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Why Grow GM Crops That Need Pesticides Anyway?

August 24, 2006 | 6,978 views
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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.

 

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

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:

  • Reduce or Eliminate Processed Foods. Some 75 percent of processed foods contain GM ingredients. There are many reasons why processed foods are not optimal for your health -- for instance they often contain trans fat, acrylamide and little nutritional value -- so avoiding them will not only help you to cut back on the amount of GM foods you are consuming, but will also boost your health.

     

  • Read Produce and Food Labels. GM soybeans and corn make up the largest portion of genetically modified crops. When looking at a product label, if any ingredients such as corn flour and meal, dextrin, starch, soy sauce, margarine, and tofu (to name a few) are listed, there's a good chance it has come from GM corn or soy, unless it's listed as organic.

     

  • Buy Organic Produce. Buying organic is currently the best way to ensure that your food has not been genetically modified. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs.

     

  • Look at Produce Stickers. Those little stickers on fruit and vegetables contain different PLU codes depending on whether the fruit was conventionally grown, organically grown or genetically modified. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.

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.

 

 


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