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On a side note.

A bit off the topic but I think it is important that people know about this.

It was 1996 when Genetically Modified crops were first planted in Argentina. Glyphosate herbicide tolerant soybeans were the beginning of the GM generation. GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) are now used in almost all soybean crops, 86% of corn and 99% of cotton in Argentina.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide/pesticide ‘Roundup’ used by pretty much all GM crops. The crops are genetically modified to resist Roundup. The monopoly named Monsanto reigns supreme in the GM seed world and are the corporation that created Roundup and Roundup Resistant crops. They are also the crew who created ‘Agent Orange’. Agent orange was used during the 60’s in the Vietnam war. Thousands US troops and Vietnamese were poisoned. 84 million gallons of Roundup are sprayed in Argentina every year. That’s 317 million litres. I wonder if any of this gets in the water supply?

There are more than 22 million hectares dedicated to GM soybeans, corn and cotton in Argentina, thus Monsanto and their GM crops are responsible for an industry that brings millions to Argentina’s economy. This being the case, Monsanto and the Government have acquired quite the friendship. Monsanto brings the money and the government allows them to do what they want. Monsanto can do as they please anywhere in North or South America. It seems to be just another case of big corporation being able to write the rule book in the Americas. Not long ago Obama signed a bill that makes Monsanto pretty much untouchable!

Foods containing GMO’s don’t have to be labelled in Argentina, so it is fair to say that if you eat food from the supermarket in Argentina you’re eating GMO’s. (High fructose corn syrup is the sweetener used in the majority of processed foods in the supermarket) What I find quite difficult to understand is the selective ignorance on the governments part to the consequences of their country’s consumption of products that contain GMO’s. Money seems to take precedence over the health of all of the people in the country!

There have been a lot of feeding studies on GMO products. Monsanto have done many of them. The thing is about their tests is that they legally only have to be conducted over a 90 day period. So as far as they are concerned GMO’s and Roundup have no detrimental effects on peoples’ or animals’ health.

In a non-Monsanto feeding study conducted in Russia over several generations of hamsters produced shocking results. Second generation GM soy fed hamsters had a five-fold higher infant mortality rate! Nearly all of the third generation GMO babies were sterile! In these hamsters the scientists also found an unusually high prevalence of a rare phenomenon – hair growing on the inside of the animals’ mouths. Considering that we reproduce quite a lot slower than hamsters, the humans here in Argentina haven’t yet seen the consequences of life time consumption and effects on generations.

In 2008 the town of Ituzaingó Annex (6000) bordering commercial soy farms in the province of Córdoba, cancer rates were 41 times the national average. Rates of neurological problems, respiratory disease and infant deformity and mortality were also astonishingly high. A court case was won my the mothers of this community, who won a municipal “buffer zone” ordinance, prohibiting aerial spraying less than 2500 meters from homes.

I’m confused. You can’t spray Roundup on people but you can spray it on the food that the people eat.

Monsanto even have a patent on the DNA of their own type of GM crop, so if the wind happened to blow some pollen from a Monsanto crop or some seeds where dropped by a bird in the next door neighbours non GM farm, Monsanto have the right to sue them.

Now I am usually pretty careful about passing judgement and try to put information in front of people so they can take what they want from it and make their own decisions, but in this case I can’t help but give my opinion. It just feels wrong! It is such a massive risk playing with the peoples food supply. Especially if there is a chance that there may be repercussions in the future. It is not worth it. I understand that a country needs an economy, but at the sacrifice of the health of the people! The problem is that the people don’t have a choice. They (myself included) have not been given the option to eat or not to eat GM food.

If you want to learn a little more. Here are some interesting sites.