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Eat GMO-FREE food

What are GMOs?

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms that have been subjected to techniques of genetic engineering. This technology allows that genes (pieces of a molecule called DNA that has important information on the functioning of cells) can be extracted from one organism, changed or aggregated into a new configuration and injected into another organism that will then acquire new characteristics and transmit those to its next generations.

What kind of genetically modified crops are currently on the market?

According to data of 2009 provided by industry sources, the most important trait present in 62% of the global GM crop area is herbicide tolerance. 15% is cultivated with GMOs with insect resistance. In 21% GMOs are cultivated that present various traits together. In the remaining 2% other, less relevant types of GMOs are cultivated, containing traits such as virus resistance.

Do people want GMOs?kula

People express their concern about GMO food in various ways. They want countries to ban GMO or at least to label products containing GM crops. The Eurobarometer opinion poll published by the European Commission in October 2010 showed that ‘overall, Europeans do not see the benefits of genetically modified food and consider these to be unsafe or even harmful. Europeans are not in favour of the development of genetically modified food(*). 61% of EU citizens think that development of GM food shouldn't be encouraged, 83 % feel that special labelling of food products is necessary, 59 % thinks that GM food is not safe for their health.

Why we don't need GM crops?

Discover the reasons why we and many people are demanding non-genetically modified (non-GMO) foods.

  • There has been no monitoring of GM crops for adverse effects on human health.

Using GMOs in food products (and in feed for animals that may later affect us by consuming products from animals) is a kind of experiment on consumers because there has been no long-term research done on the various effects of using GMOs and safety of consumers. However, every year more and more evidence appears that GM products have bad effects on human health. But the main problem remains that the effects of GMOs on human health are unpredictable.
Scientists are concerned that antibiotic resistant genes present in GM crops can be spread to humans. It is also already proved that a gene inserted into GM food can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside our body and produce harmful GM proteins.
"There are a number of dangers that broadly fall into the categories of potential toxins, allergens, carcinogens, new diseases, antibiotic resistant diseases, and nutritional problems." (*)
To know more read 65 Health Risks of GM Foods.

  • GM crops increase pesticide use.

GM crops were promised to reduce the use of pesticide, however research show that in fact they cause the opposite. In the report from 2009 about the situation after 13 years of using GM crops we can read that "the most striking finding is that GE crops have been responsible for an increase of 383 million pounds of herbicide use in the U.S." (*) GM crops were supposed to increase nutritional benefits but in reality, two main traits of crops are: herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. On crops with herbicide tolerance, farmers use more herbicides, knowing that GM crops will not be affected. So GM crops have no health and environmental benefit, only economic benefit for big corporations.

  • GMOs are no solution for hunger in the world.

GM crops were presented as a way to stop hunger in the world. But in fact less than 1% of GMO experimentations were made in Africa and GM foods do not help less-developed countries to fight with hunger. GM crops are being developed by corporations primarily to meet the needs of large farmers in the developed world and the majority of production is in hands of few big corporations. "Genetic Engeneering does not feed the world. 99.5 percent of farmers around the world do not grow Genetically Engineered crops." (*)
Additionaly, the reason for hunger is not the lack of food in itself but the lack of access to by those who cannot afford to buy food.

  • GMOs can be a threat for wildlife.

Farmers use more herbicides to destroy weed when they grow GM herbicide-resistant crops. It may affect wildlife - many species of birds and plants. Pesticide-producing crops can contaminate streams, affect aquatic life and beneficial insects. „The bt toxin produced by these GM crops are far stronger than any found in nature, and are produced throughout the plant." (*)

  • Contamination of non-GM crops and related wild species may arise.

GM crops are living organisms so once they are introduced into natural ecosystems, they may contaminate other plants. Pollen from GM crops can contaminate other crops and related wild plants. GM plants can for example mix with weed and create new strong weed species that may harm natural ecosystems.

  • GMOs destroy small farmers.

GM crops are in hands of big corporations that control seed market through the intellectual property rights associated to GM seeds. Because of this corporate control, farmers have less choice. Companies patent transgenes used in creating GM crops and in this way have the control over the market. Patenting GM crops is a very controversial issue as having the right to patent life itself involves ethical arguments.


How to avoid GMOs?

  • Look for Non-GMO certified products.
  • Eat organic. (GM substances are prohibited in organic production)
  • Buy locally grown foods.
  • Grow your own food.


Learn more:

  • Say No To GMOs! provides information, activities and resources for Texas and beyond to inform the public and encourage grassroots action that will insure consumer choice and a genetically viable future.
  • The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed companies and consumers.
  • GM Watch is an independent organisation which seeks to counter the enormous corporate political power and propaganda of the biotech industry and its supporters through its website, etc.

 

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