The Truth About GMO’s: A Continued Search for Answers

As a long-time organic farmer, it should be no surprise my thoughts regarding GMO’s are decidedly negative. As a scientist myself, genetically modified foods just leave too many questions unanswered. Such as, what are they doing to our soils and environment?

I see many GMO crops that are “Roundup ready,” meaning that they’re resistant to glyphosate so glyphosate can be sprayed on them to kill weeds without harming the crop. But increased applications of Roundup are contaminating our soils, our rivers and now even our rain water. I see herbicide-resistant super weeds, which require more and more chemicals to control. And I see Bt-crops—which have the toxin from the Bt bacteria inserted into the plant to kill insects—producing Bt-resistant insects. In the past, Bt was an effective, and organic, insect regulator but is now quickly becoming insufficient to combat the increasing number of Bt-resistant insects.

Environment and soil contamination concerns aside, the biggest and most important question is: What are GMO’s doing to our body when we eat them? In all my years as an organic farmer and advocate for sustainable, organic agriculture, Monsanto has never once published a single peer-reviewed article demonstrating that GMO’s are healthy or even safe to eat. They have, instead, focused on discrediting and destroying the careers of any scientist publishing research that questions the safety of GMO consumption. They have carefully avoided labeling initiatives and cleverly disconnected the right of ownership so that if anything goes wrong with GMO’s, they are not responsible for the damages.

Despite the lack of credible answers to these very important questions, Monsanto has reassured us that GMO crops are essentially no different than non-GMO crops. Recent studies coming out of the UK, however, are offering more proof that there are, in fact, significant differences and not all of them are benign.

Dr. Michael Antoniou, Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College London, recently published an in-depth, molecular comparison of genetically modified corn to a non-GMO counterpart. Not surprising, the comparison produced results that were very different from Monsanto’s reassurances.

In the US, genetically modified foods have undergone testing to “prove” they are the same as their non-GMO equivalents. However, the tests done to achieve these results are little more than a basic nutritional analysis. Dr. Antoniou’s study utilized state-of-the-art molecular profiling and successfully proved just how wrong the “equality” claim really is.

More than 200 differences were discovered in Dr. Antoniou’s study between the genetically modified corn and its non-GMO counterpart. So what does that mean? Well, at least two of these differences can be toxic, which should be a concern for everyone. But it also calls the government’s approval process into question regarding the safety of genetically modified foods in general.

I don’t really know if it’s possible to taste the difference between GMO foods and non-GMO foods but I am not interested in being the guinea pig, either. And I would wholeheartedly support more published, peer-reviewed studies that take a closer look at the potential health risks of GMO’s.

For Dr. Antoniou’s published study, visit NK603 GM Corn Analysis.