Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Consciousness Series: GMOs

In more than 60 countries around the world, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects like new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has ...increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. Scientific studies have linked Roundup herbicide to cause birth defects and organ damage in animals, as well as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer's disease, autism and cancer in humans.

Because GMOs are novel life forms, biotechnology companies have been able to obtain patents with which to restrict their use. As a result, the companies that make GMOs now have the power to sue farmers whose fields are contaminated with GMOs, even when it is the result of inevitable drift from neighboring fields.

The FDA has legalized GMOs in the United States, does not mandate labeling of GMOs and allows companies to put their GM foods onto the market. Their justification was the claim that they had no information showing that GM foods were substantially different.

Scientists who have discovered problems with GMOs have been attacked, fired, threatened, and denied funding. Attempts by media to expose problems are also often censored by payoff.

Monsanto is the multi-billion dollar company behind many of the pesticides and genetically engineered seeds, found in 40 percent of US crops. Despite its various marketing incarnations over the years, Monsanto is a chemical company that got its start selling saccharin (an artificial sweetener about 300–400 times as sweet as sucrose or table sugar) to Coca-Cola, then Agent Orange to the U.S. military.

Buy organic foods from local farmers and green markets when possible, plant a vegetable garden, and become more self-sustainable.

Prints available at http://www.jeremymannino.com/


  1. GMOs really need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. The costs and benefits are going to be different depending on what the modification is and in what organism. Also some genetic modification don't involve taking DNA from foreign species. For example the arctic apple doesn't brown because they silenced a gene that is responsible for the oxidation of the apple. A genetic effect like that could occur through natural evolution or selective breeding. Also some modifications are meant specifically to increase nutrition, such as golden rice which has much higher level of the vitamin A precursor, beta-carotene.

    1. I think GMOs need to evaluated on a more ethical scale. With that said, I completely understand why some modifications are made, such as golden rice, to assist people in Third World countries suffering from Vitamin A deficiencies. However, I believe we don't need to modify our food in order to help those living malnourished. I think we're trying to play God when the food is exactly how it should be...and down the road we're going to suffer for tampering with our food supply.

      Something else that strikes me as suspicious is that several political supporters of genetically engineered foods, are only eating organic themselves. I've read several articles that organic food is only served in the White House and Mitt Romney only eats an organic diet, yet supports Monsanto. All this just seems too shady to me.

      I feel like we need to set our sights on the basics, only growing organic food. Silencing a gene that prohibits apples from browning when exposed to air leaves potential unintended consequences of manipulating genes. We now have no idea how old these apples are or how long they've been sitting out in grocery stores because there natural state has been altered. If that gene helped protect the apple from pests, and it's no longer "on," farmers could need more pesticides as a result. A natural way to prevent apples from browning is spraying lemon juice on them.

      I have every intention on maintaining a primarily organic diet. I don't trust modified foods or foods sprayed with pesticides. I have a gut feeling about GMOs and it's telling me to stay away from them.