In simple terms:
- GMOs start as seeds that have been genetically engineered. For example, placing genes from a flounder into a tomato to make the tomato cold weather resistant. Monsanto, the leading biotech company in America, created seeds for many varieties of produce that are herbicide resistant or contain pesticides within the plant itself. "Roundup Ready" seeds were created so the farmer could dump large amounts of the herbicide on the plant without killing it.
- The way the genetic material is combined is by using bacteria (such as e.coli) to invade the genes of the plant.
- GMOs extend beyond produce to salmon, coffee, cacao beans, mosquitos, pigs, and more.
- Once ingested, GMOs alter the genetic makeup of the healthy bacteria in our bodies and in the soil.
- Pollen from a GMO field can travel up to 4km away, contaminating an organic field, making it transgenic. There are currently no regulations on GMO farming, and really no fool proof way to make sure transgenic material isn't contaminating other farming operations.
- As of 2004, 45% of all corn planted was GM corn. 85% of all soybeans were GM. 54% of canola and 50% of all papaya planted was also GM. The numbers have risen in the last 8 years. Chances are, if you purchase food from your grocery store with corn, corn flour, high fructose corn syrup, canola, or sugar in it - it has GE material in it. Sugar beets are commonly GMOs, and a lot of manufacturing processes will mix sugar beets with sugar to save on costs.
- Several studies have shown GMOs to be harmful when tested on lab animals. The long term effects of prolonged, repeated exposure to GMOs is still largely unkown, but the studies point to extremely adverse consequences.
Here are several links you can visit for more information.
- Monsanto's GMO corn linked to organ failure
- GMO feed causes organ disruption in animals
- GMOs alter our healthy bacteria
- Wikipedia - GMO
- GMO factsheet University of Richmond
- USDA data sheet on adaption of GM crops in US
- Study linking GMOs to inflammation, arthritis, and lymphoma
- Study of GM corn on rats - on behalf of Monsanto