GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS: CROSS CONTAMINATION OF OTHER CROPS
April 29, 2014
Part 5: Cross contamination of other crops
"In an ecosystem, you can always intervene and change something in it, but there's no way of knowing what all the downstream effects will be or how it might affect the environment. We have such a miserably poor understanding of how the organism develops from its DNA that I would be surprised if we don't get one rude shock after another." Professor Richard Lewontin, Professor of Genetics, Harvard University
Specific plants evolve with DNA to withstand drought, rainforest conditions, severe temperatures and different soils. A cactus thrives in the desert, but would die in a rainforest. A tropical fern expands in the rainforest, but dies in a desert. A pine tree can withstand 40 below F at 12,000 feet, but fail in the Everglades. Each plant's DNA evolved to allow it to grow within a specific eco-system.
When GMO plants grow within a specific eco-system, their DNA bastardizes the normal DNA of native plants. Specific genes mutate and become "Frankensteinized" by the genetically manipulated plants. Thus, we humans alter the Natural World via the GMO aberration. We change the way bees operate or cannot operate with a GMO plant. Whereby a ladybug thrived, it now dies. What proliferated on ladybugs dies without their specific food source—and on down the line.
Carey Biron at Inter Press Service said, "A third of U.S. organic farmers have experienced problems in their fields due to the nearby use of genetically modified crops, and over half of those growers have had loads of grain rejected because of unwitting GMO contamination."
"Of U.S. farmers that took part in a new survey, the results of which were released on Monday, more than 80 percent reported being concerned over the impact of genetically modified (GM) crops on their farms, with some 60 percent saying they're "very concerned.""
"USDA has been extremely lax and, in our opinion, that's due to the excessive influence of the biotech industry in political circles." -- Organic farmer Oren Holle
Again, we see ground level folks pointing fingers at our Congressional critters in Washington, DC. Money flat-out buys their votes to stop any GMO labeling or discussion.
"The USDA said they didn't have this data, but all they had to do was ask," Oren Holle, a farmer in the Midwestern state of Kansas and president of the Organic Farmers' Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM), which assisted in the new study's production. "Our very strong feeling is that the introduction and propagation of the genetically modified products that are coming out under patent at this point have not had the regulatory oversight that they should have, and need to involve a far broader section of stakeholders. USDA has been extremely lax and, in our opinion, that's due to the excessive influence of the biotech industry in political circles."
While just one percent of corn and seven percent of soybeans grown in the U.S. came from GM seeds during the mid-1990s, by 2013 both of those numbers had risen to above 90 percent.
Biron said, "In the new study, nearly half of the farmers polled said they did not believe that GM and non-GM crops could ever "coexist", while more than two-thirds said that "good stewardship" is insufficient to address contamination."
"The USDA's focus on coexistence and crop insurance is misplaced," Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said, referring to an AC21 recommendation that GM contamination problems be dealt with through a federal insurance scheme set up to lessen the impact of natural disasters.
"The department must recognize the harm that is already being done to organic and non-GMO farmers and put the responsibility squarely where it belongs – with the biotech companiies. Now USDA can no longer claim ignorance about this problem."
Messing around with Mother Nature
"There's been a lot of new technology introduced in agriculture over the past 50 years. But there's always been a point of law that, whatever happens on my side of the fence, I'm still responsible for how it might affect my neighbor," Holle notes. "GMO's take away that neighbor-to-neighbor relationship, however, as the ways in which unintended presence occurs is a completely different set of concerns from other new technologies. For that reason, they need a completely different set of rules."
Enormous money to be made by biotech companies at our expense
"At least 35 other species of genetically engineered fish are currently under development," Friends of the Earth, an advocacy group, stated Monday. The "decision on this genetically engineered salmon application will set a precedent for other genetically engineered fish and animals to enter the global food market."
If mandatory labeling comes to the US, not only do we get to choose what we put in our bodies, but food producers would likely remove GMOs from the human food supply chain (as in Europe and most of the 50 countries that already have compulsory labeling). As a result, we—as consumers—would no longer have to bear the cost of ke keeping our food GMO-free.
Part 6: Changing the DNA of salmon and tuna, wrecking ocean ecosystems
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Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His published books include: "HANDBOOK FOR TOURING BICYCLISTS"; “STRIKE THREE! TAKE YOUR BASE”; “IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES”; “MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE TO ALASKA: INTO THE WIND—A TEEN NOVEL”; “BICYCLING AROUND THE WORLD: TIRE TRACKS FOR YOUR IMAGINATION”; “AN EXTREME ENCOUNTER: ANTARCTICA.” His next book: “TILTING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY INTO A SWAMP.” He lives in Denver, Colorado.
His latest book. ‘IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION—DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.’