Gmo's, You're Killing Me! Essay

2689 words - 11 pages

GMOs, They’re Killing Me!
Recently someone said that 70% of the foods sold from our grocery store shelves contain Genetically Modified Organisms. This is extremely alarming because GMOs are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations cannot occur in nature or in traditional cross breeding (“Non GMO Project”). Obesity, chronic disease, and food allergies have skyrocketed in the United States over the past two decades. Many people think it is due to poor eating and exercise habits. While a portion of this may be true, the more logical explanation is the fact that corporations have ...view middle of the document...

Farmers now have to apply more Roundup than ever before. In fact, because the GMO seeds can and are being altered, farmers are able to spray their crops with this pesticide during the entire growing process rather than just at the beginning and end of the process as with non-GMO seeds.
Professor Charles M. Benbrook, of Washington State University, Hulbert has published his study showing “substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied” to today’s genetically-engineered crops (Benbrook 1). He also states that this process will continue in the foreseeable future. His study is based on pesticide use in the first sixteen years that GMOs have been sold commercially. The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) lists twenty two types of Glyphosate- Resistant (GR) weeds that are rapidly spreading (Benbrook 4). It is estimated that one hundred million acres in the United States are infested by GR weeds that did not exist prior to the introduction to GMO Roundup Ready crops in 1996. The pollen, genes, and seeds of these Super Weeds can travel widely and spread quickly (Benbrook 4). Furthermore, Benbrook states that Dow AgroScience’s petition for deregulation of 2,4-D (a glycolates classified pesticide) would increase the use of Roundup thirty fold in a mere nine years.
The increased demand and use of pesticides in the United States due to GMOs has contaminated many environmental factors that expose people to harmful side effects. “Without major change, a crisis in weed management is likely, triggering possibly ominous economic, public health, and environmental consequences” (Benbrook 5). Pesticides are now found in the air we breathe and the food we eat. Two-thirds to 100% of the air and rainfall samples tested in Mississippi and Iowa in 2007-2008 contained glyphosate. Pesticide residues have been found in milk, meat and other animal products. Collectively, herbicide use creates long term, serious impacts on “biodiversity, soil and plant health, water quality, aquatic ecosystem integrity, and human and animal health” (Benbrook 7).
The harmful effects that GMOs have on animals and humans are being documented in South America. The incorporation of GMOs in South America has changed the agricultural model into one dependent on the massive use of agrochemicals (Lopez 42). There have been many studies in South American countries that show a direct correlation of the pesticides used for GMOs and significant health problems of the people that live and work near these pesticides. Dr. Silvia Lopez of the Laboratorio de Embriologıa Molecular, Instituto de Biologıa Celular y Neurociencias, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, and her colleagues did several studies in communities across South America and found numerous health conditions directly related to the use of GMOs in those areas. Specifically, those people that spray the pesticides on the GMO crops are most affected, but the effects are found in the entire communities...

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