Genetically modified soy plants are a huge risk to our health, the health of our planet, and of our future generations.
Soybeans are now commonly genetically modified to produce hearty crops that are resistent to mold, bugs, and other disease that would limit production. In 2007, about 60% of soybean crops were genetically modified.
Monsanto is one of the huge producers of soybeans, and has genetically created a strain called Roundup Ready, which can survive being sprayed with Roundup, a common herbicide. Roundup keeps other plants from growing near the soybeans and taking away its resources.
These soybean plants are also modified to resist fungicide and pesticides, which means the farmers can spray to kill mold and bugs.
In theory, this sounds great... They are resistent to bad things, so we will have better, healthier crops, right?
Genetic modification of plants is completely untested for health risks, and has only risen to prominence since about 1995. The problem is that since scientists have not studied the risks, we do not yet know what might happen. With only around 10 years of data, it's hard to know the long-term risks.
There are a few dangers that we do know about now though.
The biggest issue is that the natural properties of the food are altered with genetic modification. For instance, in GM soybeans, there are different amounts of natural isoflavones, the healthy part of the soybean. Do you want someone messing with the healthiest foods on earth?
We know that supplements are never as good as the actual food, and especially with the soybean controversy right now surrounding isoflavones, the last thing we need is for them to be altered.
It appears now that these GM crops can carry harmful toxins and that they likely increase allergic responses to the food.
The crop production also now infringes upon the rainforest since a great deal of land has been cleared to produce soybeans.
Needless to say, there are many chemicals in the genetically modified soybean crops. Nature has a way of regnerating itself and it will produce resistence to the chemicals we have now, which will force us to come up with ever stronger chemicals. Pesticide resistence is a real problem.
These genetically modified soy crops are typically used to feed animals, especially the cows, chickens, and pigs on factory farms across the Americas. Those cows are then fed to humans, and so we are actually ingesting those genetically altered soybeans, whether we like it or not. Unless we don't eat animals or their byproducts.
Most of the soybean crops grown in the US and Argentina have been genetically modified. The European Union resists using GM soybeans, but after certification, it will allow them. However, many individual countries have outlawed GMO, or at the very least require food products that contain them to be labeled.
In the United States we consistently protect the rights of big corporations like Monsanto that specialize in the genetic modification of foods. (Monsanto is the producer of Roundup-ready seeds that are able to survive the harsh pesticides and fertilizers sprayed onto crops.)
Have you heard about the disappearing bees? Scientists now believe a large reason for colony collapse issues with bees is linked to the neonicotinoid pesticides used on genetically modified crops. What we should be focusing on is that the fact that if we allow bees to go extinct, we will also be forcing many fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains into extinction because they need the pollination work from bees to grow.
If we really want to experience some crazy dilemmas, we will keep modifying the perfect foods grown in our earth and forcing animals into extinction.
Another big issue with Monsanto's crops is that these GM soybeans can easily contaminate other non-GMO crops nearby when bees/birds/other bugs do pollinate the plants and when breezes carry the pollin to nearby farms. This reeks of GMO taking over the world and us being unable to stop it.