Letter to Editor: ARE “GMOs” SAFE ? The “unmentioned” side of the Story


EDITOR’S NOTE:  When the OSU Extension Office and the Pioneer started developing ideas for an ongoing column, one of the “hot topics” that was determined to be tackled first was GMOs, and due to the complexity of the subject that it would have to be divided into several articles. The following letter from Tom Bender about the “unmentioned side of story” brings up many of these other issues, often “connected” to GMOs, that will be addressed by OSU faculty in future articles. This also brings up the need for checking sources to be sure that studies and research are science-based — because you can’t believe everything you see on the internet. The information provided by OSU Extension will be science-based, data-driven research from verifiable, reliable sources. We encourage input from the community about this topic and any others that you have questions about. The OSU Extension Office is here to bring the college’s research to the community to help improve the way of life for all our citizens.
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The “unmentioned” side of the Story

The recent article on Tillamook Pioneer regarding “Are GMOs Safe to Eat” focuses only on the theoretical safety of a GMO by itself.

I don’t know the answer to that question, but do know the influence of corporate agriculture on academic research, so am not even interested in exploring that by itself.

Much more important issues are:

* Impacts on agriculture – infection of neighboring farm crops, causing them to become GMO, then lawsuits for “illegal” growing of those GMOs. Impacts on neighboring farms of use of dangerous herbicides, centralization of agriculture resulting in profiteering from “market domination”, etc.

* The majority of what are today called GMOs are recent developments, whose negative side-effects may well not yet be known. We don’t knowingly eat trees, but selection for fast growth ended up with trees extremely lacking in disease-prevention, actually ending up with LESS wood production that older tree selections.

* GMOs are tightly tied with herbicide application of products such as Roundup, including (see study below, for example) frequent spraying of (even “GMO-free”) products just before harvest. Roundup is hugely carcinogenic (below). GMOs are resistant to glyphosate, so it can be used on them, with the result that application levels are going through the roof, contaminating our air and water as well.

*Whatever the source, studies have shown commercial food products to have concentration of glyphosate in them far above our very lax safety standards. Cheerios, for example, (“GMO-free”) tested at 11,250 TIMES the “approved” concentration of glyphosate. See: “>
* Even more outrageous, Monsanto has claimed that glyphosate was the ONLY “active” ingredient in Roundup products. They actually labeled as “inert” a whole bevy of other chemicals in the products – harmful in themselves, but far more harmful in conjunction with the others. Another recent study showed that 8 out of 9 Roundup products were UP TO 1000 TIMES AS TOXIC as claimed, because of the impact of these other chemicals. And that study only looked at immediate deaths caused by the products.