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GMO Part 2
Greetings to all who read this. I will be picking up where I left off last week. For anyone who has not yet read GMO Part 1 - I highly recommend reading that prior to reading this. I write this not because I love gmos, but because I have a deep-seated concern for the myriad complications that this absolutely unnecessary industry (which is clearly unethical and antithetical to life) is causing in our world. Unfortunately, this is not something we can afford to ignore. For every step we take forward, it seems the industry continues to find traction.
My plea is that you do whatever you can to thwart this industry. You can do this in many ways. You can: not buy gmo foods, get vocal with your politicians ( a phone call takes less than a minute ), join a local chapter that fights the gmo industry, donate to organizations which support non-gmo causes, write about it on your own platform, get the word out on social media platforms ( including sharing articles and petitions) save and collect heirloom seeds, grow as much of your food as possible, join a community garden, get and stay informed ( via emails, movies, books and videos - You Tube has a lot of them) and sign petitions when you see them.
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I realize that this subject is so vast that it is impossible to tackle in two blogs. I will be writing a third and final piece ( Gmo Part 3 ) next week. Each of my blogs takes roughly fifteen minutes to read. While I hope not to lose any readers over this, I can only hope that you feel this vast and vitally important subject warrants forty five minutes of your attention over the span of three weeks.
Save the Bees!
You may not think of them on a daily basis, but you owe much of your life to bees.
Of the 100 crop varieties that feed 90% of the world, bees pollinate 71.
Bees pollinate three-fourths of the worlds flowering plants.
One third of the food we eat comes from pollination due to honey bees.
Other pollinators include: moths, butterflies, beetles and ants. So the next time you are considering spraying your garden with toxic pesticides, please consider an alternative, or at the very least , something non-toxic. A good rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t use it in your garden. Back to bees.
“American bumblebees have completely disappeared from eight states and its population in the country has declined by 90% . The largest declines in bumblebee numbers are in the same states that have seen the largest quantified increase in pesticide use, including neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides.” Research has shown that chemical pesticides that are commonly used across agricultural land can disrupt bees’ natural homing systems, which makes them more susceptible to parasites. “ Full article here.
If you want to help pollinators, please consider growing pollinator friendly plants in your yard and on your property. You can also research other ways to help them online. Here is a great article on the importance of water for bees and how you can safely help them. How to safely water bees.
What is Microbiome?
“Simply put, a microbiome is a community of microbes — eukaryotes, archaea, fungi, viruses, bacteria — that act together both with and within a specific environment. They are directly responsible for the health of that environment and the way it functions, collaborating to confer benefits that can help an organism thwart stressors and invaders, and making it overall more resilient; conversely, when their composition is altered, their environment is altered, too, and the organisms in it can suffer as a result.”
The Soil Gut Microbiome Connection
“Researchers involved in the Earth Microbiome Project have been concertedly studying the soil microbiome since 2010, and have made all kinds of revolutionary strides in piecing its mechanisms together. For example, we now know that a spoonful of agricultural soil contains 30,000 taxonomic varieties of microbes. Among them are several yards of fungal filaments that convert dead matter to biomass, or attach to plant roots to boost their nutrient uptake; up to a billion bacteria that convert nitrogen gas into compounds that “feed” those plants and other organisms; a few dozen nematodes and a few thousand protozoa that keep bacterial populations in check, mineralize nutrients and protect plants from pathogens.”
“When the soil microbiome is healthy and in balance, it directly, positively, affects the health of the plants that grow in it and protects them from drought or pests, for example. It can shove out pathogens trying to attack plants, produce toxins to kill them off and also trigger the plants to defend themselves. It also has other critical ecosystem functions; most notably, it acts as a carbon sink, helping keep atmospheric carbon in check for a critical climate benefit.”
“The Human Microbiome Project, another enormous and cross-disciplinary area of study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2007 to 2016, was instrumental in beginning to tease out the connection between the soil microbiome and our gut microbiome, which both contain approximately the same number of active microorganisms. (There’s also a connection between the human gut microbiome and the ocean microbiome; they share about 73 percent of their microbes in common.) The soil microbiome likely evolved in tandem with the human microbiome and its estimated 39 trillion microbes that occupy our noses and mouths, our armpits and the palms of our hands, and most of all, our guts — particularly our large intestines. Our health is not only predicated on the activity of the microbes in our guts, but on the microbes we ingest both directly (from purposeful geophagy, or accidental dirt ingestion) and indirectly (in the form of plant crops) from the soil. “ Source
Long story short, the use of petrochemicals on gmo crops is destroying our soil, the microbes in it, and also our gut microbiome. If that weren’t bad enough, the use of petrochemicals has also lead to a decrease in the nutritional content of our food due to poor health of the soil. It’s all connected.
