The food industry has been “evolving” into a giant chemistry and biology lab for the last few decades. Today, most consumers are not even aware of the acronym: GMO. Yet, this acronym impacts the majority of consumers all over the United States and the world. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. When you first see the phrase you may think, “Oh, they must be referring to some genetic experiments?” Unfortunately, that is true, but the experimentation is on our food and on the human race, the consumer.
The definition of “food” is changing as time progresses and as scientists find new ways to alter the genetic make-up of the foods that we consume. In essence, an apple looks like an apple, feels like an apple, and even tastes like an apple, but our bodies may not necessarily recognize it as an “apple.” If the genetic make-up of the “apple” could be altered effectively it would lead to increase production and sales. The consumption of these new “foods” however, may lead to many digestive complications, poor health and maybe even death.
Plants, like corn, are being genetically altered so that they could withstand the onslaught of herbicides (weed killers) that are applied to them in large quantities. The way it works is that strains of corn crops (organisms) are being produced that will not be weakened or killed by herbicides. The weeds that compete for the corn plant’s nutrients will die, but the corn plant will thrive even when there is tons of “poison” being applied to it.
On the one hand, the fact that the “good” plant can survive while the weeds die is a great accomplishment, we have to ask “At what cost?” In the Bible (see Mathew), there is a parable called “the parable of the weeds.” The parable talks about how the weeds are hindering the growth of the wheat. Jesus says let them both grow together or while you try to take the weed out you may destroy the “good” plant, the wheat. So he says to wait to harvest time. Well, with genetic engineering, we don’t have to wait for harvest time. We can kill the “weeds” and the “wheat” remains standing, green as ever. The experiment’s question is, “How are the people, the subjects being affected by the “new and improved” food?” Since, the results of such experiments are not in the mainstream media I will reference just a few that I have had the opportunity to review.
Corn is a very popular GMO that has been heavily produced and consumed. There is a study (http://preventdisease.com/news/09/120409_supressed_GMO_study.shtml) that found that when ladybugs consumed the genetically modified corn, the ladybugs did not do too well. It looked like corn, tasted like corn and felt like corn, but it killed all the ladybugs like “poison.” So, then, what is it doing to humans? That’s a question that the agricultural biotechnologists do not want answered or published.
The Monsanto Company (http://www.organicconsumers.org/kelloggs.cfm) is the manufacturer of “RoundUp” herbicides used in large-scale farming and residential applications for controlling and killing weeds. That company also owns the patents for GMOs (especially corn) that are resistant to their herbicides. The crops are considered “RoundUp-ready crops.” So Monsanto and similar companies make a profit by killing the weeds and by selling the seeds of plants that will resist the herbicide applications. That is a “win-win situation!” Unfortunately, that scenario exposes humans and animals to large doses of a cancer-causing product (glyphosate) found in the herbicides. Our soils and waters get contaminated by millions of pounds of these carcinogens every year.
Another study (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/monsantos-gmo-corn-linked_n_420365.html) with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or foods found that these “foods” and products made from these foods have been found to cause organ (especially kidney and liver) damage in rats! Rats are mammals, just like humans are mammals. Virtually every food and drug that is to be used for human consumption is first tested on rats. They have the same body systems (circulatory, nervous, etc.) that we have but they are smaller and they’re just rats. We use them for cancer research, diabetes research and every type of research that impacts the human race. So such findings are very significant.
GM food is not a “food” that can be trusted. The modified crops are being introduced in a multitude of food products (corn, corn syrup, corn starch, cereals, etc.) that the consumers are ingesting on a daily basis. These “foods” have not been tested and proven to be safe, in any conclusive matter. Insects have died as a result of them and rats have suffered extensive organ damage as well. More needs to be done to regulate the biotechnology agriculture or these Frankenstein-like crops and “foods” will contaminate all of our existing healthy, natural crops. Such a contamination will no doubt be irreversible.
As consumers, we must hold the government agencies (FDA, USDA, etc.) accountable to taking care of the consumer. Large corporations focused on sales and market control cannot dictate our dietary choices and restrict our need to consume foods that are wholesome.
A little about Mario Depeine, Sr.
As an educator I get the opportunity to get a small glimpse of how our society is shaping up. Children come into the classroom with all types of perspectives. A lot of the perspectives are a result of their environment. Some of those perspectives reflect the home life or lack of. Some reflect the street life and some just reflect the media that the children are exposed to.
Middle School children are just starting out in life. You see how their characters and personalities are shaping up. Many can be molded or adjusted easily others are a lot more resistant to change depending on their circumstance.
I work in an urban district. While there I see many interesting and at times disheartening things. Hopefully my experiences as an educator can shed some light on what we can do to better prepare our children for the future.