Why I Don’t Buy GMOs

Robin Greenfield shopping at the supermarket.
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Although I do align many of my beliefs with science and have a Bachelor of Science this is not a scientific article about the safety of eating GMOs. I’m barely going to touch on the science behind this because I don’t need to go there to know that I want to stay away from GMOs.

When you bring the science of GMOs into the equation, it becomes a highly debated topic and one that does not seem to have truly definitive answers on either side. It seems to me that GMOs have not been around for long enough to have conclusive studies done as to how they affect our health. The things they do to our bodies would need to be tracked over decades with control patients to know anything for certain. (And it’s very hard to have true control patients because it is very hard to isolate the lives of a human being. Issues of self control, aloofness, lies, and delusion, all play a role when humans need to report on their actions.) Right now there are studies that show GMOs are completely harmless to human health and others showing huge detriments. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the studies on either side are skewed to get the results they desire.

From a scientific standpoint, I think there may be a case for Genetically Modified Organisms. Keep in mind I did not say that I DO think there is a case for GMOs but there MAY be a case for GMOs. I think the science of GMOs does stand to be of value to the human race. However the way we are currently using GMOs is far from the most ethical or beneficial way they could be used. Those that have taken the most interest in GMOs are not involved to better humanity or improve global sustainability. Some scientists very well may be, but the hands that have a grasp on GMOs are far from helping those possibly virtuous scientists in their mission.

GMOs are an extremely powerful development in science. One that has the ability to greatly impact the earth and already has done so. Any science this powerful is dangerous if it is used in the wrong way I have seen humans to be far from perfect and that includes scientists, higher-ups in corporations, lawyers, and politicians. Often, even if people mean well, they can still royally screw up whether it be from lack of knowledge, lack of sense, or an inability to follow through with their beliefs. GMOs appear to be far too powerful to be responsibly dealt with by a majority of the human race.

Leaving all the controversial science aside, here’s my strong stance for personally not supporting GMOs or the companies that are currently using them.

Food that is grown from the earth in a natural manner is what the human body has developed to function on over 10’s of thousands of years. Even if GMOs are good our health (which I highly doubt) they simply are not needed. We don’t need Genetic Engineering science to alter foods that already provide us with everything that we need. I will take natural organic food any day. No true science or logical human being has ever stated that natural food is not healthy for our bodies. There is not a shred of evidence that GMOs are healthier for the human body than organic whole foods. For me it is as simple as that.

Most GMOs use vast quantities of pesticides, which are unarguably destructive to the natural environment, animals, and human beings. A vast amount of all GMOs are sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate, also known as Roundup. These seeds are engineered to withstand application of Roundup to eliminate weeds. Chemicals such as Roundup have absolutely no benefit to the environment and no health benefits to the human race. They do however have massive detrimental affects. Studies have shown that Roundup and its metabolic products cause the death of “human embryonic, placental, and umbilical cells in vitro, even at low concentrations.” The chemicals run off the field into neighboring land and rivers causing detrimental impacts to the ecosystem and wildlife. The workers in the fields are exposed to these chemicals at dangerous doses.

I believe that food is a human right and should not be controlled by anyone. Giving control of food to a corporation, a government, or a person is far too risky. That is what we currently get with GMOs though. Monsanto owns over 90% of all genetically engineered seeds and their seeds make up 90% of US soybeans, which is one of our major crops. They take in over $13 billion a year in revenue, and they use that money to buy out their competitors and influence legal regulatory processes to benefit themselves. This is far too much control for ANY company to have, especially on the life giving substance of food.

There is no way that I want to purchase my food from a company that also produces toxic chemicals. Monsanto doesn’t just produce toxic chemicals, but they actually started out as a chemical company in the early 1900’s. In 1949, a batch of herbicide exploded at one of their plants, sickening 226 people. No way do I want that stuff to be involved with what is going in my body in any way, shape, or form. Monsanto manufactured Agent Orange, which was used by the U.S. military for herbicidal warfare during the Vietnam War. Monsanto also manufactures PCBs, which mimic hormones and are listed as a “probable carcinogen.”

