Right now there’s a great deal of controversy around several bills under consideration in congress that will allow more genetic modification of our food.  In hopes of stimulating the economy and creating more jobs, Obama recently passed a law allowing alfalfa to be genetically engineered which, in a nut shell, means the DNA of the plant will be modified through a process of science in which the genes of an organism are “ARTIFICIALLY transferred” (aka SCREWED WITH) in an inorganic way. Genetically modifying food was initially done to improve crop production by introducing resistance against plant diseases caused by insects’ and viruses’ increased tolerance of herbicides.  However, today it has been marketed to be something that will add nutrition to the food and/or lower the prices, or in some way benefit the consumer, but the reality is that it helps the producer increase production levels.

What makes this new law regarding alfalfa so significant is alfalfa is a perennial plant (it will live more than two years) and is an open pollinated crop, which means its seeds will produce new generations. Because the pollen source is unknown (basically the pollen source is the male that makes the magic happen), the genetic traits of new generations of the plant may vary widely. In other words, we will no longer have any idea what the health components of our alfalfa is because it is being morphed into something completely different from what it was naturally. Additionally, some experts believe it is impossible for GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and organic crops to truly co-exist as pollen can travel from a GMO field and contaminate a non-GMO crop.

Doctors and health specialists are particularly concerned with the effects this will have on our health and the health of the planet. While it’s true that genetic modification may have some benefits, it is too early to know what the long-term effects will be.  The American Academy of Environmental Medicine states, “Genetically Modified foods have not been properly tested and pose a serious health risk. There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation.” In fact, back in the 90’s, scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers about all of these problems: creating hard-to-detect allergies, poisons, gene transfer to gut bacteria, new diseases and nutritional issues. The FDA urged the issuers to continue with long-term testing before going forward with modifying our food.

This is just a small summary of what is going on with GMO’s. Hopefully it gives you an idea of what they are and why this is a serious problem. The scariest thing about it is that we are slowly losing the power to decide what food we put in our bodies. How can I choose organic produce if it has the chance of being contaminated thanks to GMOs? How will GMOs and organic foods co-exist? Do we really know what will happen with this process and in the long run? Will it really benefit any of us? My guess is no. I hope that you will take a few minutes to check out some of the sites I have listed below and if you feel as strongly against it as I do, please sign this petition, letting President Obama know that you oppose GMOs and his decision to allow alfalfa to be produced through genetic modification. With enough opposition, this bill could be overturned. It takes just a minute:

Tell Obama No More GMOs

Thank you!

 

Latest GMO Reports News and Analysis:

http://gmo-journal.com/

Doctors Warn Avoid Genetically Modified Food

http://www.rense.com/general86/doct.htm

The Debate between Organic and Genetically Engineered Foods:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_683.cfm

20 Questions on Genetically Modified Foods

http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/

Can Genetically Modified Foods and Organic Crops Co-Exist?

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/Can-Genetically-modified-and-Organic-Crops-Co-Exist-117256493.html

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