Anthony Gucciardi & Mike Barrett
Biotech giant Monsanto has been declared the Worst Company of 2011 by NaturalSociety for threatening both human health and the environment. The leader in genetically modified seeds and crops, Monsanto is currently responsible for 90 percent of the genetically engineered seed on the United States market. Outside of GM seeds, Monsanto is also the creator of the best-selling herbicide Roundup, which has spawned over 120 million hectacres of herbicide-resistant superweeds while damaging much of the soil. Despite hard evidence warning against the amplified usage of genetically modified crops, biopesticides, and herbicides, Monsanto continues to disregard all warning signs.
In a powerful review of 19 studies analyzing the dangers of GMO crops such as corn and soybeans, researchers revealed some shocking information regarding the safety of these popular food staples. Researchers found that consumption of GMO corn or soybeans may lead tosignificant organ disruptions in rats and mice – particularly in the liver and kidneys. This is particularly concerning due to the fact that 93 percent of U.S. soybeans are known to be genetically modified. Ignoring this evidence, Monsanto continues to expand their genetic manipulation.
Monsanto’s Genetic Manipulation of Nature
Outside of genetically modifying crops, Monsanto has also created a type of pesticide known as a biopesticide referred to as Bt. Bt is a toxin incorporated in GMO crops that are intended to kill different insects, however Bt usage has subsequently spawned insect populations which are resistant to the biopesticide. After being exposed to Bt, many insect populations actually mutatedto resist the biopesticide. So far at least 8 insect populations have developed resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole. Farmers are therefore forced to use even more pesticides to combat the resistant bugs.
What is the answer to this problem, according to Monsanto? To further genetically modify Bt to make it a super-pesticide, killing the resistant insects.
Tests, however, have concluded that further modified Bt toxin provided ‘little or no advantage’ in tackling the insects, despite extensive time and funding put into the research. It seems that Monsanto’s solution to everything is to further modify it into oblivion, even in the face of evidence proving this method to be highly inefficient. The research shows that this will undoubtedly lead to insects that are resistant to the most potent forms of Bt and other modified toxins, resulting in the use of even more excessive amounts of pesticides in order to combat pests.