Are GMO's in food safe?

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Are GMO's in food safe? by Mind Map: Are GMO's in food safe?

1. Benefits To Farmers

1.1. "GM crops can be produced to be herbicide resistant. This means that farmers could spray these crops with herbicide and kill the weeds, without affecting the crop. In effect, the amount of herbicide used in one season would be reduced, with a subsequent reduction in costs for farmers and consumers."

1.2. "...biotech crops contributed $5 billion in net farm-level economic benefit to farmers -- or $5.6 billion if the additional income arising from a second crop of soybean in Argentina is included." "Combining biotech insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant traits in corn has boosted farm income by more than $3.1 billion since the traits' introductions."

1.3. Farmers in Indian have readily taken to GMO crops, more so than any other country. "Farmer Eknath Shivram Pandit has grown corn and cotton for nearly 15 years and recently switched to GMO cotton." Pandit has experienced many benefits from his GMO crops, such as improved insect control with less pesticide spraying, and increase in yield of his crops resulting in improved quality of life for his family.

2. World Hunger

2.1. "A growing number of African scientists are slowly accepting the idea of genetically modified food, as a solution to the continent's perennial food crisis."

2.2. As our global population grows by more than 70 million each year, the planet requires more agriculture to produce more food with less land and water. "Scientists believe biotechnology holds great potential to help farmers produce more food — and healthier food — with fewer resources."

2.3. Golden Rice, the creation of Syngenta, is intended to provide essential nutrients to those who are most in need of mixed diet and cannot afford to otherwise provide proper nutrition. Professors Peter Beyer and Ingo Portrykus, and the crop protection company Syngenta, have donated it for humanitarian use in developing countries, free of charge.

3. Corporate Control/Monsanto

3.1. "As a precondition to buy seeds, either to plant for crops or to use in research study, Monsanto and the gene giant companies must first sign an End User Agreement with the company." During the main growth of GMO's in the past ten years, Monsanto and the other large seed firms, DuPont and Syngenta, have required anyone buying their seeds to sign an agreement stating they are prohibited from doing any independent research. Therefore scientists "are prohibited from testing a seed to explore under what conditions it flourishes or even fails."

3.2. "Monsanto goes after farmers, farmers’ co-ops, seed dealers." Anyone they suspect may have infringed on their GMO seeds. According to court records, "Monsanto relies on a shadowy army of private investigators and agents in the American heartland to strike fear into farm country." They use secret video footage and photography to gather information and use informants at community gatherings.

3.3. Monsanto is the world’s largest seed firm, and has a near monopoly in the traits belonging to GMO seeds. GM seeds are at least twice as expensive as conventional seeds. The company also markets Roundup, the world’s biggest selling herbicide

4. Risks Of GMO's

4.1. In an article entitled, Spilling the Beans: Unintended GMO Health Risks, the Organic Consumers Association claims GMOs can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems.

4.2. "GMO foods cause a higher risk for Children," Michael Meacher, the former minister of the environment for the UK, said. "Any baby food containing GM products could lead to a dramatic rise in allergies. " GM corn is particularly problematic for children, as they generally eat a higher percentage of corn in their diet.

4.3. "Milk made with rBGH has higher levels of IGF-1, a hormone considered to be a high risk factor for breast, lung, and other cancers. Studies suggest that pre-menopausal women who have levels of IGF-1 are seven times more likely to develop breast cancer."

5. Benefits to Human Health And The Environment

5.1. "On the horizon are bananas that produce human vaccines against infectious diseases such as hepatitis B; fish that mature more quickly; cows that are resistant to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease); fruit and nut trees that yield years earlier, and plants that produce new plastics with unique properties."

5.2. Many African nations rely on rice for a large part of their diet. "The problem is that there naturally isn’t a whole lot of nutritional nourishment in rice and other grains." The biggest problem in these countries is iron deficiency and lack of Vitamin A. Lacking these essential nutrients can cause anemia, poor eye sight, impaired growth, lack of cognitive development, higher rate of sickness, and high mortality. " It’s because of all this that the general problem of poor dietary quality has been dubbed ‘hidden hunger’." Genetic modification can solve this problem

5.3. The GM industry has produced an oil from soybean modification that produces omega-3 fatty acids, essential to health and proven to reduce the risk of heart disease.

6. Lack of Regulation

6.1. Five countries regulate genetically modified organisms: Canada, USA, Mexico, Japan and the European Union. All have considered the role of labels in the new method of production. "...only the EU requires labels that specify the presence of GMOs".

6.2. Lack of labeling in GMO's violates our basic rights as citizens. Consumers want to know what is in the food they are buying.

6.3. " The Canadian Federation of Agriculture says the industry faces huge losses if mandatory labelling is implemented". The industry fears that consumers will see the GMO label and avoid those foods. This will lead to food processors reformulating their foods and no longer using GMO's. Labels also "will increase the price of foods produced and processed in Canada."