By: Heather Callaghan,
What do you say to your friends and family who want to know why you are passionate about growing your own, buying local organic, and refusing genetically modified ingredients?
What do you say to the increasing amount of pro-GMO activists who call anti-GMOers dumb, heartless, and lacking real information?
Author Chris Kanthan of San Francisco has covered the five most common myths surrounding the propagation of GMO foods. This interesting video brings up some arguments we never thought of – read more about the points below – and don’t be another brick in the wall!
What do you think of these top five GMO myths below? Do you have any more to add to the list?
Myth #1: We need GMOs to feed the growing world population.
Or…here’s a thought – maybe we should stop wasting the food we already have… Most of us don’t realize each stop along the food route that it gets wasted – it is mind blowing. The sheer amount is astronomical.
So GMOs will feed the world? But…they mostly make up junk foods which lead to disease..and ultimately hunger especially in the form of malnutrition.
Kanthan’s third point involves someone who is growing tons of food in scant conditions without the necessity of genetic modification – it can be done! The person mentioned is not the only one. Also, there is a resurgence of interest in biodiversity from polyculture. Polyculture is picture of abundance, variety, and sufficiency – the opposite of biotech’s dream of monoculture, scarcity, and dependence. Dependence usually doesn’t equate with freedom and abundance, but oftentimes leads to world hunger.
Myth #2: We need GMO rice, genetically modified with vitamin A to prevent blindness in poor countries.
Hmm…if only those people had a contraption to put before their eyes to help them see. In the U.S., without these and other similar items – a good many of us would be considered blind! And wouldn’t it be nice for these visually-challenged people if they had naturally derived vitamin A from crops like spinach and carrots – hold the pesticides! There are thousands of varieties of nourishing rice – it would be a real shame and danger to replace them with only one genetically modified breed.
Myth #3: GMOs can reduce the use of pesticides
Bt crops are meant to reduce pesticides by having their own built-in pesticides. So let it be know that it did work charmingly well for awhile around 2003. But after a few years, pests like corn rootworm develop resistance, and super weeds are said to borrow genetic material from Bt crops and also resist chemicals. Unfortunately, a lot of farmers are responding to this failure by doubling down on pesticide use. It appears that there is a built-in saboteur that actually allows Monsanto to sell more of their Roundup pesticides while destroying farmer profits. On top of losing income, farmers don’t save money either, because the price of the pesticide built in to Bt crop seed is built into the seed prices.
Myth #4: GMOs can reduce the use of herbicides
Okay, do we really need a bunch of scientific literature to explain this one? One of Monsanto’s top selling products is Roundup herbicide – are they really going to put millions into biotechnology that can eradicate most of their profits? Maybe Phillip Morris will create a cigarette that will make a person magically never want another cigarette ever again.
Monsanto is proud that the profits of Roundup continue to spike! How can they be proud of that and claim this myth at the same time? They are also not too concerned about the varieties of weeds that are now completely resistant to Roundup herbicide. Farmers are then compelled to use tons more herbicides with few alternatives on such short notice. And…biotech companies like Monsanto love to blame these ecological catastrophes on farmers, their main customers, saying “they’re using the herbicides wrong.” Check their pamphlets, it’s there.
Myth #5: GMOs are safe…and…ahem…Nutritious!
Not only is there are blaring lack of safety studies – like, none before getting approved by the USDA (oh wait, they do accept the safety studies done by Monsanto!) – but there are tons of compelling studies with tangible, visible proof of GMO hazards to human/animal health and the environment. If you believe another myth that GMO-free people lack real science, then head on over to the Institute for Responsible Technology.
Lastly, wouldn’t a company proud of their “safe and nutritious” product love to stamp that on their food products? Yet, Monstanto spent $53 million to oppose last year’s Proposition 37 labeling initiative to prevent us from really knowing which items have GM ingredients or not. The U.S. and Canada are among the very few countries who have this lack of transparency.
It appears that farmers, consumers, animals, environment, poor and hungry people and safety are really at the bottom of Monsanto and fellow biotech giants like DuPont’s list.
Another great quick video dispelling some GMO myths was made by Mercola’s YouTube channel and can be found here.
Definitely check out Chris Kanthan’s short but informational book Deconstructing Monsanto on Amazon. The $.99 book would make a great companion to his GMO videos and can be downloaded to your PC without needing a Kindle.
Chris Kanthan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, has traveled to more than 30 countries, and deeply cares about politics, finance and food. He has degrees in Physics and Engineering with a minor in Economics (and, just for fun, a diploma in Paralegal). Subscribe to his YouTube channel at GMOChannel
Check out a sample of his works:
1) Interview about “Deconstructing Monsanto”: http://bit.ly/10XQQ3U
2) About Fake Food: http://bit.ly/17k1sAS
3) March Against Monsanto: http://bit.ly/19RyWoB
4) Marketing for Activists: http://bit.ly/12zBFlH
5) About GMO Labeling and Prop 37: http://bit.ly/NUkhlS
6) About Facebook Valuation: http://bit.ly/Jwegf0
7) About Elections in Greece: http://bit.ly/JhH1ey
8) About Obama’s Debate Performance: http://bit.ly/10dsjIJ