Genetically modified agriculture and foods
There is worldwide discussion about genetically modified agriculture and foods. This has become a hot topic from governments, environmental organisations, religious groups, public groups and many more. With a growing population and depleted supply of food to sustain the world population, our chemical companies have re-branded themselves as pharmaceutical companies and are behind the enormous marketing and interaction within our farming communities to move forward with genetically modified organisms, particularly in third world countries and this is now becoming very real throughout the whole world. Are the guidelines in your country strict enough, so you know exactly what you are purchasing, where it has come from and how it was grown? What are you ingesting and what are the health impacts on our entire environment.
What are genetically modified foods and agriculture?
Genetically modified foods and agriculture are organisms, plants and seeds that have had their DNA modified using gene technology, this can either be from plant matter to plant matter or by way of the introduction of one or more genes from an organism that is different to the host plant. For example, scientists are extracting genes from fish and splicing the gene into plant matter, this is to enable plants to tolerate cold climate and last longer in cold storage.
Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are created in the laboratory to enhance what is thought to be manmade strengths and reduce weaknesses in our natural food sources. My question would be, is this really the case, what are the side effects and indirect consequences to environment and health. The introduction of GMO could be to reduce the use of pesticide and herbicides to crops as the plant has its own mechanism to repel insects. This process gives the plant a new set of characteristics by introducing foreign DNA.
The disadvantages and discussions against genetically modified foods
There are studies that show that harm has come to other organisms, that the GMO was not directed produced to impact, such as pollen from corn has had an indirect impact on Monarch caterpillars, causing high mortality rates. This caused by the pollen of the GMO corn plant blowing onto the diet of the Monarch caterpillar, which is milkweed plants from neighbouring farms. This is not limited to the Monarch caterpillar, all other insect larvae in the path of the GMO pollen that has been engineered to eliminate insects are also killed by the toxic pollen.
Insects are developing resistance to pesticides that are being used on crops and in waterways.
When plants are engineered to be herbicide and pesticide tolerant so are all the other plants around them, such as the weeds, so then we have super weeds that are also herbicide tolerant. What is this doing to our bodies, if we are consuming foods that can tolerate herbicides and pesticides?
Why are we seeing an epidemic of increased life threatening allergies to foods? Is this due to the laboratory introduced genes from plant to plant that changes its DNA. There is growing concern about the introduction of foreign genes into plants due to the unexplained and negative impact on human health.
Genetically modified plant seeds also have a negative impact on our environment and ecology. They deplete our soils of important microorganism which is part of our soil fertility cycle and the micro-environments. They are destroying our ecosystems.
As much as genetically modified organisms are marketed by our pharmaceutical (or should I say chemical companies) as be environmentally friendly for agriculture and human health, what are the potential hazards during this process. The seeds that are being engineered are sterile and only good for growing in that season, so then the farmers will have to purchase seeds from the chemical companies each season. This will make is much harder for farmers and especially those in third world counties to continues farming to feed their immediate community. Traditionally farmers would keep a percentage of seed from their crop to dry and reseed the next planting. This will in turn reduce the produce for third word farmers that cannot afford to purchase seeds for each seasonal planting.
Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful? Deborah B. Whitman
Functional Nutrition Academy – The Holistic Approach – Functional Nutrition Course – Module 3 Disruption of the Human Intelligence