What’s the Deal with GMO Foods?

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that “natural” beats “unnatural.”

And yet the folks in charge of producing food for the nation continue to ignore this fact. They use genetically modified (GMO) seeds in order to produce more “reliable” food.

Genetically modified engineering involves reconfiguring the genes in crop plants or adding new genes that have been created in a lab.

On the surface, their arguments make sense. They aim to make crops that are immune to bugs and diseases, not to mention invincible against the pesticides they use to kill bugs.

As a result, GMO vegetables and fruits have higher yields and longer shelf lives. But at what cost?

There’s No Comparison

A close examination of today’s unnatural treated seeds and natural heirloom seeds shows a world of difference between the two.

GMO seeds are treated with fungicides targeting certain diseases. The seeds are implanted with micronutrients to help them germinate and grow. Added to the seeds are insecticides to kill the bugs that might eat away at the crop.

That’s about as unnatural as it gets. And I’d like to see a show of hands from those who believe that messing around with nature is going to have positive long-term results.

Isn’t it logical to believe that crops will absorb some of the pesticides being sprayed on them? And doesn’t it also make sense that crop diseases will become immune to these pesticides, requiring even stronger and more dangerous pesticides to be created and used?

The Anti-GMO Arguments

Some anti-GMO folks say that not enough testing has been done on genetically modified seeds to justify having so many crops grown from them and fed to the public.

Other anti-GMO folks are more adamant about it. They say some of the testing shows that GMO food interferes with the immune systems of animals. And does damage to their kidneys, livers and hearts. They say it impairs the fertility in mice, and that GMO cotton kills sheep that graze on it.

Because the big seed companies are in bed with the government, we know we can’t win this war. But perhaps a few battles are winnable.

One of those battles has been trying to get the government to insist on GMO foods being labeled as such.

Fighting the Labeling Battle

It took a while, but that finally occurred. GMO labeling will be required starting in 2020.  This was a huge battle that took years to win.

Producers of GMO foods fought long and hard against it because they felt that labeling would give an advantage to those who sell organic foods.

But don’t celebrate this victory too enthusiastically because there’s a catch. There’s always a catch.

Producers of GMO foods will be given a choice of three ways to disclose this information through labeling.

A Law Without Teeth?

One would be a label that spells out the nature of their food, such as, “contains a bioengineered food ingredient.”

Another would be a label featuring a standard icon. One that’s been proposed is what looks like a smiling face with the lowercase letters “b” and “e” representing the eyes.

The third would be a barcode directing consumers to a website with more information.

Talk about letting them off easy. This doesn’t even feel like a win anymore. And if that weren’t bad enough, certain GMO crops will be exempt from the law.

So, once again it’s going to be up to us to protect ourselves. With GMO foods everywhere you look these days, growing our own healthy food using open-pollinated, non-hybrid, heirloom seeds with strong germination rates is more important than ever.

 

 

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