GMOs are not the same as hybridization (which only combines species that are genetically able to breed). For more information on the differences you can read this article.
Genetically modified organisms could never have occurred in nature. Here scientists are inserting genes, not just from different varieties of the same plant, but from completely different species, including the adding of genes from animals into plants.
Whether you think that tomatoes containing tuna fish genes is an abomination or a great idea, there are some facts about GMO (Genetically Modified) products that you cannot ignore:
- GMOs have not been around long enough for us to really know about their long term effects. While GMO opposers have not been able to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that these GMOs are harmful, GMO defenders cannot prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that GMOs are safe. What it comes down to, is whether you trust science so much that you will happily enter yourself and your family into a public health experiment, or if you would rather err on the side of caution, and eat foods that have not been genetically modified.
- Some GMOs have genes modified so that they produce their own pesticides. Their defenders say that by placing the pesticide inside of the crop, there is less need to spray pesticides on the plant, reducing overall environmental impact. This is fine, if you do not mind eating pesticides. For your reference, on this page you can find a list of the most common active ingredients in pesticides. http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/specchem.html The list includes arsenic (a poison used to murder many notable historic figures), sulfury fluoride (a toxic gas), and malathion (a substance linked to liver cancer). I encourage you to click on each of the items on the list and find out what they are and what their effects in the body are.A better alternative is to opt for a pesticide-free diet and only consume organic produce.
- Some GMOs have had their genes modified to be resistant to herbicides. This way, farmers can spray herbicides a lot more liberally on their crops, confident that the only plants remaining will be the GMOs. It follows that by eating these products you will likely be exposed to even larger amounts of herbicides that from eating regular conventional versions of the crop, because with the latter, farmers would have to regulate the amount of herbicide used to avoid killing their crops. By choosing GMOs you may be exposing yourself and your family to increased amounts of herbicides.A better alternative is to opt for a herbicide-free diet and only consume organic produce.
We cannot forget the ethical and moral issues that come from the dependency that GMOs create on farmers, who are not allowed to save seeds for the next year, but are forced to buy them every year. We cannot ignore the lawsuits brought about by the makers of GMOs on farmers who never planted their seeds, but had bees cross pollinate their crops with the crops of their neighbors, who were using GMOs.
GMOs, peticides and herbicides are manufactured by the same companies. These companies claim to have science on their side, and when challenged, put down their detractors, saying that they oppose progress and science. Their message: if you believe in science then you should be applauding GMOs.
Do you agree?
We all make decisions for ourselves and our families based on our beliefs, education, and experience, and we all will deal with the consequences of those decisions. I trust the decisions you make for yourself and your family lead to a happy, healthy and long life.
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