nov. 2008 .

What is a GMO? 6 Nov. 2008 .

1 comment:

  1. interesting...

    is anyone out there storing real seed?


What do you think about that?