Gmo Foods

Topics: Genetically modified organism, Genetically modified food, Monsanto Pages: 11 (5714 words) Published: January 16, 2013
Biotech food corporations have patented a number of genetically altered food and pharmaceutical crops that can only be grown with a proper license and new seeds must be purchased each year. Regrettably genetically engineered crops cannot be contained. Over the years Monsanto has sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringements and many of these farmers have been driven into bankruptcy and have lost everything. Farmer Percy Schmeiser refused to give in, Schmeiser had been in the farming business and developing his own seeds for fifty years, then had his fields carelessly contaminated by Monsanto, when this happened the company tried to take his land and his livelihood. Schmeiser stated, “I never put those plants on my land. The question is where do Monsanto’s rights end and mine begin?” The case went before the Federal Court of Canada, where Schmeiser accused Monsanto of trespassing, improperly obtaining samples of his seed from a local seed plant, and contamination of his crops with unwanted GM plants. In 2008 Monsanto settled out of court, agreed to pay all clean-up costs and agreed that Monsanto may be sued for recontamination if it happens again, also that Schmeiser would not be under a gag order which had been the norm. In this case, Monsanto’s patent was deemed valid; however Schmeiser was not forced to pay for the ‘privilege’ of the contamination. Even more recently Riceland Foods one of the largest rice cooperative in the U.S. won their lawsuit against Bayer when its natural long grain rice was contaminated with Bayer’s unapproved genetically engineered rice. Bayer was also ordered to pay a dozen farmers nearly $50 million for contaminating the commercial market that damaged rice prices back on 2006. (Dr. Mercola, 2012) These companies are trying to convince us these are safe reliable methods of feeding billions and making us healthier, and that they are benefiting us in the long run and if that’s true then they should have these patents, but are they? Although we need to protect our crops from pests and disease while feeding and medicating a growing world, some studies are proving that genetically engineered foods and medicines are harmful to people, animals and the environment. A large population doesn’t know exactly what a genetically modified organism is. Well, a genetically modified organism (GMO) is a term most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest biology techniques, (Whitman. 2000). A good example of this is taking a plant and finding the gene responsible for drought tolerance and inserts that gene into a different plant. Now the new genetically modified plant will have the tolerance as well, and will be able to grow in an area where there is less water available or in an area experiencing a dry growing season. However non plant genes can be inserted as well such as inserting B.t. (Bacillus thuringienses) into crops, B.t. is a naturally occurring bacterium that produces proteins that are toxic to insect larvae, which allows the plant to produce its own pesticides against bugs (Whitman, D. 2000). This can also apply to animals; a Memorial University of Newfoundland researcher accidently froze a tank of a particular species of flounder. When the tank was thawed the fish were still alive, it turns out that this species has a particular gene that protects it from such issues as freezing, and later it was found that many polar fish share this gene to survive the cold waters in which they live. This science is behind the GM animals being worked on in the lab. Researchers found a way to isolate a gene insert it into a fertilized egg in a manner that turns on said gene, (Find articles, 2001). This is how we end up with crops that produce more, vegetables that last longer, salmon that grow many times faster, with cows that produce human like milk, and pigs grown for human compatible organs. Gmos are used to feed a growing world population, while also keeping...

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