A deeper look at Monsanto: Part III

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Moment of Wellness with Danette Vernon

This morning I made a decision that made me feel a little nervous, as I hadn’t really asked enough questions. But I decided to forgive myself, hope for the best, open a bag of corn chips, and a move on.

Yet, like the innocuous opening of many a horror flick, even as I sat there munching my chips, there were silent alarms sounding in the background of my life (and yours) that may ultimately lead to the scare of a lifetime.

The alarm was sounding because I was most likely soothing an anxious moment with the consumption of a little GMO Corn, and we’re not really sure as a nation what that might do to me in the long run.

In the United States 80%-85% of all the corn grown is genetically modified food, or GMO (Genetically Modified Organism). Genetically modified corn, along with many other GMO crops, is resistant to Glyphosate, an herbicide that would ordinarily wither crops right along with the weeds. In addition, the insertion of Bacillus thuringiensis into GMO corn creates an insecticide right in the plants. Therefore, when you eat GMO corn, you are inadvertently consuming the toxin that was inserted into the corn, and any Glyphosate residue left on the plant.

Genetically Modified Corn, because of its proliferation, can be found in corn-based cereals, corn-based snacks, your meat (animals are generally fed Genetically Modified Corn), even that bag of dog food you bought last week. Glyphosate, the main chemical behind Roundup, has become so wide spread as an herbicide that in one study it was the leading herbicide found in water droplets tested in three different states. In that particular study, 60%-100% of the water droplets tested during the growing season, in high agricultural areas, contained herbicide.

It’s raining herbicide.

In a study that tested 69 Canadian pregnant women eating an average diet, Glyphosate was found in 93% of the women tested, and in 80% of the unborn babies tested.

Glyphosate? It’s everywhere you are. And Monsanto is the market leader.

The FDA has been inundated with Monsanto personnel from the beginning, so expect no aid from that quarter, but in other countries a recent GMO study is being taken very seriously. The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2012, noted that “Russia’s consumer-rights watchdog said Tuesday it has suspended the import and use of a genetically engineered corn made by Monsanto Co. following a study’s findings that suggested the crop might cause cancer.

The study, conducted by France’s University of Caen and published last week, found that rats fed over a two-year period with the U.S. crop-biotechnology company’s genetically modified NK603 corn, marketed under the Roundup Ready brand name, developed more tumors and other severe diseases than a test group fed with regular corn … the French government last week ordered its food-safety agency to review quickly the study and said it would seek an immediate ban on European Union imports of the crop if the study’s findings were deemed conclusive.”

I read this Wall Street Journal article and wondered — has the United States become such a backwater of the world that while 30 other countries have banned or propose to ban GMO foods, we can’t even get GMO labeling?

There is hope, though. Proposition 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, which will require most GMO foods sold in California to be labeled, will be voted on next month. Also, The Voice of the Environment, reports that, “in the U.S., Gerber and Heinz baby foods, Frito-Lay, IAMS Pet Foods, Trader Joe’s and even McDonald’s and Burger King are now refusing GMO corn, potatoes, and other ingredients.”

But really it falls on us, the consumers, to wake up and decide for ourselves if there really is a boogie man. And if there is, is he feeding us a nightmare? Or just the latest in scientific method.

To be continued.