1. GMOs are grown with toxic chemicals and resulting pesticide residues are known to be harmful to human health.
2. Research has shown that laboratory mammals fed GMOs suffer adverse effects that include damage to kidneys, liver, adrenal glands, spleen, and heart. Additionally, their immune systems were compromised and in some cases brain size was reduced.
Alex Jones talking about GMO foods
3. GMO crops require huge amounts of chemicals that are harmful to soil, water, the atmosphere, and creatures. Although they are promoted as a technology to reduce pesticide usage, GM crops in the U.S. used greater than 26 percent more pesticides per acre in 2008 than non-GMO crops, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.
4. GMOs are actually increasing the need for stronger and more poisonous pesticides. For example, one agrochemical company is awaiting USDA approval of corn and soybeans resistant to 2, 4-D, a chemical related to Agent Orange.
5. GMOs are causing a growing epidemic of “superweeds.” These massive weeds have evolved a resistance to glyphosate, a chemical used on GM crops. Stronger toxic chemicals and soil-eroding tillage operations are required in order to eliminate superweeds.
6. GMOs contribute to global warming: GM crops require synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, which are responsible for approximately 60 percent of total emissions of nitrous oxide (a greenhouse gas nearly 300 times more potent than CO2). GM crops use high amounts of fossil fuels through the production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
7. GMO practices contaminate our organic and local food systems. A report titled, Gone to Seed, found that 50 percent or more of non-GMO corn, canola, and soybean seed have been contaminated with GM genes.
8. Beneficial insects can be harmed. A Cornell University study showed that monarch butterflies suffered higher mortality rates when consuming milkweed leaves dusted with the Bt toxin associated with GM crops. And recently, pesticides called neonicotinoids have been blamed for the collapsing bee populations.
Harms to social and human rights.
9. GMOs are promoted as way to feed the world and mitigate hunger; however, numerous studies demonstrate that the GM crops do not produce higher yields as claimed. As one example, a USDA publication reports that “GM crops do not increase the yield potential.”
10. GMOs lead to corporate control over seed and food: Today only one company controls about 95 percent of GM seeds. This limits access to seeds, which are the center of food and life.
11. These large agri-corporations do not let farmers save seeds, a basic practice that has continued for centuries to ensure food security.
12. GMO agriculture is an extension of current industrial-farming practices that have resulted in the loss of family farms and farmer livelihoods around the globe.
Farmer feeds GMO corn to his pigs: they all become sterile.
For all of these reasons, and more that I’m just not thinking of right now, we at GustOrganics choose another path. We believe organic agriculture is the only way to go. Organic agriculture has equal or higher yields than factory farming. Organics don’t contain any synthetic hormones, antibiotics, chemicals or GMOs. And independent studies prove that organic food has more vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants than conventional food (which, at this point, is just another way of saying GMO food).
Health effects of GMO
Implementing slow kill through such foods and poisons in the water supply etc
Dr Mercola Interview on GMO toxicity part 1
Dr Mercola Interview on GMO toxicity part2
Seed is the first link in the food chain, and seed sovereignty is the foundation of food sovereignty. If farmers do not have their own seed or access to open pollinated varieties that they can save, improve, exchange, they have no seed sovereignty and consequently no food sovereignty.
