GMO crops have to be tested and approved before being marketed for human consumption and animal feed. But don’t get too excited just yet, because as far as testing is concerned, the tests and risk assessment studies are performed by the very corporations trying to get their GMO crop approved for use by our government. Hmmm, if that seems a little fishy to you, it is! Even in my construction industry job, the government hires a third party inspection agency to make sure we are not cheating by cutting corners.
Why isn’t the government more stringent with food regulation?
That is because the biotech industry has a revolving door concept with our government. Monsanto executives are elected by our government to hold public office and make changes to our food policies. Biotech giants use large amounts of lobbying money to influence government policies in their favor. Are we expected to believe these GMO foods are safe to consume and blindly trust the test results generated in house by these biotech companies? Though they want us to believe the GMO crop technology is good for us and the world, let’s be honest, doing ‘good’ doesn’t turn a profit. At least not the types of profit biotech companies, such as Monsanto, are looking for. A lot of corporations are greedy. Look up Monsanto online. They sue farmers for whatever little they have.
So, what do they test for?
Substantial Equivalency: This is what the USDA requires the biotech company to prove. In other words, GM corn has to have the same fundamental characteristics as the conventional (non-GMO) counterpart. Basically, they have to show nutrients and textures are within the same range as a conventional crop. Just because Monsanto can prove substantial similarity does not mean that it is good for us. This is like equating a healthy person to a person with a genetic disorder such as Down syndrome or Cystic Fibrosis. In addition, no further studies are required to discover if the GMO crop contains a protein that could potentially be harmful to our health or proteins that can cause new allergic reactions. A company cannot test for something they don’t know exists so the only way to find out about it is through long term studies. And guess who the test subjects are? Us! We are the guinea pigs.
Pesticides: There are GMO crops that either produce their own pesticide or withstand extreme amounts of pesticides. Sometimes the EPA will require the GMO crop be tested for pesticide sustainability. Well that sounds like an oxymoron. Besides, pesticide testing is synonym to cruel animal testing. Worst of all, animal testing is only long enough to make animals suffer but short enough to gain no knowledge on adverse effects. The average test is done within a three month period; insufficient time to gather substantial data. The most controversial test on animals that has been done is one where lab rats were given GMO corn for a period longer than 4 months. Several of the rats showed large tumors past the fourth month of testing. Even though this test has been highly sensationalized, it is important to note that the testing time-frames need to be increased.
There isn’t sufficient test data on GMO crops, because the biotech companies own patents on the modified genes and they have the right to sue you if you choose to test without their permission. Many independent agencies opt not to go that route, for fear of losing against giants like Monsanto, and depriving us the right to know whether the GMO crop we are consuming is in fact healthy for us.
There are two main points I would like you to take from this article:
• No long term data on how GMO crops affect our health and the environment but a growing number of autoimmune disorders and new food allergies.
• Unjustifiable animal testing and cruelty.
Some interesting sources: