Organic watermelon radishes from Hairston Creek Farm

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I am not sure I really had a problem with GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) before I really understood why they are being used. I thought that if scientists were trying to genetically modify plants so that they were more nutritious, yielded better crops, etc., nothing was wrong with that. Except that genetically modified seeds are not being created by nutritionists and/or doctors. So, who is creating them? Well, it is scientists working for the same chemical companies that produce the pesticides and herbicides that make work so much easier for homeowners and farmers. Their objective is not to make more nutritious food for us. Their objective is to develop seeds that produce plants that are resistant to the same chemicals they sell. This is how it works:

  • Chemical Company A makes Herbicide X;
  • Chemical Company A makes GM Seed Y, which is resistant to Herbicide X;
  • Chemical Company A convinces Farmer B to buy Herbicide X and GM Seed Y from them;
  • Farmer B plants GM Seed Y and, because GM Seed Y is resistant to Herbicide X, he can spray as much of the stuff as he needs to;
  • GM Plant Y grows and absorbs Herbicide X yet thrives despite the herbicide due to its modified genes;
  • GM Plant Y reseeds thanks to wind, birds, and or insects. Some of those seeds end up in Farmer C's land;
  • Organic Farmer C who does not want to have anything to do with the GM Seeds or the herbicide, plants old-fashioned seeds. He harvests his crop and saves his seeds as he has been doing for decades;
  • Chemical Company A accuses Farmer C of planting their seeds after they find their GM Seed in his land. Farmer C denies the accusations but has to go to court to prove his innocence. He spends hundreds of thousands of dollars defending himself and either goes bankrupt or is forced to make a deal with Chemical Company A to buy their products;
  • Farmer B wants to plant more crops. He can no longer go back to using old-fashioned seeds because his land will now contain GM Seeds. He also can't save the ones from his GM plants because they are patented and owned by Chemical Company A, so he must buy more GM Seeds from Chemical Plant A in order to plant more crops; and
  • YOU eat GM Plant Y with a little herbicide on the side and unknowingly support Chemical Plant A, regardless of whether you agree with their practices or not.
Isn't this worth worrying about? If you do, rest assured that at least for now, Organic foods are not allowed to have Genetically Modified Organisms. Rest assured as well, that if you choose NOT to eat organic foods, you are more than likely eating genetically modified corn, soy, and/or wheat. Thanks to lobbyists that work for the chemical companies in question, the food industry is not forced to tell you that their foods contain GMO's, as long as they do not use the Organic label.

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