Pig sh*t is generally considered to be one of the best natural fertilizers known. Bullsh*t not so much. But bull is what pro-GMO lackeys enjoy spreading.

The pro-GMO lobby has tripled its spending this year in an effort to convince consumers that it’s okay to keep genetically engineered ingredients secret in the foods we eat. It is estimated that 90 percent of all processed food in American supermarkets contain genetically altered DNA yet the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Monsanto and other GMO companies want to keep that hidden from you. I stress “American supermarkets” because most of the rest of the world labels GMO food or bans it outright. Only in America do corporate profits so drastically trump consumer rights and safety. (For example, America remains the only country in the world, except New Zealand, that allows advertising potent and dangerous pharmaceutical drugs direct to consumers.)

So it’s time to dispel some of the myths that the pro-GMO cabal is foisting on the American public. Here’s what they say. And I say it’s all bull.

“Genetic Engineering is just an extension of natural breeding and humans have been doing the same thing for thousands of years.”

Bull. Humans have never before been genetically engineering plants and animals like this. Genetic engineering pairs DNA parts from species that could never interbreed in nature. Yes, humans have bred plants by crossing, say, one variety of tomato with another tomato. But genetic engineering does unnatural things like crossing the DNA of a mouse with a tomato, or inserting genes from a moth into an apple, a rat gene into lettuce. Genetic engineering is a radical transgenic mutation that nature would never, ever be able to accomplish. And there are unintended consequences.

“GMOs are necessary to feed the growing population of the world.”

Bull. Point 1: We already produce more food than the world needs. It’s distribution that is the problem. Point 2: Multiple studies have found that non-GMO food production can grow as much as GMO and even more. Point 3: Who are they kidding? The largest GMO crops by far are GMO field corn and soybeans. And nearly all of that is grown in the United States (because other countries won’t allow it). Most field corn is used for ethanol, then for livestock feed, then a small percentage is used for corn syrup sweetener and processed food. How is that feeding the world? Besides, according to a Union of Concerned Scientists report, traditional, non-GMO techniques of growing corn increase yields five times better than GMOs.

“GMOs lower pesticide use.”

Bull. Studies both in the United States and abroad confirmed that “GM production was lowering yields and increasing pesticide use.” Actually, the use of glyphosate, manufactured and sold by Monsanto as RoundUp, has soared. Glyphosate is being found to be far more dangerous than Monsanto led us to believe and is banned permanently or suspended in many countries, including Mexico, France, Netherlands, Brazil.

“GMOs are proven safe by testing.”

Bull. Tests submitted to governments are made by the developer companies and barely regulated. In fact, independent testing is nearly impossible because companies like Syngenta, Monsanto and the other GMO patent-holders guard their proprietary seeds closely. Seed stocks are tightly controlled so researchers can’t get hold of them. As an independent study by EarthOpenSource.org states, “[no country] in the world requires long-term or rigorous safety testing of GM crops and foods. Regulatory assessments are based on data provided by the company that is applying to commercialize the crop – the same company that will profit from a positive assessment of its safety.” In other words, Monsanto tests their own stuff and says, “Sure, it’s safe.” And the USDA buys it. And did you know the EPA requires that GMO corn must be registered as a pesticide, just like any other poison bug killer?

“The Bt toxin in every corn cell of GMO corn is the same as the Bt spray that is so safe, even organic farmers have used it for years.”

Bull and double bull. GMO corn does indeed contain a toxin that kills bugs. It’s inside each kernel, placed there by Monsanto and other GMO companies. And organic farmers have used a natural spray containing Bt bacteria that also protects against insects. The big difference is that with external spray, hardly any of the Bt toxin persists on the corn you eat. What does can be rinsed off easily. But with GMO corn it’s inside the kernel. Try washing that off.

“Bt toxin hurts only the insects that hurt corn and is safe for humans. It degrades in the stomach.”

Bull. Studies show Bt toxin is not specific to a narrow range of insect pests but affects a wide variety of non-target organisms, including mammals and humans. A Canadian study found Bt toxin in the blood of pregnant and non-pregnant women and the blood supply to fetuses. It does not degrade in digestion.

That’s a big bull. Grab it by the horns.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit HeartlandHealing.com for more information.

Subscribe to The Reader Newsletter

Our awesome email newsletter briefing tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on in Omaha. Delivered to your inbox every day at 11:00am.

Become a Supporting Member

Subscribe to thereader.com and become a supporting member to keep locally owned news alive. We need to pay writers, so you can read even more. We won’t waste your time, our news will focus, as it always has, on the stories other media miss and a cultural community — from arts to foods to local independent business — that defines us. Please support your locally-owned news media by becoming a member today.

Leave a comment