What is a GMO? – Backyard Food Growing


GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, sometimes also known as Genetically Engineered Organism. I will start by saying that this article is written very much in my opinion of GMO, you may or may not agree. 

I believe that GMO foods might be adversely affecting our health, in ways we don’t completely understand yet. Many countries have already banned use of GMO seeds, including its’ related farming methods and the food that is produced from it.

Some of the countries that have rejected GMO’s are Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria and Luxembourg, New Zealand, Madeira and Switzerland. They have all banned the sale, use and planting of GMO seeds. Several more countries have partial or selective bans on GMO use.

Please refer to this complete list of countries that have both rejected and embraced the use of GMO seeds. (Source: NaturalRevolution.org)

The USA (most of it), Canada, Brazil and Argentina produce 90% of the GMO crops for use around the world. The USA has recently banned GMO labeling! (source) This means that you won’t know if you are buying a GMO product or not. 

GMO’s are reported to be the answer to our food crisis while reducing pesticide use. This is not turning out to be true. There are studies clearly showing an increase in pesticide use in the first 16 years of planting GMO crops. This evaluation from Environmental Science Europe concluded that:

Herbicide-resistant crop technology has led to a 239 million kilogram (527 million pound) increase in herbicide use in the United States between 1996 and 2011, while Bt crops have reduced insecticide applications by 56 million kilograms (123 million pounds). Overall, pesticide use increased by an estimated 183 million kgs (404 million pounds), or about 7%. (Source)

This is due to the fact the the pests are becoming increasingly resistant to the neonicotinoid pesticides that they are coated with, so more and more of it has to be sprayed to keep up. These same pesticides are also decimating the beneficial insect populations. This allows the pests to thrive without natural predators.

This TED video explains why the bees are disappearing and how that’s related to the planting and cultivation of GMO crops. (15 minutes)

The people behind GMO’s will say there are no consequences to be concerned of. This information, mind you is coming directly from the companies that create and distribute GMO seeds and foods. They have a huge vested interest in the promotion of GMO’s so the information is going to be very biased at best. There are many people who believe and say that food produced from GMO seeds is totally safe and we should not be concerned at all about them.

There are many people, myself included, who believe that GMO’s are not safe in any way shape or form. There are so many unanswered questions about the use and the consequences of eating GMO foods.

GMO’s have not been proven safe at all as the proponents would have you believe. The cotton crops in India have been devastated since the introduction of GMO seeds as well. However, some say the problem is more complex than just GMO seed use on its own.

Get your free download: This is a 331 page report available for download from EarthOpenSource.org about the myths and truths surrounding GMO. This is independent of myself.

How is a GMO produced?

Genetically modified organisms are animals or plants where parts of the DNA from one organism are introduced into and made a part of the DNA of another. This causes proteins to form which then produces a specific desired result.

The purpose is to introduce a characteristic to the seed that doesn’t normally take place in nature. It can be introducing a pesticide to create a resistance to insects, an increased ability to grow in poor soil or it might add a gene or a virus that would create the ability for the plant to grow in extreme temperatures, both high and low or to acquire many other desirable characteristics.

So, in practice a seed would gain the ability to kill insects by itself…but still grow as food. This is how it can be registered as food as well as a pesticide at the same time.

Dr. Mercola states: “You can’t cover a plant seed with poison and expect it to be free of unintended consequences.”  In my opinion, GMO seeds and the food produced from them isn’t healthy for us. There’s just too much we don’t understand.

See this list for more PDF downloads of scientific studies done into the use of GMO seeds and their associated pesticides.