Is Our Food Chain Safe?

When I think of Bayer, I think of aspirin.  Or I should say I use to.  I’ve come to realize that they have their fingers in a lot of pies.  Not just pharmaceuticals, herbicides, pesticides, but a lot of other stuff that a lot of people aren’t paying a lot of attention to.  Like genetically modified foods. 

Its bad enough we are putting stuff on our lawns, gardens, and farms that run off and get into our water systems and into our food supplies, but to alter the food itself scares me.  Granted it not just Bayer.  There is another giant named Monsanto.  You may or may not have heard of them.

You might say GMO’s have been around for a long time.  I think traditionally it was done through breeding.  For instance if there are certain traits in one animal that you want to emphasize you keep breeding those animals until its a dominate trait.  Like cattle.  If there is a particular breed of cattle that makes a better beef, you might cross breed it in another breed of cattle.  That’s not a very good way to explain it, but its the best I can come up with right now.

But with plants it might take years to get the desired trait.  So in today’s world GMO’s mostly refer to plant crops created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques.  Now we’re talking about something that is way beyond my comprehension and probably yours too.

One article I read recently talked about the effects of genetically modified corn pollen on Monarch butterflies.  It actually harms the monarch larvae.  I think we all know without the monarch larvae we have no monarch butterflies.  I think we’ve all read articles about the decline of bees.  These are just insects you might say.  But we need them to pollinate our plants.  Without them we are in a whole lot of trouble.

Then there are the plants themselves.  They are modifying them to be herbicide tolerant.  This is probably the biggest thing their doing right now.  In other words resistant to diseases.  My question is “How safe is this?”  and who is overseeing the research?  

Just from what I can tell it doesn’t seem safe at all.  One article I read said “Genetically-modified foods have the potential to solve many of the world’s hunger and malnutrition problems, and to help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yield and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and herbicides.”  But at what cost?  What are the long term effects of GMO’s?  I don’t think anyone really knows.  I certainly don’t think these companies really care.  As usual most companies only care about the bottom line, making money, and being the first in their industry to accomplish something. 
I may not have used the correct language in trying to explain my understanding of GMOs.  We’re already putting chemicals into our bodies that have been added to packaged food to enhance the flavor or extend the shelf life.  But now we’re talking about the very seeds we put into the ground to produce the raw products for our consumption.  I find it very scary.


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