Of Note

October is Non-GMO Month

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are organisms whose genetic material has been manipulated in a laboratory. The first genetically modified crop was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1994. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature. Remember when scientists inserted the gene of a flounder into the gene of a tomato? Yes, this really happened….

From Mother Earth Magazine, “Yes, farmers throughout history have been raising their plants to achieve certain desired traits such as improved taste, yield, or disease resistance. But this kind of breeding still relies on the natural reproductive processes of the organisms, whereas genetic engineering involves the addition of foreign genes that would not occur in nature.”

I shiver in my boots that we are tinkering with things we don’t completely understand. Good things do not happen when we try to fool Mother Nature!

Today, genetically modified corn, soy, sugar beets and canola are common crops. Their GM version was created to withstand the herbicide glyphosate (the active ingredient of Monsanto’s (now Bayer’s) herbicide, Roundup™ and are called “Roundup-Ready” because they can survive the blanket application of the most widely used herbicide on earth, Roundup™. Other crops that may be genetically modified are foods like papaya and squash. And more.

Allow me to state categorically that I eat organic because organic forbids the use of GM seed or GM practices.

Allow me to revisit an August 2015 article written by Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., and Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., in the New England Journal of Medicine, which called for GMO labeling, and scrutiny of herbicides used on GMO crops.

“In March, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans.’ U.S. regulators relied on flawed and outdated data in allowing expanded use of toxic, synthetic herbicides including glyphosate and 2,4-D. New assessments should urgently be conducted….”

The 2015 article shined light on the practice of spraying Roundup™ on non-GMO crops like wheat days before harvest to make that harvest easier. That means our modern wheat, unless organically grown, comes with extra pesticides. Could this be what’s making so many people sensitive to wheat?

Residues of glyphosate herbicides have been detected in food, air, water, rain, rivers and lakes throughout the US, according to testing conducted in 2011 by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The authors said they were sounding the alarm “…about the safety of GM crops by pointing to a 2014 decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve Enlist Duo, a new combination herbicide comprising glyphosate plus 2,4-D, a component of the Agent Orange defoliant infamously used in the Vietnam War.

“…Glyphosate-resistant weeds have emerged and are found today on nearly 100 million acres in 36 states. Fields must now be treated with multiple herbicides, including 2,4-D. Enlist Duo….GM crops are now the agricultural products most heavily treated with herbicides and that two of these herbicides may pose risks of cancer.”

Join me and definitely eat organic.

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