Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Are GMOs Anyway?

If I asked you, "What's the opposite of organic?" what would you say? What would you think of? Highly processed foods like potato chips? Foods that are packaged in a way that is wasteful and unnecessary? When I think of totally un-organic, I think of GMOs. 

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. Sounds disgusting, doesn't it? But we eat them! Regularly! Corn and soy products are the most common affected crops. Large seed companies have tried over the years to produce better seeds, better herbacides, better pesticides. They have used science to genetically change the seeds and produce steroids that make animals grow faster and fatter. These companies patent their seeds and farmers become dependent on them because they are not allowed to keep seed from the plants that are grown from the patented seeds. 

Monsanto is a large company that specializes in and glorifies GMOs. This is the same company that makes the common herbicide RoundUp. Monsanto controls farmers who use their seeds by suing them if they try to produce their own seeds. In fact, if seed blows from one farm to another and that seed mixes with the non-modified seed in the second farmer's field, then Monsanto will claim rights to all seed on that farm as well! 

Monsanto sells GMOs to large food processing companies like Smithfield and Conagra, too. The cattle and other animals eat this and then are butchered and processed and placed in your grocery store. Studies have shown that these animals show actual physiological differences when compared to animals raised on non-modified grain or grass. 

Until recently, there were no studies to show whether we are affected by ingesting these GMOs. France, however, has just released a study that shows GMO corn as a dangerous carcinogen. 

Legislation is underway in many areas to require that all foods containing GMOs be clearly labeled. Unfortunately, Monsanto has people in the right places and money in the right pockets, making it difficult to pass labeling laws. 

In the meantime, what can you do? Write or call your legislators asking them to take action on labeling and let them know why genetically modified organisms should be better regulated. Buy seed from local farmers or buy seeds marked organic whenever possible. Buy local, pastured beef, chicken, and pork. Patronize brands that are committed to offering non-GMO foods. And, most importantly, share what you know with others! The more the public is educated about GMOs, Monsanto, and companies that sell us GMOs as food, the less they can get away with. 


  1. Liked your post enough to stumble. Keep up the good work, people need to know more about GMO's and maybe Mom's coming together can make a difference.

  2. interesting. you never know truly about advertising

    1. It is hard to figure out who is the real deal sometimes!