Rebuttal to Reuters Blog Article Regarding Safety of GMO: GMO Series I

Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar published an article on May 22, 2015, entitled "If you don’t want your food genetically modified, tell nature to stop it."  His article alludes that since nature naturally evolves organisms, then GMOs are simply a part of Nature.

We disagree.  There are two types of GMO"s, bug resistant and pesticide resistant.  These crops are geared to increase yield.  The top crops are cotton, corn, wheat, soy, and sugar beets.  Whether we really needed a large abundance of these crops is speculative, because the latest commodity release says we are over flowing with yields this year (though don't expect Grocery Chains to lower the price for you).

Bug resistant crops are designed to kill everything from boll-worms to ground worms.  Unfortunately, certain bugs are adapting, and now feed off the genetically altered food, since the gene is part of its makeup.  Pesticide resistant crops are designed to withstand strong chemicals that would kill off weeds and other non-wanted growth.  The most often used chemical for weed killing is now Round Up.  We now have super weeds that are resistant to the pesticides and Round Up (yes, nature does evolve).  These weeds are not edible, and will replace crops as the farmers rotate.

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In addition to altering the environment, these powerful sprayed pesticides have been known to kill off the natural pollinators (butterflies and bees).  Without these bugs, other plants will die off.  We have lost several thousand plant species since GMO and patented seeds were introduced in the 1980s.  Some were the results of bad mixes that have since evolved chemically.  However, the common farmer must buy the genetically modified seeds; they can not save seeds to save money.  Hence, this year's crop yield will cause more destroyed food than used food.

30-year studies have shown that organically grown food produces the same yield as GMO crops.  There is less problems with the water supply, and the soil is sustainable.  With Roundup ready foods, how much do you have to bleach the food for it to be safe to eat?  The ground where the sprays are used can no longer be rotated for other crops.  Sustainability is lost, for cheap food now, 50 years later we could be facing our own food desert.  Not to mention the crops that are meant to be GMO free, but through pollination, storms, wind, etc., become contaminated with genetically modified chemicals.

Aiyar's article refers to Chipotles announcement to cease serving GMO foods as marketing (though Chipotle admits that some GMOs are part of some foods, since certain ingredients are no longer obtainable without some GMO contamination).  Kaffa Coffee & Wine Bar avoids GMOs as much as possible in the same manner.  It is obvious that species genetically evolve.  But they genetically evolve for survival.  We disagree with the claim by Aiyar that millions of GMO foods have caused no harm.  A recent study in France concluded that tumors grew in rats (along with hormonal imbalances) when fed GMO corn over a two year period.  The study also fed food contaminated with Roundup, and the incidents of problems escalated.  Roundup can now be found in tap water and human excretion.

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Humans are not designed to genetically evolve and destroy ourselves.  The natural evolution would find natural ways to avoid cancers.  We do not naturally evolve to kill pollinating insects; the natural process would have the insects evolve as well (though the undesirable insects - think cockroach - are evolving to outwit the kill chemicals).  Do you want to trust your body to these foods?  In Ice Cream (from GMO fed beef), in breads and pastas (GMO corn, wheat), and even in stream fish (released from hatcheries where fed GMO ingredients).

Kaffa Coffee & Wine Bar orders organic food as much as possible.  Some things, like cakes and chips, will not be organic.  We are working on that.  Remember, Ethiopian Food is naturally organic.  When shopping, read the labels carefully, avoid high fructose corn syrup (illegal in much of Europe, Heinz uses sugar in the Ketchup over there, as opposed to what they feed the US.)  Try to stay with non GMO foods.  Many fruits and vegetables are not yet GMO'd, but be mindful of which foods are susceptible to pesticides, and try to buy those in the Organic Section.  In addition, the next time a GMO labeling bill comes into play, throw your support behind you want a choice (just like other countries in the world enjoy).  PS, they have found GMO labeling in EU and UK to have dropped sales, hence the switch to different ingredients

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Published 8/19/2015

Research based off reading, and several viewings of the documentary "GMO, OMG."  This film is available on Netflix, or Amazon Instant Video.

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