The deepening agrarian and food crisis has its roots in changes in the seed supply system, brought on by the erosion of seed diversity and the farmer’s loss of rights to seed. These rights include the right to save, breed and exchange seed, to have access to diverse open-source seeds which are not patented, genetically modified, owned and controlled by giant corporations. There is an urgent need to reclaim the seed and biodiversity in the food chain as commons. The last 20 years have seen the concentration of the control over seed by a very small number of giant corporations. In 1995, when the UN organised the Plant Genetic Resources Conference in Leipzig, it was reported that 75 per cent of all agricultural biodiversity had disappeared because of the introduction of “modern” varieties. Since then, the erosion of seed diversity and the farmer’s right have been rapid. The introduction of the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPs) of WTO has accelerated the spread of genetically engineered seed which can be patented, and for which royalties can be collected. Navdanya was brought into being in response to the introduction of patents on seed in the TRIPs under GATT about which a representative of Monsanto, a leading GM seed corporation, later said, “In drafting these agreements we were the patient diagnostician, physician all in one.” Corporations defined a problem and for them the problem was farmers saving the seed. They offered a solution, and the solution was to make it illegal for farmers to save seeds by introducing patents and intellectual property rights on seed. As a result, acreage under GM corn, soya, canola and cotton has dramatically increased across the world. Besides destroying diversity, patented GM seeds are also undermining seed sovereignty. Across the world, new seed laws are being made which enforce compulsory registration of seed, thus making it impossible for small farmers to grow their own diversity, and forcing them into dependency on giant seed corporations. Corporations are patenting climate-resilient seeds evolved by farmers, thus robbing farmers of their right to use their own seeds and knowledge for climate adaptation. Another threat is genetic contamination of the seed. India has lost its cottonseeds because of contamination from Bt. Cotton. Canada has lost its canola seed because of contamination from Roundup Ready canola. Mexico has lost its corn because of contamination from GM corn. After contamination, Biotech Seed Corporation sues farmers with patent infringement cases, as happened in the case of Percy Schmeiser, a farmer from Bruno in Canada. That is why more than 80 groups came together and filed a case to prevent Monsanto from suing farmers whose seeds had been contaminated. As the farmer’s seed supply is eroded and he becomes dependent on patented GM seed, the result is debt. India, the home of cotton, has lost its cottonseed diversity and cottonseed sovereignty. Ninety-five per cent of cottonseed is now Monsanto’s Bt. Cotton, and the debt trap created by being forced to buy seed every year, with royalty payments, has pushed hundreds of thousands of farmers to suicide, of the 250,000 cases of farmers suicide, the majority are in the cotton belt. Even as the disappearance of biodiversity and seed sovereignty creates a major crisis for agriculture and food security, corporations are pushing governments to use public money to destroy the public seed supply and replace it with unreliable non-renewable, patented seed which must be bought every year. In Europe, the 1994 regulation for protection of plant varieties, forced farmers to make a “compulsory voluntary contribution” to seed companies. The terms themselves are contradictory. What is compulsory cannot be voluntary. In France, a law was passed in November 2011, which makes royalty payments compulsory. As agriculture minister Bruna Le Marie said, “Seeds can no longer be royalty free, as is currently the case.” Of the 5,000 or so cultivated plant varieties, 600 are protected by certificate in France, and these account for 99 per cent of the varieties grown by farmers. The “compulsory voluntary contribution”, in other words a royalty, is justified on grounds that “a fee is paid to certificate holders (seed companies) to sustain funding of research and efforts to improve genetic resources.” As Monsanto states “it draws from a collection of germ-plasma that is unparalleled in history” and “mines the diversity in this genetic library to develop elite seeds faster than ever before.” In effect what Monsanto is doing is enclosure of the genetic commons of our biodiversity and the intellectual commons of public breeding by farming communities and public institutions. And what the seed corporation is offering is not “improvement” of genetic resources, but their degradation. Similarly, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa being pushed by the Gates Foundation is a major assault on Africa’s seed sovereignty. Agribusiness is the only sector in which the US has a positive trade balance, with GM seeds bringing hefty royalties to the US. These royalties are translating into debt traps and suicide for farmers and disappearance of biodiversity worldwide. Under the US Global Food Security Act, Nepal signed an agreement with USAID and Monsanto. This led to massive protests across the country. India was forced to allow patents on seed through the first dispute brought by the US against India in the WTO. Since 2004, India has also been trying to introduce a Seed Act, which would require farmers to register their own seed and take licences. This, in effect, would prevent farmers from using their indigenous seed varieties. By launching a Seed Satyagraha, handing over hundreds of thousands of signatures to the Prime Minister and working with Parliament, we have so far prevented the Seed Law from being introduced. India has signed a US-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative, with Monsanto on the board. States are being pressured to sign agreements with Monsanto. In its MoU signed with the Rajasthan government, Monsanto would get intellectual property rights on all genetic resources and research on seeds coming under the MoU. It took a campaign by Navdanya and a Bija Yatra with the slogan “Monsanto Quit India” to get the government of Rajasthan to cancel the MoU. The pressure of Monsanto on the US government and the joint pressure of both on the governments across the world is a major threat to the future of seed, the future of food and the future of democracy in these vital spheres of life.
