Genetically modified crops threaten organic farm land

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no gmo sign(NaturalHealth365) Genetically modified crops are a contentious topic in Washington as people all over America and around the world are demanding the ban of GMOs in foods. The presence of GMOs has virtually taken over the United States food industry since they were introduced in 1996, gradually becoming an increasing threat to the environment and consumer health.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, genetically modified crops are planted on approximately 150 million hectares of farmland around the world, with the United States being the largest producer of GM crops.

In the past, consumers who wished to avoid foods with GMOs could simply shop organic, as organic food sources are not supposed to be genetically modified in any way. However, there is now growing concern over the effects of widespread genetic food engineering contaminating crops grown on organic farm land and what it may mean for the future of organic farming.

The cold reality about GMOs and the threat of ‘cross-contamination’

Generally speaking, organic farmers go to great lengths to prevent their crops from being contaminated by nearby GMO crops, but they are unable to completely prevent contamination from cross-pollination or drift. Unfortunately, cross-contamination is not only exposing consumers to GMOs, but it is also presenting an economic burden on non-GMO and organic farmers.

According to a study from the Food & Water Watch and the Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM), genetically modified crops pass their transgenes to nearby organic crops, causing non-GMO farmers added labor and expenses. They spend more money and work longer hours to protect their crops, yet many are still unsuccessful in preventing GMO contamination. Some even face organic crop rejections despite taking painstakingly difficult preventative measures to protect their farm lands.

The financial burden of cross-contamination lies squarely on the shoulders of organic farmers, as GMO crop producers are under no legal obligation to mitigate these expenses. Farmers seem to be fighting a losing battle against genetic food engineering, as federal courts have stripped them of the right to force GMO farmers to pay for their losses. This not only drives up the cost of organic foods, but it also eliminates any incentive GMO food producers may have had to avoid cross-contamination.

Is it really possible to avoid GMOs?

GMO contamination is a growing problem that is only getting worse with each planting season. It seems that the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. government, and United States Department of Agriculture are far more concerned with shielding the financial interests of the agriculture industry than protecting the health of the American public. They claim GMO foods are ‘safe’ despite the fact that genetic engineering is a radical and dangerous technology founded on baseless scientific theory.

If the government really wanted to protect consumer health, they would invest more resources into preventing cross-contamination between GMO and organic farm land and allow organic farmers to legally pursue the resources necessary to protect their crops. Better yet, they would ban genetic food engineering altogether.

Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to simply shop ‘organic’ anymore. Most of the corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified, as are many other crops. Even cows are now injected with genetically modified hormones banned by other countries.

Bottom line, we need more consumers to demand restrictions on GMO farmers, statewide GMO labeling laws and the eventual ban of GMO foods throughout the world.

Our challenge, today, is to never give up; tell everyone we know about the dangers of GMOs and take steps to protect our family by shopping for organic foods that have gone through rigorous testing to be verified as non-GMO.

Best of all, shop locally and help support the growing organic food movement. Get to know your local farmer and, better yet, start growing some of your own foods. Together, we can create a brighter world for ourselves and future generations.

References:
http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/april2014/organic-farmers-pay-price-for-GMO-contamination.php

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