Be Informed

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS? - Be informed

What-On-Earth-are-GMOs

There are two main reasons for genetically modified organisms in our world today.  First, seed producers modify their seed to make it resistant to their brand of herbicide.  And second, seed producers modify plants to contain built-in pesticides.

GMO ingredients are found in 80% of packaged foods in the United States!  GMO crops are also added to processed foods as oils, sweeteners, and soy proteins and in things like amino acids, aspartame, vitamin C, flavorings (natural and artificial), maltodextrins and much more.

GMO crops grown in the United States (as percentage of each crop that is GMO from 2010 statistics) include: 86% of all corn, 90% of all canola, 93% of all soy and 93% of all cotton is GMO.

HEALTH implications of GMO foods and ingredients: GMOs have not been proven safe. The long term consequences of GMOs on our health and environment have not been adequately investigated.

Avoiding GMO ingredients: Choosing organic foods is one way of avoiding GMO ingredients in food.  The USDA Certification states that ‘the use of genetically engineered organisms and their products are prohibited at any stage in organic production, processing or handling.’  The Non-GMO Project Verified Products List is another way of avoiding GMOs in our food.  Products bearing this seal have undergone independent testing to ensure they have been made according to best practices for GE avoidance.

GMO labeling & GMO Bans: The United States and Canada do not require labeling of genetically engineered foods.  In 40 countries, including Australia, Japan and all European Union nations, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production of GMOs because they are not considered proven safe.

GMO Facts

GMOs or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges dna from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

Are GMOs safe?

Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In 61 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.

Are GMOs labeled?

Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the informed choice they deserve.

How does GMO Awareness come in?

If people stop buying GMOs, companies will stop using them and farmers will stop growing them. We aim to make more and more people aware until a tipping point of consumer rejection happens and the market for GMOs collapses.

Do Americans want non-GMO foods and supplements?

Polls consistently show that a significant majority of North Americans would like to be able to tell if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs (a 2008 CBS News Poll found that 87% of consumers wanted GMOs labeled). And, according to a recent CBS/New York Times poll, 53% of consumers said they would not buy food that has been genetically modified.

How common are GMOs?

In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food.

What are the impacts of GMOs on the environment?

Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs:’ which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.

How do GMOs affect farmers?

Because GMOs are novel life forms, biotechnology companies have been able to obtain patents with which to restrict their use. As a result, the companies that make GMOs now have the power to sue farmers whose fields are contaminated with GMOs, even when it is the result of inevitable drift from neighboring fields. GMOs therefore pose a serious threat to farmer sovereignty and to the national food security of any country where they are grown, including the United States.

More GMO Facts

Click here to download “GMO Myths and Truths” – An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops. This 2012 document is prepared by the preeminent researchers and scientists: Michael Antoniou, Claire Robinson, and John Fagan.


Global-Biotech-e1420438171610

This Executive Summary focuses on the highlights of ISAAA Brief 46, details of which are presented and discussed in the full Brief, “Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/gm crops: 2013”.

Biotech crops increase in 2013 in their 18th consecutive year of commercialization.

A record 175.2 million hectares of biotech crops were grown globally in 2013, at an annual growth rate of 3%, up 5 million from 170 million hectares in 2012. This year, 2013, was the 18th year of commercialization, 1996-2013, when growth continued after a remarkable 17 consecutive years of increases; notably 12 of the 17 years were double-digit growth rates.

Biotech crops fastest adopted crop technology

The global hectarage of biotech crops have increased more than 100-fold from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to over 175 million hectares in 2013 – this makes biotech crops the fastest adopted crop technology in recent history. This adoption rate speaks for itself in terms of its resilience and the benefits it delivers to farmers and consumers.

Millions of risk-averse farmers, both large and small, world-wide, have determined that the returns from planting  biotech crops are high, hence repeat planting is virtually 100%.

In the 18 year period (1996-2013), millions of farmers in ~30 countries worldwide, adopted biotech crops at unprecedented rates. The most compelling and credible testimony to biotech crops is that during the 18 year period, millions of farmers elected to make more than 100 million independent decisions to plant and replant an accumulated hectarage of more than 1.6 billion hectares. This is an area equivalent to >150% the size of the total land mass of the US or China which is an enormous area. There is one principal and overwhelming reason that underpins the trust and confidence of risk-averse farmers in biotechnology – biotech crops deliver substantial, and sustainable, socio-economic and environmental benefits. The comprehensive EU 2011 study conducted in Europe, confirmed that biotech crops are safe.

27 countries grow biotech crops in 2013

Of the 27 countries which planted biotech crops in 2013, 19 were developing and 8 were industrialized countries. Each of the top 10 countries (of which 8 were developing) grew more than 1 million hectares providing a broad-based worldwide foundation for continued and diversified growth in the future. More than half the world’s population, 60% or ~4 billion people, live in the 27 countries planting biotech crops.