The Truth Behind GMOs

gmo-foodsMost are not bothered by the concept of a nutritionally deprived world because it does not generally hit home. It is not something often discussed openly over dinner, and the majority of our country’s inhabitants are completely oblivious to the truth. The reason for this is not lack of concern; it is merely a lack of information. So here is some basic information to allow you, the reader, an opportunity to make an informed decision regarding the purchase and production of GMO’s and how the Monsanto Corporation stands to gain a profit from it all.

What is a GMO?
GMOs are genetically modified organisms. They are plants that are engineered to withstand herbicides and produce insecticides, therefore being able to produce more while withstanding insect or natural interactions (such as droughts or freezes). They are said to be able to feed the world, increase production of produce, minimize the use of chemicals, and provide safe products to consumers. Sadly, none of that is true. GMOs are banned in over 60 countries throughout the world because they are not natural. What does that say about our government’s crusade to keep them actively rotating through our supermarket produce departments? In reality, there is no proof that GMOs produce more, have higher tolerances, or offer any true benefits to the end consumer.

Who is Monsanto?
Monsanto is an agricultural company that sells genetically modified seeds and agricultural chemicals all over the world. They claim a desire to produce more, conserve more, and improve lives.
During the 2012 elections in California, the company spent over $8 billion to fight Proposition 37, an act that would have forced retailers to clearly identify and label genetically modified products in their stores. Proposition 37 failed by 2.8%, almost certainly due to the massive marketing campaign Monsanto put on to see that it did.
Monsanto also lobbies to keep cities and counties from banning GMOs, therefore producing what can be effectively called a “GMO-Free Zone”. The focus is on profit, with a clear desire to keep the general public in the dark about the health risks and dangers associated with the consumption of GMOs.

Why should you care?
GMOs infiltrate the environment. They cannot be eliminated or destroyed once planted and produced. Because they are designed to be herbicide and insect resistant, GMOs are responsible for the creation of super-weeds and super-bugs that withstand common herbicides and insecticides. This then creates the need for even stronger, more toxic chemicals to control these new, mutated organisms. Such “agrochemicals” were used on crops in Argentina, where the local populace subsequently experienced birth defects, infertility, cancer, DNA damage, neurological problems, respiratory difficulties and allergies, among other issues. Where is the improved lifestyle for those suffering from the use of these poisons?
GMO products are used commonly in many commercially processed foods. Purchasing items without paying attention to the ingredients and allowing children to consume them can have horrific effects. Studies have linked regular consumption of GMO foods to acute respiratory illness, Attention Deficit Disorder, autoimmune disorders, neurological problems, and many other illnesses and health problems.
When considering the fact that these mutated organisms create mutated insects and weeds, is it any wonder that they would also generate new health issues in humans who directly consume them?
All the while, Monsanto is lobbying to expand the use and impact of these products. Their ideal vision for this world is that 100% of seeds will be genetically modified. Such products would also be patented by – guess who –Monsanto.

Live GMO free
How can we avoid GMO products? Buying produce from local, organic farmers is one fail-safe measure that can be taken. This not only ensures that the product is in season, but it also helps the local economy by supporting small business organizations. Some products are labeled “non-GMO” which can be helpful when shopping in a supermarket. The biggest and easiest way to ensure you keep modified products out of your diet is to read each label carefully. If an ingredient is difficult to pronounce or you have no idea what it is, odds are you shouldn’t eat it.
A world with only genetically modified organisms is a world of genetically distorted systems. The only way to combat this is to be actively involved in the food community and be aware of which major corporations sway influential political leaders. Understanding the major players that impact our nation’s nutrition is vital to ensuring we maintain a world that will be habitable for our children and our children’s children.

For more information on GMOs and Monstanto, check out The Non-GMO Project (, Monsanto’s website itself (, and author/filmmaker Jeffrey Smith (

Crystal Durham studied baking and pastry arts at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone before pursuing a degree in Nutrition Sciences. Email her at [email protected].

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