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Why genetically modified organisms (GMO) should be prohibited

Published on 27.11.2010
Written by Tore B. Krudtaa

When genetically modified organisms ment for use in agriculture, originally where allowed in the U.S., that decision was a political one and not based on long term independent studies to see if such organisms did pose a threat to the biodiversity and our health. Now, allmost 20 years after the first GMO crops where used in agriculture, and after GMOs have been used in many countries and in different crops, we should have more than enough data supporting those that initially tried to warn against the use of GMO outside closed laboratories.

So what have we learned?
What are the top reasons for not using GMOs outside closed laboratories?
(See the video at end of article)

  • GMO = Genetic pollution
    GMO are living organisms. Living organisms multiply and pass on their DNA to the next generation just as conventional organisms do. The result of this is that the patented genes, which where inserted into the GM plant or the GM animal, will be found in the DNA of the GMOs offspring. GM plants cross-pollinate with their conventional counterpart as well as with closely related species. In other words, the patented genes in a GM plant will after a short time be found in conventional plants. Some scientific communities still tries to argue that we just have to keep a safe distance between the GM crop and the conventional crop. Some state that 100 metres or 300 metres between the different crops will be sufficient to prevent cross-pollination. This is just bullshit. What if an animal walked through the GM crop and then half an hour laiter walked through the conventional crop? What if strong wind blew over the GM crop towards the conventional crop? What if ...? Do you see the point here. The GMO-industry and many irresponsible scientific communities and individual scientists are not willing to admit these simple facts simply because they benefit economically, directly or indirectly, if the GMOs are beeing allowed.

    PhD Rosa Binimelis from Spain says the following about this (october 2010):
    "By now, 75% of the organic maize surface has disappeard in Aragon, 95% of the organic maize surface in Catalonia has disappeard. Farmers that grew organic maize have to change to other crops due to genetic contamination."
    Similar reports can be found in all the other countries where GMO-crops are used in agriculture. And still, our politicians, irresponsible scientists and the GMO-industry keep on promoting this unsafe technology.

    The fact that GM plants cross-pollinate with conventional plants and closely related species is a huge threat to conventional farming and to life in general. This is not a future scenario. This is happening right now, in all countries that have allowed the use of GMO in agriculture.

  • Transgenes or transgenic DNA are unstable
    A transgene in relation to GMO is a gene or genetic material that has been transferred from one organism to another by using genetic engineering techniques.

    A study performed by Ignacio Chapela and David Quist titled: "Transgenic DNA introgressed into traditional maize landraces in Oaxaca, Mexico" and published in Nature 2001, shows two very important issues related to GM-maize:
    1. Genetic contamination (or as we like to express it: genetic pollution).
    2. During cross pollination transgenes may split up and insert themselves randomly in the plant genome.

    The first point related to genetic contamination surprised no one and is one serious issue, but the second finding which showed that the transgenes may split up and insert themselves randomly in the plant genome only shows how little control the GMO-industry have with their own products. This also means that even if a GMO is found (by the producer) to be safe (I'm here thinking of safe in relation to health for animals and humans), the consequenses of releasing the GM-plant into a habitat where it cross pollinate with conventional plants or other GM-plants can result in disastrous results. Why you may ask?

    Read: Phatoms in the Machine: GM corn spreads to Mexico by Marie-Monique Robin.

    If we look at another article published the same year by Arpad Pusztai titled: "Genetically Modified Foods: Are They a Risk to Animal/Human Health?" then we can read the following important words: "Genetically modified (GM) crops and food are beeing grown and consumed by the public, even though: There is little scientific study about their health risks. Safety test technology is inadquate to assess potential harm. They can carry unpredictable toxins. They may increase the risk of allergenic reactions."

    Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) have published numerous important findings which show huge instability problems with transgenes:


    When transgenes are unstable, what does this mean in practical life? 1. It probably invalidates the risk assessments made by the GMO-producer and by the various countries regulatory bodies. 2 It probably also mean that the patents for the GMOs, which have unstable transgenes, are invalid. From the ISIS link above, titled: Transgenic Lines Unstable hence Illegal and Ineligible for Protection" we can read: "To qualify for commercial release in Europe, for patent protection in Europe and in the United States, and other protection under the POV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) Convention, a transgenic line must be distinct, uniform and stable (the DUS test). It is likely that none of the transgenic varieties that have been commercially released passes the DUS test, which make them both illegal and ineligible for patent protection. But our regulators have been bending, if not breaking the law so far in failing to withdraw commercial approval".

    In other words, there are several important issues which should have lead to a total ban of the use of GMOs outside closed laboratories: The GMO-industry are not able to control the genes they insert into the DNA of the GMO. The GMO-industry do not have the tools to detect for all possible toxins or allergenes produced by the inserted genes nor the knowledge to control how the inserted genes behave when the plant cross pollinate. The result of this is that the GMO-industry is playing russian roulette with our health, our food plants and the biodiversity of this planet.

As long as GMOs has been used in agriculture the GMO manufacturer have used any existing marketing trick in the book in order to give the public and our politicians the impression that GMO is safe to use. Do you belive there is any reason to believe these allegations?

The future of Food

 

 

 

One manufacturer of GMO have perhaps understood that there may be trouble in the horizon. See this interesting video:

 

Illustrations:
DNA-strands: © Mopic | Dreamstime.com

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