Monsanto, which controls most of the GMOs, is blatantly destructive and careless for the human race and the environment. Repeated studies have found toxic chemicals in nearby streams and fish. They have disposed of waste in open landfills, creating runoff and contaminating everything that got in the way of that runoff. They have thrown some money at problems though. In a settlement, they paid $550 million to the 21,000 residents of a town, who still live with the PCB’s in their bodies. Occasionally people get paid for the destruction, but most of the time it’s never traced back to the source. They have been proven to lie about similar things in the past so it’s common sense to me to think they are still lying about things today.

Monsanto is completely corrupt. They have patented seeds. This is a monstrosity in itself but they have taken it a step further. Seeds of course naturally spread. That is the natural design of a seed. But when these seeds spread to the next-door farm and grow into a plant, Monsanto actually sues these farmers for patent infringement. They have a whole staff of people’s whose job it is to find farmers (who didn’t want these seeds on their land in the first place) and sue them to the point of them going bankrupt. They bully small farmers to intentionally destroy them. They are trying to control the seed and in turn control food. If you control food, then you largely control the world. It seems they will stop at nothing for the control and have the desire and intentions to corrupt anyone who stands in their way.

In India Monsanto has been blamed for contributing to over 290,000 suicides by Indian farmers in the last two decades. In 2009 alone, 17,638 farmers committed suicide. That’s one every 30 minutes. Monsanto convinced farmers and lenders to use their GMO seeds with promises of higher yields. The seeds were not actually designed for India though and failed, completely ruining these farmers. Monsanto is destroying small farms, removing the farmer from farming, and taking independence from the people by making them dependent on their herbicides and pesticides.

Once food becomes a commodity grown on an industrial scale as GMOs are, it becomes a vastly wasteful system. They say we need GMOs to meet the needs of our growing population, but right now in the United States we produce enough food to feed nearly two entire US American populations. Seems to me it would make sense to just eat the food we produce rather than throwing it away. We can grow the food we need without GMOs.

GMOs also destroy the land that they are grown on and the soil they are grown in as compared to permaculture practices that can improve the soil, creating a high yield year after year after year.

For me this is beyond enough to boycott GMOs even if they were healthy for me to eat and the list could really continue on. Their current implementation is just not good for the earth, the creatures we share the earth with, or humanity. I stopped eating GMOs about four years ago and highly suggest it to anyone who wants an earth of justice and equality for all. Even if it turns out that the research is incorrect on one or two of these factors or sources I still would not support GMOs as I am certain that as a whole they are vastly detrimental to humanity and the environment.

If you want to stay clear of GMOs you’ve got a slight challenge ahead of you at the supermarket. But with some dedication and education it’s absolutely doable. For me, it’s really easy because I eat a whole food, organic diet. By sticking to these two basic principles I can rest assured I won’t be eating GMOs. I avoid all processed and packaged foods because I find simple foods straight from the earth to be much healthier. If I don’t recognize an ingredient, then I’m not eating it because I chose to understand what I’m putting in my body.

This list from Food Babe includes all the ingredients you should avoid and this photo below from Collective Evolution shows a list of companies to avoid. Not all of their products necessarily have GMOs in them but these companies do use GMOs and support Monsanto. This Wiki-How also sums up really well how to avoid genetically modified foods.

Why I don't Buy GMO's
Photo Courtesy of Collective Evolution

My simple suggestions to avoid GMO foods are:

-Buy whole, unpackaged foods rather than processed, packaged foods
-Shop locally and with the season
-Buy organic
-Support your local farmers
-Shop at health food stores and the farmers market
-Buy food with ingredients you can pronounce and actually understand
-If you’re going to buy packaged food, stick to short ingredient lists
-Grow some of your own food and buy organic seeds

These suggestions will result in a much healthier, and happier you as well as a more vibrant independent community!

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