Most people have no idea that the a large portion of the food that they eat each day has been genetically modified. In fact, over the past decade it has been nothing short of a revolution. Today 93 percent of soybeans and 80 percent of corn in the U.S. grow from seeds genetically altered according to Monsanto company patents. But is it a good revolution? Is it a positive thing for one corporation to control such a high percentage of the seeds? Are there reasons to believe that genetically modifying our food could be harmful to all of us?
The truth is that as Monsanto has gained an increasing market share in the seed market, prices for the Monsanto-patented genetically modified seeds have steadily increased. In fact, those prices have approxmiately doubled over the past decade.
Competitors of Monsanto claim that they have "ruthlessly" stifled competition in the seed industry. They want the government to consider antitrust action against Monsanto.
But they are not the only ones who are upset.
Many farmers are fed up with Monsanto's ruthless use of litigation. All over the United States, the wind is carrying Monsanto's genetically altered seeds into neighboring fields. Monsanto regularly sends out investigators to visit farms and to test whether any Monsanto strains have shown up on those farms. If they have, then Monsanto proceeds to sue the living daylights out of those farmers.
Other activists are concerned about the environmental impact that Monsanto is having.
You see, once genetically modified crops are released into the environment it is virtually impossible to ever contain or recall them. Insects, birds, and the wind easily carry genetically modified seeds into neighboring fields and beyond. Pollen from genetically modified plants ends up cross-pollinating with natural crops and wild relatives. In fact once this becomes widespread enough, the natural crops can be bred into extinction.
You can't put the genie back in the bottle.
Has it been wise for the U.S. government to allow so many bizarre genetically modified crops to be released into the environment especially when the long-term health and environmental impacts of these crops are not known?
The truth is that many natural health experts claim that there is a growing body of evidence that genetically modified foods have a link to food allergies, intestinal damage, autoimmune disorders, anemia, diabetes, infertility and even cancer. Independent scientific studies done on the effects of genetically modified have produced some incredibly troubling results.
However, independent scientists and even government officials that have dared to question the safety of genetically modified foods have been harrassed, threatened and in some cases even fired. Someone out there wants to make sure that only one side of the genetically modified food debate is told to the public.
With billions of dollars in profits to be made, it certainly would be inconvenient for the truth about genetically modified food to get out to the American public. The reality is that the monumental greed of the "mega corporations" that we have created is going to end up killing a lot of people.
If these genetically modified crops start failing or find themselves more susceptible to crop diseases than natural versions could we end up with a massive food emergency on our hands? If it does eventually come out that some of the massive increases in disease that we are seeing this decade are due to genetically modified foods, what will that do to the demand for organic seeds?
There are a lot of unanswered questions like that. Many people are becoming increasingly aware of genetically modified crops and are wishing to avoid them, but the reality is that they are virtually everywhere and they are found in an increasing number of food products so it is almost impossible to completely avoid them.
It is tougher than ever for those of us who seek to eat right and to live an organic lifestyle. Hopefully someone in Washington D.C. will wake up before it is too late.