The Web of Life
Unfortunately, endangering the bee population and destroying soil, are only two of the most obvious ways that gmo food production is destroying our environment. In order to really understand the all-encompassing, irreversible and long-lasting ill effects of gmo food production, it is important to understand ecology and ecosystems. Nothing in nature is arbitrary or superfluous. Glyphosate is killing": birds, butterflies and other insects, frogs and other animals as well as many other living organisms ( both visible and invisible). Each of these life forms play an indispensable part both in our ability to grow food, and in the sacred web of life at large.
In other words each thread of nature makes the totality of the ecosystem viable. We call it the web of life for a reason. Every strand is essential and every strand contributes to the whole. When you destroy one thread in the web, the whole web is affected and it causes a domino effect. Toxic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides not only kill living organisms, they also contribute to an influx of new pests, parasites and pathogens that become resistant to the chemicals used in gmo production, specifically monocropping.
It’s a vicious cycle. A pesticide works until it doesn’t, new problems arise as a result and new chemicals are invented to deal with the latest problem which the former chemical caused. Meanwhile necessary species die out and then we see an influx of less beneficial species thriving. It’s similar to taking a medication to help manage a health problem only to have to add more medications to thwart the side effects of the original medication. It’s simply not sustainable.
Since the advent of gmo foods we have lost a staggering amount of biodiversity. Currently gmo crops occupy 90% of U.S. Crops. Monocropping and the gmo industry in general pose severe threats to biodiversity and food security ( as well as human and environmental health). Below is a beautiful example of the necessity of biodiversity and how the addition or subtraction of one vital thread affects the whole web ( ecosystem).
Millions of years of evolution and cohabitation have left an extraordinary abundance of life on this planet. The word “biodiversity” includes all of Earth’s living organisms — plants and animals, soil microorganisms, bacteria and fungi — plus all the genetic variation within those species and the ecosystems that are home and habitat to all of this life. These ecosystems can be incomprehensibly complex. The presence — or absence — of a single organism can ripple outwards to affect the whole.
A great example of this is shown in a short PBS video about wolves’ reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park. While the wolves were gone, dynamics between the plants and animals had fallen badly out of whack. Not even the scientists who planned the wolves’ re-entry imagined the far-reaching effects: improved water quality, more pollinator habitat or stronger amphibian populations. With biodiversity restored to Yellowstone, there are more — and healthier — species in residence. Source
One of the most riveting movies I have seen regarding the gmo industry and its threat to biodiversity is called Seed the Untold Story. The next time you are looking for a movie to watch, I highly recommend it. You can find it here This is also a great educational tool for educators and community presenters. You can even purchase the movie - they make great stocking stuffers too!
In the past 80 years the world has lost a mind-boggling 94% of variety in our food seeds! ” GMO seeds are often the intellectual property of the companies that sell them, and those modifications include planting restrictions—meaning that farmers need to purchase seeds every year to produce their crops rather than plant the seeds that the plants naturally produce. Farmers planting genetically identical seeds year after year, with no possibility of natural year-over-year evolution, reduces the ability of crops to survive when faced with challenges.”Source
The subject of biodiversity is vast, profound and important. In this article I have attempted to demonstrate the importance of biodiversity , but truly this is merely a glimpse. You can learn much more by watching the aforementioned movie.
