Are GMOs Harmful?
To date there isn’t actually that much research to show whether or not GMO crops are harmful to humans. However, as time moves forward, more questions are being raised. What is clear is that GMO crops are harmful to farmers and the environment. It is becoming more than likely that a harmful effect from consumption will arise.
The US Department of Agriculture doesn’t test the effects of GMO crops on animals or humans, or even other plants. To date, there is very little research being done by recognized bodies to prove or disprove medical problems of GMO crops.
However, the Institute for Responsible Technology and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine do not think they’re safe and have stated that, “Animal studies indicate serious risks with ingesting GM foods.” Those risks include immune problems, insulin issues, and other health problems.
Planting and growing GMO crops can result in cross-pollination with non-GMO crops. Since the biotech companies own intellectual property on their creations, there could potentially come a time where no farmer can grow any crops from their own seeds. They’ll have to purchase seeds each year from the biotech company which can become quite pricey. This problem is thought to increase food insecurity among all nations.
Already we have seen the effects of GMO crops on the environment. Bred to withstand enormous amounts of herbicides and pesticides, farmers no longer tend to their crops the way they used to by weeding and hands on-care in the case of pests. Now they throw chemicals on them, and hope for the best. This causes pollution in the environment and destroys the soil, causing untold environmental damage.
Studies Showing Problems with GMOs
The fact is, many pests are adapting to the GMO crops anyway. This is found with Roundup-resistant weeds, and worms that have evolved to eat corn that has been engineered to produce their own pesticide to kill the worms. In addition, studies have shown that mice which ate GMO crops produced sickly and smaller babies. Goats have died in India after eating GMO cotton plants, GM soy is affecting the fertility of lab rats, allergies in humans to soy have increased, and lab rats fed GM potatoes have developed cancer.
Due to the poor regulation of GMOs, it’s important for the public to try to avoid GMOs because we really don’t know the effects that these crops can have long term medically, environmentally and economically. When you consider the fact that GM crops do not have higher yields than organic crops, it seems a waste to continue supporting GM crops until we know more.
Even if they are shown to cause no problems whatsoever (which isn’t what the studies are showing so far), economic concerns for farmers and back yard gardeners are an issue to be concerned with.