February 24th, 2011 by Zachary Shahan
Genetically modified (GM) food researchers still have a long way to go to show that GM foods are actually safe. In fact, the most recent news is that they cause miscarriages in animals. That’s what a scientist researching Monsanto’s Roundup Ready genetically modified crops has found. The miscarriages are linked to an organism that was previously unknown to scientists. Apparently, the organism can cause disease in both animals AND plants — not so common, Monsanto must be proud of its accomplishment. Purdue University’s Emeritus Professor Don M. Huber presented these findings recently and has now sent an open letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging him to put a moratorium on the major GM deregulations recently approved — it recently deregulated Monsanto’s sugar beets and RoundUp Ready Alfalfa.
Not Being Cautious
Really, it shouldn’t take something like this to stop deregulation of GM crops. At the best, we don’t know enough about GM crops to have them proliferate our fields and plates. World-leading geneticist David Suzuki writes:
Because we aren’t certain about the effects of GMOs, we must consider one of the guiding principles in science, the precautionary principle. Under this principle, if a policy or action could harm human health or the environment, we must not proceed until we know for sure what the impact will be. And it is up to those proposing the action or policy to prove that it is not harmful.
Seriously, whatever happened to common sense?
GMOs Cause Problems
The findings by Dr. Huber mentioned above are not the first such findings, of course. GMOs have been linked to higher mortality rates in animals, the inability for animals to reproduce, cancerous tumors in animals, superweeds that have been deemed “the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen,” and over 40 plant diseases. Furthermore, Monsanto has blocked research on GMOs for years and harassed scientists who want to learn more, limiting non-flattering findings greatly. For more on the numerous problems caused by GMOs, watch the video below (a must-see for anyone in the world, imho):
Legislators Don’t Care
As Arne Hansen of our sister site EatDrinkBetter (and Adbusters) writes, legislators don’t seem to care and are more interested in protecting and facilitating the growth of the massive GMO industry:
“The Canadian GM risk assessment process is so simplistic that not a single submission has ever been rejected in Canada. Everything submitted, almost wholly by industry, has been accepted,” according to Ann Clark PhD, one of this country’s leading experts on the dangers of genetically modified organisms. “The Canadian GM regulatory process is a ruse, claiming to safeguard human and environmental health, but actually intended to facilitate commercialization of GM crops,” according to Dr. Clark.
Not cool. The same thing has been happening in the U.S. as well, as noted above. Will we wake up after this newest finding? I hope so, but I won’t bet on it. Read More:
- Monsanto GM Sugar Beets (and Alfalfa) Approval: Why This is Bad News
- USDA Favors Monsanto over Organic Industry, Consumers
- Scientist urges USDA to rescind approval of Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa
Photo Credit: law_keven
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