Genetically modified foods are made up of organisms (known as GMOs for ‘genetically modified organisms’) which have been genetically altered for ‘improvement’. Biotechnology giant Monsanto is the primary maker of genetically modified seeds, responsible for 90 percent of the genetically engineered seed on the United States market.
The touted reasons for genetically modifying foods vary from making a fruit larger and seedless to resisting pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. Millions of dollars are invested in this bioengineering process annually by many, with Bill Gates most notably investing into Monsanto with 500,000 shares. But are GMO foods really the solution to humanity’s problems, or are they negatively affecting virtually all life on planet earth?
Genetically modified foods have been proven not only to be unhealthy, but also deadly. One review of 19 studies showed that with the consumption of genetically modified foods comes significant organ disruptions, especially in the liver and kidneys. What’s more, however, is that the damage posed by Monsanto’s GMO creations extend even further than public health. In fact, they threaten the environment as a whole. This is perhaps the most concerning effect of GMOs.
Monsanto has created GMO crops that contain something known as Bt, which is a toxin incorporated into the crops with the intention of killing off insects. The usage of the Bt biopesticide within these GMO crops, however, has actually led to ‘mutant’ insect populations which are directly resistant to the biopesticide. Reports state that at least 8 insect populations have developed resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole. As a result, farmers must spray even more pesticides!
Beyond GM seeds and the Bt pesticide, Monsanto is also the creator of the best-selling herbicide Roundup. The usage of Roundup has spawned over 120 million hectacres of herbicide-resistant superweeds that have destroyed the farmland in which they reside. In addition, much of the soil has also been damaged. Even in the face of these statistics, Monsanto continues to disregard any and all warning signs.
Genetically modified foods present a very real threat to the genetic integrity of both humankind and the environment, and require vigorous longterm research before being unleashed on the public. That is why nations like Peru, France, and Hungary are taking action against Monsanto and GMOs over legitimate health concerns.