There is no need to test the safety of DNA introduced into GM crops. -Monsanto
I just wanted to put out a quick post today to spread the word about this movie:
Genetic Roulette -- The Gamble of Our Lives is available for free viewing through October 17, 2012. Time's almost up to catch it for free, but I hope you'll have a chance to watch!
You can find more information on the Genetic Roulette website as well.
The movie discusses genetically modified organisms and their effect on the health of those consuming them--which, unfortunately, is most of the American population. GMOs are one of the reasons our family decided to grow and make as much of our own food as possible.
What are GMOs?
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are any living system (plant, animal, fungus,etc...) who's DNA has been altered by either inserting or removing different genes. In order to change the organism's DNA, new DNA from a different species is inserted. Some of the many methods used to introduce the new DNA are: the splicing of genes; using a virus or bacteria as a carrier; and by the DNA being shot into cells at very high speeds.
Some of the most commonly modified organisms used in our foods are soybeans, corn, rapeseed (for the production of canola oil), and sugar beets. There is also talk of genetically modified animals being introduced into the food system, most notably salmon.
Why are organisms modified?
Genetically modified crops can be made to be pest resistant, disease resistant, able to tolerate temperature extremes, and able to better tolerate drought, with the desired end result of increases in crop yields.
Why are these genetically modified organisms a concern?
GMOs are a very young and fairly untested technology--no real long term studies have been done. However, many recent studies have shown that GMOs can be toxic or allergenic. For example, rats fed GM tomatoes developed stomach lesions; mice fed GM soy showed disturbed liver, pancreas, and testes function; and rats fed GM maize (corn) showed toxic effects on the liver and kidneys.
In addition to the possible harms that may fall upon anyone consuming GMOs, there are other downfalls. One of them being the creation of "super weeds" and "super insects." Weeds and plants are becoming resistant to the GMO crops and the pesticides/herbicides that are often used in conjunction with them, thus creating the need to use even more of these harmful chemicals.
In addition to the increase of harmful chemicals used, the GM plants are cross pollinating with "normal" plants. There is great danger in this, especially if GM plants engineered to produce "terminator seeds" become more widely used. The seeds from these terminator plants are sterile--this ensures that farmers will have to buy new seeds every year. The obvious problem will be, if too many crops are contaminated with the terminator gene, we are forced to be dependent on a handful of big seed companies for our food supply--that is a scary thought!
I could go on and on about the possible harms of GMOs, but I'll stop here and leave you some additional links if you'd like to learn more. And I'd like to encourage you to watch this video and share it with others as well.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) - Myths and Truths
Yes on Prop 37
...Biotech or GM crops are the fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture... - DuPont