Why are we 'Marching Against Monsanto', year after year?
Here's just a few reasons;
Known health risks: Genetic modification in plants happens when genes are forced to express certain traits (including pesticides). To do this, the scientists “turn on” all the gene's components, which can mean releasing allergens that would normally not be expressed in a non-GMO variety of plant. Both pesticides and GMOs have been connected with an increased risk of certain types of cancer. There are additional health concerns too, including endocrine and reproductive issues, autism, ADHD, Diabetes, liver toxicity, and even heart disease. (1)
The main function of herbicides and pesticides is to kill unwanted plants and insects. Glyphosate, the most common herbicide used on GMO crops, has been shown to negatively impact the gut bacteria of humans, damaging our first line of defence when in come to our immune function.
Environmental impact: GMO crops and their companion pesticides and herbicides wreak havoc on the environment including polluting air, water and soil. GM seeds require pesticides and herbicides. While some manufacturers have claimed the pesticide use would decrease over time, it's only increased, according to a peer-reviewed 2012 study. (2) This is not the only study of it's kind, and many scientists are confirming glyphosate relation to 'superbugs' that have become resistant and adaptive to the pesticide, requiring more and more to be used.
Glyphosate, marketed by Monsanto as the herbicide 'Roundup', in effect, is an antibiotic, which can destroy soil quality and, in turn, degrade the plant's nutritional value. Cross-polination between GMO and non-GMO crops is common as well, and can destroy natural plant varieties and diversity in the wild, which brings me to my next point.
Food Security: At the core of the GMO industry is the corporate ownership of seed and seed patents. Companies like Monsanto are notorious for suing small farmers for saving seeds or if an adjoining farmers GMO crop 'drift pollinates' on their land. Holding intellectual property rights on access to seed use and the inherent characteristics of nature like drift pollination , is a fundamental crime against humanity's basic needs.
It is up to all of us to protect ourselves and our families because our government refuses to. Here is a list of the biggest GM crops in Canada, if it doesn't say organic, assume it's genetically modified, and assume that there are higher amounts of pesticides and herbicides used in growing or sequenced right into the plant itself.
1. Corn: cornmeal, corn syrup, HFCS, fructose, (previously known as HFCS-90 on ingredients lists)
2. Soy: TVP, tofu, soy flour, soy milk, soy oil, hydrolyzed plant protein, soy sauces, and many more
3. Cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils)
4. Canola (canola oil)
5. Sugar from sugar beets
6. Hawaiian papaya
7. Some varieties of zucchini
8. Crookneck squash
For more information on why Health Canada isn't fully protecting us, and why we need to be accountable to our own families follow this link.
Some things that you can do right now;
Let your voice be heard!
Vote with your dollars;
~Buy organic food and products, this cuts down on agricultural pesticide use. (conventional cotton uses more insecticide than any other crop grown)
~Talk to your neighbours about your concerns with pesticide use (it only takes a few reference facts to sound like an expert in the field)
~Plant an organic veggie garden, purchase directly from farmers markets, and get involved with your community.
~Contact your community councilmen/women and voice you concerns about their use in your communities and public spaces.
~Educate yourself about natural lawn care. Find natural ways to treat pests, diotameceous earth, organic corn starch, permaculture, accompany plantings, keeping the lawn mowed, and excepting a few weeds in the sea of manicured green, are just a few things that can start with you.
Have a healthy, happy spring, with long days, clean eats, and wild seeds of knowledge.