Will The Free Market Kill GMOs?

gmoIn more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the European Union,  there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. 

While Monsanto remains a dominate force [$$$$$$] in American politics, perhaps the free market will do what American consumers have been unable to accomplish.

A recent article in Modern Farmer magazine reports that there is a growing trend among farmers to abandon genetically modified seed.  “We get the same or better yields, and we save money up front,” crop consultant and farmer Aaron Bloom said of conventional crop seeds.  Bloom has been experimenting with non-GMO seeds for five years and he has discovered that conventional crops are more profitable.

Farmer Christ Huegerich, who along with his father planted GMO seeds said that “five years ago the [GMO seeds] worked. I didn’t have corn rootworm because of the Bt gene, and I used less pesticide. Now, the worms are adjusting, and the weeds are resistant. Mother Nature adapts.”  Huegerich  happily discovered that conventional seeds produce more per acre – 15 to 30 more bushels per acre than GMO seed, with a profit margin of up to $100 more per acre.

Prior to the use of GMO seed, superweeds didn’t exist. While the introduction of GMO crops did initially decrease the use of herbicides,  Farm & Water Watch reports that some 61.2 million acres of US cropland is plagued by super weeds.  As weeds become resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup, the more herbicides are required to kill the weeds,  meaning that  more and more herbicides are  needed.   This vicious cycle continues every growing season leaving some farmers reporting super-weeds that reach heights of up to 8 feet.

Health problems for humans and superweeds are not the only problems plaguing GMOs.   A Danish pig farmer is blaming GMO ingredients in hog feed for deformities, still births, and serious health problems in his hogs. He claims that GMO feed caused bloating, stomach ulcers, and diarrhea, all of which went away within a matter of days when he switched to non-GMO feed.

Monika Kruger, a professor at Germany’s Leipzig University,  found evidence that GMO feed is indeed dangerous.  “A lot of livestock are ill and nobody is interested. In most cases the highest concentrations of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup,  comes from GM products like soya, rapeseed and corn.”   Kruger also detected glyphosate in samples of store meat.

The most common GMO crops are  soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and squash (zucchini  and yellow), many of which appear as added ingredients in a large amount of the foods we eat.  In addition, GMOs may be hidden in common processed food ingredients such as: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, and Yeast Products.

Numerous health problems have increased since GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise.

Although the GMO industry and the FDA has squashed any real scientific research to confirm that GMOs are a contributing factor, doctors groups such as the American Academy of Environmental Medicine [AAEM]  are urging doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients, especially our children who are most at risk.

If only a small percentage of consumers  start rejecting brands that contain GMOs, they  will become a marketing liability.  Remember, it was a  consumer rebellion against GM bovine growth hormone that was instrumental in removing the drug from dairy products sold by Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Dannon, Yoplait and most of America’s dairies.


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