2011-04-07

Co.Exist

Fearful of Genetically-Modified Crops? You're Too Late

Ethonomic Indicator of the Day: 93% of U.S. soybeans are genetically modified.

Frankenfood! It's the evil-sounding name given to genetically modified crops by organic enthusiasts fearful that altering nature's design will result in irreparable damage to either the environment or our bodies. And there is a good chance that they're right. The fight against GM crops has been intensifying of late, with the USDA approving modified alfalfa early this year, despite protests from big organic (which might be less worried about the potential risks and mostly worried about their organic certification). Because a cow that eats GM alfalfa is no longer organic, no matter how it was raised, and GM alfalfa has the extra ability to spread like kudzu--even to places where it's not supposed to be, like an adjacent field of original-gene alfalfa.

But these fights should not give the impression that we are about to step over a precipice into a world full of GM crops. We did that in 1996. See this chart from the USDA:

That's right. Nearly 100% of all soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified to resist weed-killers that used to also kill the soybeans along with the weeds. And Bt cotton and corn--which have had genes from a soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis jammed inside them to help them resist insects--both comprise about three-quarters of all the acreage of that crop.

The era of the frankenfood is already here. If it turns out to be a devastating problem, it may be already too late. Take a look at your lunch today--corn syrup, anyone?--you've likely ingested some modified strands of corn DNA. How are you feeling? Better question: How will you be feeling in 50 years? 

Follow Fast Company on Twitter. Morgan Clendaniel can be reached by email or on Twitter.

[Top image via the Noun Project]

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5 Comments

  • Exploring Joy

    It is shocking to me how America continuously puts it's citizens in harms way...and you know why?  Because they can.  Government won't change until the people demand it.  We must arm ourselves with knowledge and work to spread awareness if we are to make a change.  

    Watch:
    Great Ted Talk by Real Food Evangelist, Robyn O'Brien, relating to how GMO foods are directly linked to the rise in food allergies and chronic illness.
    In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

    Read: 
    Article about how new evidence shows Frankenfoods are altering our DNA.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/hea...

    Connect:
    If you, like me, wish to grow awareness and make a change, please reach out.  I believe we must join forces, combine our strengths and audiences and reach out in a way that people will listen if we are to make a real change.   www.exploringjoy.tv

  • averagejohn

    You know what really gets me? The way that what ever Monsanto wants, Monsanto gets no matter HOW many people who will be forced to eat their crap want. Too F-ing bad. They own us. They won't even allow labeling of GM crops so that people can make a choice. Naw, they were waiting until the market is 100% GM shite. Then you have NO choice.

  • sasha

    For the past 5 years I have begun seed saving, developing permaculture skills as well utilizing  the indigenous plant foods & medicines of my local area.....whether or not we are truly going to hell in a monsanto bread basket, I'd rather not find out. By reclaiming ancient traditions we can all push back - or get the hell out of North America before it's too late. 

  • unique

    Here we go again.  Congress siding with Big Business and not
    caring about the people they are supposed to represent.
    I will continue to buy organic.