Archive for the ‘GMO alfalfa’ Tag

GMO Foods Are On the Rise

Yesterday evening I read a statistic that frightened me. I was reading a publication called Taste for Life, which stated that as much as 93% of all soy that is produced in the United States has been genetically engineered. 93%. That is so close to 100% that I find it terrifying and appalling.

Just as of January 2011, we have even more reason to be concerned about GMOs. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has given the green light for the production of genetically modified alfalfa. It seems that they now wish to ignore all of the possible harmful effects to both human health and the environment that were previously documented.

See, you may think of alfalfa as just those hairy looking little sprouts that you see on the salad bar every now and then. But alfalfa is something a lot bigger than that within the world of agriculture. This is because in the United States, alfalfa is primarily used for cattle feed. Is is the fourth largest field crop in the U.S, behind corn, soybeans, and wheat. 20 million acres are planted with alfalfa in the U.S. each year.

The national leader in GMO technology, Monsanto, has engineered a type of alfalfa that can resist its chemical weed killer Roundup. And yes, now this GMO alfalfa may soon be planted all over the country. I mean this quite literally, because currently alfalfa is grown is almost every single state.

 Why are GMOs bad?

As far as environmental concerns go, this is big. Little research has been done about how genetically modified organisms affect our delicate ecosystem. However, we do definitely know that they have the ability to spread in the wild. GMO canola plants have spread like crazy over the last few years. And the laws surrounding GMOs are utterly ridiculous. Did you know, for example, that is GMO seeds from Farmer #1’s field blow over to Farmer #2’s field, then Farmer #2 can be sued for theft? It’s true. Dangers to the environment aside, it’s pretty messed up that this is what GMOs (and Monsanto) are doing to the farming industry.

As far as human health concerns go, well we don’t really know how GMOs affect us because adequate human health testing has not been done on them. In mice, a diet including GM foods caused stomach ulcerations, allergic reactions, enlarged livers, and disturbances to their immune systems and their internal organs. In humans, the same is possible, but we really don’t even know how high the risk is, or how bad these health problems may be. You know what is a scary way to find out, though? By introducing GMOs into our diet by way of conventional dairy and meat products, which is exactly what will happen as soon as cows are fed GMO alfalfa.

Fortunately, the Center for Food Safety has announced its plans to file a lawsuit that will fight the USDA’s decision to deregulate GMO alfalfa. Their lawsuit is definitely one that is worthy of our utmost support. We must continue to fight to keep GMOs out of our food.

For more information on stopping the spread of GMOS please visit nongmoproject.org and saynotogmos.org.

One last thought to ponder on GMOs… Research has shown that when foods grown using genetically modified organisms are placed in the wild, wild animals do not eat them. Don’t you think we have something to learn from this?