LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The ‘bad science’ of GMOs

In 1942, J.I. Rodale said, “One of these fine days, the public is going to wake up and will pay for eggs, meats, vegetables, etc., according to how they were produced.” Although this has been a slow-moving movement, the interest has been growing in leaps and bounds, and well, folks, that day has arrived.

With the growing health concerns in this country, obesity, heart problems, cancer, and the list goes on, more and more people are understanding that food matters, because food is medicine. There is no scientific report that will ever disprove that!

For years, we all have been living in the pre-packaged or just-give-me-a-pill-to-fix-it world, thinking that the companies that produce these products really have our best interest at heart. Too often, we are misinformed, misguided and downright lied to just so some company can make a big profit.

There are more than 80,000 human-made chemicals in this country, so, how does someone who wants to stay healthy avoid them? We depend on the government to protect us; after all, that is what we put them in office to do.

So, what it the big deal about GMOs (genetically modified organisms)? Based on my research, there is a lot to be concerned with. On July 23, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, a bill written by biotech and processed-food industries that pre-empts states’ rights to pass laws requiring the mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms, and would prevent passage of a federal mandatory GMO-labeling law.

This has become what is known as the “Dark Act,” because these companies want the consumers to be kept in the dark about what is in their food. I often hear that GMOs are safe; why hide them from me? I have concluded that if something doesn’t kill me immediately, then, it is considered safe. GMO is a relatively new science, so, what about the long-term effects on the body and the environment?

More than 50 countries, including Japan, Australia and countries in the European Union, have significant restrictions or bans on the production and sale of GMO products. However, in the United States, as much as 80 percent of all conventional processed foods contain GMOs. The five prevalent GM crops are sugar beets, soy, canola, cotton and corn. The use of GMOs has increased the overall use of pesticides. From 1996 to 2011, it was reported an overall increase of 404 million pounds of pesticide on GM crops. That’s a lot of bug spray!

This has been harmful to our environment because GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, soil organisms, amphibians and the marine ecosystem. The monarch butterflies’ population has decreased 50 percent due to GM crops.

Monsanto is the leading producer of genetically engineered seed and the herbicide Roundup. This company’s revenue is in the billions. Roundup herbicide has been said to cause organ damage to animals. GM crops can pass their herbicide-tolerant genes on to weeds, and therefore, produce “super weeds.” GMOs on average do not increase crop yields. There have been studies by independent scientists, but it is not uncommon for them to be gagged, fired or denied funding if they attempt to inform the public.

Our elected government has the responsibility to protect and serve the people, all the people. For more information, you can visit the Bragg Blog and see how your state voted. But let’s put aside the “Who said this?” and “I read that” for a minute and just use some good old-fashioned common sense. Mother Nature is balanced; she doesn’t need recreating.

GMOs are bad science. If you think differently, just look at what has happened to the health care system. These chemicals have made Americans sicker than ever. The government said the Affordable Care Act would make things better, as if medical coverage would make us healthier! Now, we all walk the trail of tears as we struggle to pay outrageous insurance premiums. Meanwhile, big companies are skipping all the way to the bank.

It is your civil right to know what is in your food, and shame on any politician who thinks differently. Isn’t it time to step into the light and be more concerned about helping people live healthier lives and saving our environment than being sold out for the greed of the dollar? October is Non-GMO Month!

Jowana Lamb

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