A cable written in 2007 and released recently by WikiLeaks confirmed the company’s important influence at the very highest levels of the U.S. government. Authored by Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of then-president George Bush, the cable outlined a response to resistance from various members of the European Union to adopting GM (genetically modified) crops. At issue specifically was France’s move to ban Monsanto’s GM corn variety:
Country team Paris [Stapleton’s code name] recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this [resistance] is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. [Emphasis added.]
The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path [of resistance to the adoption of GM crops] has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech [pro-GM] voices.
Other leaked cables documented attempts to influence the Pope himself, who was resistant to supporting GM crops. From the U.S. State Department came this effort to influence the Pope: “…[name blacked out] met with U.S. monsignor Fr. Michael Osborn of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, offering a chance to push the Vatican on biotech issues…” Another cable said: “Opportunities exist to press the issue with the Vatican and in turn to influence a wide segment of the population in Europe and the developing world.”
These illustrated obvious attempts to work around many Catholic priests who oppose GM crops as being potentially dangerous not only to the health of human beings but to the environment as well. For instance, a prominent member of the Vatican, Cardinal Peter Turkson, said that genetically-modified crops are a “new form of slavery,” referring to the “suicide belt of India” where thousands of farmers are committing suicide in desperation over being unable to repay debts incurred to purchase GM seeds.
Anthony Gucciardi, writing for NaturalSociety.com, stated,
Monsanto has undoubtedly infiltrated the United States government in order to push their health-endangering agenda, and this has been known long before the release of these WikiLeaks cables. The U.S. is the only place where Monsanto’s synthetic hormone Posilac is still used in roughly 1/3 of all cows, with 27 nations banning the substance over legitimate health concerns.
Monsanto’s bullying tactics in protecting its patents on its GM seeds are legendary, but are only the tip of the iceberg of the company’s attempts to influence policy worldwide. The government of India has filed several lawsuits against Monsanto, while Canada has had its own difficulties with the corporation. The company paid contractors to dump thousands of tons of highly toxic waste in UK landfill sites, knowing both that it was illegal to do so and that these chemicals were “liable to contaminate wildlife and people.”
In January, 2005, Monsanto paid a fine for bribing an Indonesian official to avoid an environmental impact assessment on its GM cotton. In 2007 the company was fined in France for misleading advertising about its product Roundup. In Germany Monsanto’s attempt to breed GM pigs failed due to overwhelming public outcries. In the United States Monsanto continues its attempt to prohibit dairies from advertising that their cows are not injected with the company’s artificial bovine growth hormone.
And so on. What Monsanto has discovered, and has refined over the years, is that it is more profitable to influence legislation in its favor than to compete in a free market. With friends in high places — including Craig Stapleton, Justice Clarence Thomas (who worked for Monsanto in the ‘70s), Michael Taylor (who worked for the Food and Drug Administration, then moved to a law firm that had Monsanto as a client, and then was appointed to the FDA by President Obama in 2009), Michael Friedman (who worked at the FDA and now is a VP at Monsanto), Linda Fisher (who was initially employed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the moved to Monsanto as a VP, and then returned to the EPA in 2001), and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (who served as chairman and CEO of G.D. Searle which Monsanto purchased in 1985, putting at least $12 million into his pocket in the process) — Monsanto has developed crony-capitalism into a high art form. WikiLeaks just confirmed it.