Here are some of the issues with GMO foods:
They are herbicide tolerant - which means that if its not cost effective to remove weeds by tilling or picking, producers (I won't even call them farmers) can spray one very powerful herbicide that won't hurt the food, just kill the weeds. Monsanto, a big proponent of GMO, has created a soybean that can be sprayed with their herbicide product RoundUp. (Let me say right here - does anyone see a conflict of interest the company that is creating this modified food is also the one selling the herbicide?) The next issue is weeds, and all other living things find a way to survive. So as the weeds become more tolerant to RoundUp, the next step is to develop a new soybean that can be sprayed with a compound similar to Agent Orange. Anyone remember that from Vietnam War? Well if you are too young it was developed by, oh guess who? Monsanto and Dow. Sprayed nearly 20,000,000 US gallons to defoliate forested and rural land to kill the cover for the enemy. The effect on veterans? Increased cancer, nerve, digestive, skin and respiratory disorders, and that doesn't even start the list. These are the guys that want you to believe the food is okay.
Studies have been done claiming pollen from treated corn caused high mortality rates in monarch butterfly caterpillars. The pollen from the corn, blown on the milkweed that the larvae feed on. A similar observance was seen with bees. And labeling. Here's something I completely cannot understand. Why we can't have the food that is GMO modified labeled as such. The chemical lobbyist have fought this one because why? If it's so safe then why not label it? Because most people won't buy it, that's why. And the scary part? We're already eating this stuff because 90 percent of corn and 95 percent of soy grown in the US is genetically modified.
The companies will say there are lots of good things - crops that can withstand lack of rain, crops that can have nutrition built into them, food that can have medicines and vaccines in them. The claim is this will be great for third-world countries. May yes. Maybe no. If the long term effect is cancer, birth deformities, tumors, sterility, etc., as some critics feel might happen then are we really doing these third-world countries any favors?
For me - I'm with Joni Mitchell in her song Big Yellow Taxi - "Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees."
I'll grow my own, support local farmers and make whatever difference I can on my little spot of land. As for the companies such as Monsanto and Dow I ask this - what are your children and grandchildren going to eat?