Concerned Communities Aim to Protect Food System From GMOs

By Brandie Harrop, GMO Free Canada
May 9, 2013 8:59 pm Last Updated: May 10, 2013 8:05 pm

Recent stories, studies, and suggestions about genetically modified organisms (GMO) have inspired me to write what I have learned over the years in my own research on the subject.

There are no government agencies anywhere doing long-term testing on the safety of GMOs and genetically modified (GM) crops. Nearly all studies are funded and supported by the biotechnology industry and its peers. The U.S. called the engineered products “substantially equivalent” to their conventional counterparts, and that has been used, unquestioningly and blindly, as a scientific truth with zero independent research supporting the phrase.

GMOs are not beneficial for the environment. Cross contamination with conventional and organic crops destroys any options for people who do not want to consume GMOs and for food companies that do not want to use GMOs.

The diversity of our food supply is dwindling due to GMOs as older varieties fade away in the world of mono-cultured GMO fields and as contamination spreads. In addition, as a result of the excessive growing of GM crops, bees and butterflies, pollinators that we need for food, are dying.

Herbicide being sprayed directly onto GM Roundup Ready crops is now being found in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. The government’s answer is to raise the acceptable level of these chemicals and residues in food, rather than looking out for citizens’ health and well-being.

Recent tests also show that the natural microbial balance in our soil is dying off, affecting worms and all aspects of our croplands. We are effectively killing our growing medium with these products. In David Suzuki’s documentary, the “Silent Forest,” he talks about how the toxins living inside plants leach into the ground and eventually into our water.

Concerns From Both Farmers and Consumers

Biotech industries would have us believe that farmers are embracing GMOs, but I beg to differ. The farmers at my farmers’ market have all lobbied the government in protest to no avail. If the farmers are embracing them, then why is the National Farmers Union doing mass protests like the Canada-wide Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa on April 9?

There are new studies released every week on the potential risks of GMOs, but no one seems to be listening. A long-term study in France came out at the end of last year proving that GMOs and glyphosate cause tumours, cancer, and infertility.

Take a look at the human cancer numbers before genetic engineering, and after it infiltrated 80 percent of our processed foods. Something is dreadfully wrong with our food supply. Lack of labelling has made it impossible to directly tie GM ingredients to disease, and that is a situation biotech companies spend millions to defend.

Biotech companies would have the public believe that protesters are few and are using old data to create fear mongering, that the majority of the public and farmers want GMOs.

If so, then why is Canada starting to protest? Canadians almost never protest. How are we able to organize country-wide protests and have good turnouts of both farmers and consumers at every rally all across the country?

If the world really loves GMOs, then why are GMOs banned or labelled in 61 countries? If the world is “embracing GMOs,” why is there a worldwide protest happening on May 25 in 252 cities in 37 countries on seven continents?

It sounds, rather, like the world is embracing its right to not have GMOs.

The biotech industry would love for the public to believe that anti-GMO supporters are a few crazy people belonging to special interest groups that are more concerned with fundraising than with health concerns.

The reality is that the members of many groups such as GMO Free Canada and Millions Against Monsanto all donate their time and efforts, using money out of their own pockets to fund their printing and travel. The organic industry pays with its own money to defend its livelihood from GMO contamination.

B.C. now has 16 GMO-free zones and Vancouver Island is now fighting to become a GMO-free zone. That’s a lot more than just a select few crazy misinformed people; that is a concerned public.

Brandie Harrop is a board member for GMO Free Canada.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.