5 Ways GMOs are Destroying Our Planet
A great deal of information has been published regarding the dangers of eating GMO foods — and for good reason. There are many scary side effects that may be associated with consuming these “Frankenfoods”. However, the danger posed by GMOs is not merely limited to our diets; the production of GMOs is harmful to the planet in a variety of ways, and there may be even more serious long-term ramifications that we are yet to consider.
1. Toxic Chemicals From Pesticides in Our Soil
Despite what Big Agra says, GMO production remains in its early stages, and much research and testing on the safety remains to be seen. Add to this the widespread use of a variety of chemicals used in herbicides, fungicides and pesticides, namely, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp. When these chemicals are sprayed onto agricultural fields—in VERY heavy amounts, nonetheless, let’s not forget GMOs are created to withstand extraordinarily high doses of pesticide without being affected—they inevitably spread, penetrating the soil and damaging its nutrient quality. The resulting toxicity is dangerous and often harmful to the natural environment, in addition to any humans who are exposed.
2. Loss of Biodiversity
The use of toxic chemicals in GMO production may impact certain species differently, and could even lead to the loss of unique plant and animal species. These concerns are particularly poignant on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where its isolation has led to unique, indigenous species, but has also made it an ideal location for GMO testing. This battle is currently ongoing, and as long as this environment is exposed to these toxic compounds, the unique species on the island remain at risk of extinction.
3. Water Contamination
The toxic chemicals used to protect the production of GMOs have a way of making it into the surrounding environment, again as evidenced by the case example of Kauai. These chemicals inevitably make their ways into rivers, and run into the ocean, damaging river life along their path, and sea and coral life in the ocean, where they are able to spread even further. Furthermore, toxic chemicals have the potential to seep into groundwater, and thereby find their way into drinking water. The ability of toxic chemicals to spread through water, and contaminate it in the process, is another serious risk associated with GMO production.
4. Unhealthy Gut Flora and Drug Resistance
Both the process of genetically modifying organisms, and the associated use of toxic chemicals, have the potential to lead to drug resistance. In addition to the grave threat of compromised gut flora and antibiotic resistance, insects and plants may also develop similar forms of resistance. These developments could lead to serious long-term consequences, producing microbes capable of spreading mass diseases, and durable insects and plants free to prey on the environment and crops unchecked. This potential risk may not seem pressing, but resistance can develop very quickly, and agricultural production (among other things), could be seriously impacted before we know it.
5. The Unknown Long-Term Effects
One one study has ever been conducted on the long-term effects of GMO foods—and the results were disturbing, to say the least. In reality, our knowledge of GMOs and their impact on not only humans, but animals and the environment, is very underdeveloped. With the development of this technology being only a few decades old, and its widespread usage being much more recent, the long-term effects of this industry remain unknown. When this uncertainty is coupled with the multitude of warning signs that are already popping up regarding GMOs, it seems only logical to take precautions, and limit or eliminate our reliance on this system of agriculture.
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Derek is a technical writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the health care field, having first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware. He is a contributing author on a number of textbooks in the medical field, ran a nuclear cardiology licensing course, and has written a variety of other pieces from online training courses to medical software manuals. Derek pursues his personal interest in health and wellness by playing multiple sports and running marathons. An insatiable traveler, he spent 16 months working and living abroad while traveling through South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.