Hopefully by now, you’ve heard the name “Monsanto” mentioned at least a few times. Monsanto is a monstrous company that aims to control the food industry, farmers, seeds, and GMO crops. Ever hear of DDT or Agent Orange? They manufactured those products. To this day, they continue to manufacture dangerous pesticides and herbicides that are doing a number on our wildlife (namely, amphibians, the biological indicators), soil, weeds, food, and eventually, us. Roundup is the main one, being used by farmers (and probably you neighbor) for years. They are responsible for many of the genetically modified organisms found throughout the world, including corn, cotton, soy, and sugar beets, four very common and widely used crops.
In a nut shell, Monsanto is:
Producing GMO seeds (Genetically Modified Organisms). Plants grown from GMO seeds are supposed to be able to grow under conditions that wouldn’t normally warrant their growth. For example, tomatoes are genetically modified to preserve freshness. GMO soybeans are considered to be “Round-up ready,” which means that they are resistant to herbicides, pests, disease, etc. This might sound incredibly useful, as the demand for food is on the rise along with the human population, but here’s the thing: there have been no significant long-term studies testing the effects of GMO’s on humans, and the studies that have been done report shocking rates of cancer-related deaths in lab rats being fed GMO corn. Additionally, “super weeds” are becoming more and more common with the introduction of GMO’s, which has lead to even more spraying of Round-up than if GMO’s weren’t used at all. Which leads me to my second point:
Monsanto promotes and produces the use of Roundup, a herbicide that is widely used by farmers. It is touted as being “biodegradable,” which is alluring to most consumers, but the term “biodegradable” only means that it will eventually break down in the system. There are no set parameters, and no time frame for a substance that is considered biodegradable, unless specified by the producer. This means that it could take two days or two-hundred years to break down in the system. People are comforted by the idea of Round-up binding to clay in the soil and denaturing, but the truth is, takes much longer for Round-up to biodegrade than is implied by it’s producers. Not only that, but the rate of Round-up accumulation in the soil is surpassing the rate of degradation, thus its toxic effects will be felt long before it manages to break down. Round-up is detrimental to the soil, wildlife, and anyone consuming foods with herbicide residue. Moreover, it accumulates in the soil, contaminating the water table, which will eventually effect the majority of us, as it is widely used all across the U.S. Round-up has been linked to cancer, birth defects, infertility, and many more horrifying diseases and health issues.
Monsanto is trying to control farmers by marketing suicide seeds and making it illegal for them to use anything else, including their own seeds. In the documentary, “Bitter Seeds,” farmers in India growing cotton are sold GMO seeds that are touted as producing a high yield. The details of pesticide use, etc. are not explained to these farmers, who rely on traditional methods of crop cultivation. As a result, the cotton yield is poor for many of these farmers, who rely on cotton as a main source of income. A shocking number of them end up committing suicide after a devastating year of farming. Monsanto, fully aware of the impact that the GMO’s are having on the farmers, chooses to continue monopolizing the seed industry. In the U.S., Monsanto is suing farmers who want to use their own seeds instead of suicide seeds that are not viable the next year. This is another way that they are monopolizing the seed industry, and taking away farmers’ freedom.
Monsanto has ties inside the U.S. government which has allowed them to pass the “Monsanto Protection Act,” essentially overruling government regulations on GMO crops and testing. It allows Monsanto to continue its irresponsible methods of GMO production, all while eliminating any FDA approval before being released to the public. It’s almost like selling the public poison without testing to see if it will kill them or not.
Monsanto has generated GMO crops such as corn, soybeans, sugar beets, rice, potatoes, tomatoes, etc., which can be found in almost every processed product on grocery store shelves. Does corn syrup or canola oil sound familiar? How about “sugar?” Check the label. It is much more prevalent that you might think.
The list below includes brands which contain some form of GMO ingredients. I choose not to support these companies, as they support the use of GMO’s by placing them in their products. Many of these companies have also funded the fight against labeling GMO’s in the last election. As GMO labeling becomes more of a hot topic, we might see more “Certified non-GMO” labels showing up on products. Keep an eye out for these labels. Additionally, some of these brands might decide to alter their values, in which case, you can cross them off this list.
Garden of Eatin
Back to Nature
Rice Dream, Etc.
Food Should Taste Good
Mountain High Yogurt
Delicious Brand Cookies
The Organic Cow
Tribe Mediterranean Foods
Wholesome & Hearty
Seeds of Change
Green & Blacks
Celestial Seasonsand on and on and on.
My advice: buy local ORGANIC foods, make sure you know they are local. Eat organic fruits and vegetables. Grow your own food. Steer clear of processed foods. Even products from your friendly Trader Joe’s might be questionable, considering they are opposed to labeling GMO products. Be smart, read labels, and don’t support this monstrous company. If the label reads “certified non-GMO” then I’d trust the company. Chances are, they are on your side, standing for the right to know if it’s GMO.