Vatican Condemns Monsanto Genetically Modified Crops as “New Form of Slavery”
In an interview with the magazine L’Osservatore Romano on January 5, a prominent member of the Vatican spoke out against genetically modified crops. Cardinal Peter Turkson said that genetically modified crops are a “new form of slavery,” and went on to discuss the impact that they have on both the environment and the economy. Regardless of religious association, anyone speaking out against genetically modified should be listened to. As a prominent leader of the Catholic people, Cardinal Turkson has the ability to inform millions worldwide regarding the negative effects of genetically modified food.
Even farmers have risen up against Monsanto and genetically modified seeds, with Monsanto forcing thousands of farmers into debt worldwide. In India, Monsanto has ruined the lives of so many farmers that the prevalence of their suicide has led to a large farming area to be titled the ‘suicide belt of India’. Some have even blamed Monsanto for the recent bird and fish deaths, claiming that the poison coming from their factories may have poisoned animals worldwide. Monsanto’s destruction isn’t limited to the environment, however.
Genetically modified foods been proven not only to be a threat to nature, but extremely harmful to humans. The process of bioengineering GM ingredients 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 wides-cale 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.
A study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences also helped to end the debate regarding the health effects of genetically modified food (GMO). The study shows that three Monsanto corn varieties cause a direct health hazard, with the study picking up mainstream attention.
There is a world-wide debate concerning the safety and regulatory approval process of genetically modified (GM) crops and foods. In order to scientifically address this issue, it is necessary to have access to toxicological tests, preferably on mammals, performed over the longest time-scales involving detailed blood and organ system analyses. Furthermore, these tests should, if possible, be in accordance with OECD guidelines. states the introduction.
For the first time in the world, we’ve proven that GMO are neither sufficiently healthy nor proper to be commercialized. […] Each time, for all three GMOs, the kidneys and liver, which are the main organs that react to a chemical food poisoning, had problems, indicated Gilles-Eric Seralini, an expert member of the Commission for Biotechnology Reevaluation, created by the EU in 2008.
Natural Society staff contribution