When you consider how we might preserve biodiversity ( both in our food chain and in the natural world), you have to consider who controls the food supply chain. It is staggering to realize the following. ‘There are somewhere between 50 million and 100 million farms [PDF] in the world (if you exclude those smaller than about three American football fields). But about half the crops produced by those farms rely on the seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides supplied by a mere dozen or so companies. Most of those crops are bought, traded, and transported around the world by another half dozen. Yes: Something like half of the crops on this planet are grown, processed, and shipped by fewer than two dozen companies. And when it’s time for agricultural products to be processed and distributed to stores, that’s another dozen or so, many overlapping with the aforementioned traders and suppliers.” Source
Weighing the Bad and the Really Bad
As I write this, I am sighing a lot , and my heart can hardly bear it. There is simply too much information and all of the information is very depressing. I haven’t told you about thousands of farmers in India who committed suicide over complications related to growing gmo crops. Their crops failed them, the were drowning in debt in order to purchase seed, they were drinking pesticide as a means of suicide - they were overwhelmed. This all took place in 2008 and was called the GM Genocide.
There are also farmers in various countries in Africa, who once they began to feed their cattle gmo food , were experiencing death and disease of their cattle, also causing stress and severe financial strain. Much the way that pharmaceutical companies do not bear the burden of medical costs or financial burdens if you experience adverse effects of a vaccine, the gmo food industry does not bear responsibility for farmers who have suffered directly in relation to the use of gmo feed, or the planting of gmo crops.
Quite the contrary, Monsanto ( now merged with Bayer) has a history of suing farmers in order to protect their seed patents. They did this for sixteen years straight and never lost a case. Just imagine a small broke farmer going up against a multi billion dollar corporation.
With GM seeds becoming ever dominant, namely 93% of soybeans and 86% of corn in the US being GM, as well as over half of the global seed market being controlled by three major companies (Bayer ( formerly Monsanto ) DuPont, and Syngenta), it becomes increasingly difficult for farmers to choose anything but these companies as providers.
To make things worse, Bill Gates now owns 90% of all farmland in the U.S. Somehow ( $$$$$$$ ) this man has his hands in issues of global health and food security and has a history neither in medicine nor agriculture. As scientism begins to replace science , it seems the world powers value people with money and influence more than experts. What we need more than ever, are experts in their field who genuinely care about the Earth and humanity to be at the helm. Instead we have a handful of money mongering elites hopped up on power and the globalist agenda. I think a lot of us see where this is all headed and we are doing what we can to thwart it. At the very least it is daunting , at the very worst it can be paralyzing.
Due to whitewashing and greenwashing alike, farms all over the world are currently threatened by the Globalist agenda spearheaded by The World Economic Forum. Currently farmers in the Netherlands are fighting to save 3 000 farms from being shut down. Right now online you can find videos from all over the world of people marching in the streets and speaking out against the World Economic Forum. We are gaining traction.Upon the outbreak of Covid 19, hardly anyone knew about the WEF and if you spoke of them you were considered some conspiracy theorist from the fringes of society.
I suppose the good news is the increasing awareness that gmo is nothing but bad news. Lawsuits against the industry are on the rise and their empty promises to feed the world have not gone unnoticed. “ As of October 2022, Monsanto has reached settlement agreements in nearly 100,000 Roundup lawsuits. Monsanto paid approximately $11 billion. Bayer has accomplished this by negotiating block settlement arrangements with plaintiffs’ lawyers who have large numbers of cases in the litigation.”
“Although these settlements account for nearly 80% of all pending Roundup claims, there are still about 26,000-30,000 active Roundup lawsuits. Most lawsuits have been filed in state court. But there are still over 4,000 claims in the MDL Roundup class action lawsuit pending in California.” The source for this information comes from a law firm. - that alone tells you something. Source
Whether a person is or is not in support of gmo, the evidence that it is destroying our ecosystems, pushing many species of flora and fauna to the brink of extinction and making humans sick, is undeniable. It is also the reason why it has been completely banned in 35 countries. Here is a fabulous article on that.
Thank you for hanging in there with me. Next week, I will talk about Vandana Shiva, give you some resources and mention the latest dirty tricks of the industry. I will also briefly cover labeling. I think the week after that we may need to speak about Organically grown foods to balance this all out. If you would like a brief introduction to Vandana Shiva - you can view this 10 minute video clip. If you are not on FB, you can find a different video below. This is Russell Brand and Vandana Shiva discussing agriculture and The World Economic Forum.Watch here ( very worth it! )
Thank you for hanging in there with me. The only way to be empowered is to be informed. If you read this, it is because you care - and I am glad you do! What are you doing to thwart the gmo industry? In the meantime, here is a one and a half minute video on "new gmos"
Creators of New Earth is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.