Monsanto - What’s wrong with Genetic Engineering?
Genetic engineering is a radical technology that breaks
down genetic barriers between humans, plants and animals.
Once released, these genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
can easily spread and interbreed with other organisms, and they are virtually
impossible to recall back to the laboratory.
Monsanto provides roughly 90% of GMO seeds in the world. These seeds have
been genetically modified to produce their own pesticide or survive repeated
spraying of their toxic herbicide Roundup. Monsanto’s GMOs are not designed
to increase yields to feed the world, but rather to increase Monsanto’s profits
by increasing the use of chemicals such as Roundup and selling their highpriced
patented seeds which farmers must buy every year.
Due to the enormous political clout of Monsanto, the American public is
being denied the right to know whether their foods are genetically engineered
or not. Following is a list of 10 facts about Monsanto and GMOs, and how they
can adversely affect your health, local farmers, and the planet.
1 No GMO Labeling Laws in the US
Foods containing GMOs don’t have to be labeled in the US. Monsanto
has fought hard to prevent labeling laws. This is alarming, since
approximately 70% of processed foods in the US now contain GMO ingredients.
The European Union, Japan, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand
and many other nations now require mandatory GMO labeling.
2 Lack of Adequate Safety Testing
In May 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle announced the FDA’s anti
consumer right-to-know policy which stated that GMO foods need
not be labeled nor safety-tested. Meanwhile, prominent scientists such as
Arpad Pusztai and Gilles-Eric Seralini have publicized alarming research
revealing severe damage to animals fed GMO foods.
3 Monsanto Puts Small Farmers out of Business
Percy Schmeiser is a Canadian farmer whose canola fields were
contaminated with Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready Canola by pollen
from a nearby GMO farm. Monsanto successfully argued in a lawsuit
that Schmeiser violated their patent rights, and forced Schmeiser to pay
hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. This type of biotech bullying
is happening all over North America.
4 Monsanto Products Pollute the Developing World
Monsanto’s deadly legacy includes the production of Agent Orange
and DDT. Now massive aerial spraying of Roundup in Columbia is
being used by the US and the Colombian government as a counter-insurgency
tactic, contaminating food crops and poisoning villagers.
5 Monsanto Blocking Government Regulations
A revolving door exists between Monsanto and US regulatory and
judicial bodies making key decisions. Justice Clarence Thomas, a
former Monsanto lawyer, was the one who wrote the majority opinion
on a key Monsanto case. Michael Taylor once worked for the FDA, later
represented Monsanto as a lawyer, then returned as the FDA’s Deputy
Commissioner for Policy when rBGH was granted approval.
6 Monsanto Guilty of False AdvertisingFrance’s highest court ruled in 2009 that Monsanto had lied about
the safety of its weed killer Roundup. The court confirmed an
earlier judgment that Monsanto had falsely advertised its herbicide as
7 Consumers Reject Bovine Growth Hormone
In the wake of mass consumer pressure, major retailers such as
Safeway, Publix, Wal-Mart, and Kroger banned store brand milk
products containing Monsanto’s controversial genetically engineered
hormone rBGH. Starbucks, under pressure from the OCA and our allies,
has likewise banned rBGH milk.
8 GMO Crops Do Not Increase YieldsA major UN/World Bank-sponsored report compiled by 400 scientists
and endorsed by 58 countries concluded that GM crops have
little to offer to the challenges of poverty, hunger, and climate change.
Better alternatives are available, and the report championed organic farming
as the sustainable way forward for developing countries.
9 Monsanto Controls US Soy Market
In 1996, when Monsanto began selling Roundup Ready soybeans,
only 2% of soybeans in the US contained their patented gene. By
2008, over 90% of soybeans in the US contained Monsanto’s gene.
10 GMO Foods May Lead to Food Allergies
In March 1999, UK researchers at the York Laboratory were
alarmed to discover that reactions to soy had skyrocketed by
50% over the previous year. Genetically modified soy had recently entered
the UK from US imports and the soy used in the study was largely GM.