Chinese cotton growers were among the first farmers to plant genetically modified (GM), bollworm-resistant cotton. However, other pests have begun attacking the cotton in place of bollworms, casting doubt on the long-term usefulness of the GM plants.
The GM crop Bt cotton has a Bacillus thuringiensis gene inserted into the seeds. This gene makes the plants produce toxins that are deadly to leaf-eating bollworms.
But now other, so-called secondary pests, such as mirids, have increased in numbers to take the bollworms' place. Because of this, Chinese farmers are now having to spray their crops with pesticides up to 20 times a growing season.
The Bt cotton initially proved useful; after three years of using it, farmers cut their pesticide use by more than 70 percent, and were earning as much as 36 percent more than their peers as a result. After seven years, however, the GM farmers needed to spray just as much as conventional farmers.
Since the Bt seed costs three times the amount of conventional seed, farmers using the GM plant were making less money in comparison.
Bt cotton is widely used in the United States, China, India, Argentina, Mexico and South Africa. It is not yet known whether or not secondary pests will become a problem in countries other than China.
GM crops are a literal prescription for disaster. They may represent the single biggest health threat known to man. If future generations don't have access to healthy food it could literally destroy the future of our culture.
The main player in this story is Monsanto and they are buying up seed companies like they are going out of style. Before long they will control nearly all commercial food seeds in the world.
If you thought the drug companies were evil, Monsanto makes them look like Mother Teresa. Monsanto has manipulated the U.S. legal system to patent seeds. This is a devastating abuse of the legal system and has resulted in them being able to successfully put out of business many farmers whose crops were contaminated with their GM seeds because it was illegal for them to grow those crops.
This is one of the worst travesties of justice I have ever seen.
This GMO observation pretty much eliminates the most important reason any farmer would consider planting many of the current round of genetically modified (GM) crops: Avoiding pesticides. Since GM crops are bad for both our environment and your health, that pretty much leaves no reason whatsoever to use them.
With GM peas causing lung damage in mice, and GM crops crossbreeding with other plants to form superweeds, isn't it clear yet that this technology does not represent an advance, but a grave danger to your health?
Just a reminder, some 70 percent of the processed foods you see in your corner grocery store contain GM ingredients. Before your next shopping trip, I urge you to review my helpful hints for separating fake foods from the real thing:
Finally, if you feel you can't afford to buy organic foods, please read Colleen Huber's excellent piece on how you can do so on your current budget.