Genetically-modified food seems to be taking over–should we surrender? Organic farmers may have to, but a major problem is that Roundup–the pesticide that is sprayed over fields of GM crops that the crops themselves are resistant to–may turn out to be dangerous to humans who eat these foods, something that of special concern to vegetarians. (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). A group of health food purveyors, including Whole Foods, has decided it’s time to give up the fight and surrender to Monsanto, the creator of genetically-modified seeds. What Whole Foods doesn’t want you to know is that 2/3 of their $9 billion annual sales of "natural" food already comes from genetically-modified products.
In the Huffington Post, Ronnie Cummins quotes a Monsanto executive as saying, "If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it." On the Institute for Responsible Technology webiste, Jeffrey Smith tells the story of plant pathologist Don Huber, who passed a farmer’s field and noticed that half of it was healthy, while the other half was yellow and dying. He found out that the dying side had originally been planted in GM alfalfa, which had been sprayed with the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, and later replanted with soybeans. The other side of the field, now planted in corn, had not formerly been planted with a GM crop, thus no Roundup had been used on it. According to Smith, "The herbicide doesn’t destroy plants directly, it rather cooks up a unique perfect storm of conditions that revs up disease-causing organisms in the soil, and at the same time wipes out plant defenses against those diseases. The glyphosate molecule grabs vital nutrients and doesn’t let them go.
Glyphosate annihilates beneficial soil organisms that live around the roots. Since they facilitate the uptake of plant nutrients and suppress disease-causing organisms, their untimely deaths means the plant gets even weaker and the pathogens even stronger. As US farmers drench more than 135 million acres of Roundup Ready crops with Roundup, plant diseases are enjoying an unprecedented explosion across America’s most productive crop lands."