A Comprehensive Look at the Past, Present, & Future of Monsanto
Part 3: The Future
by Senior Clinician Victoria Fisher
Over the past 100 years, Monsanto has grown into the world leader in bio-agriculture. The company now has great influence in the American government, and has successfully lulled the public into a false sense of security regarding our food. But what is Monsanto’s potential impact on the world to come?
For decades, Monsanto has made the claim that their genetically modified (GM) seeds will improve farming sustainability and reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides. Since the introduction of GM crops, the use of herbicides has increased by 16 times. Because of this, weeds are becoming increasingly resistant to glyphosate and other chemicals, creating “super-weeds.” These weeds are causing farmers to have to spray more often, use larger amounts of pesticides/herbicides, and use a greater variety of pesticides/herbicides on their crops. This does not come without consequences. Recent studies have shown that pregnant women exposed to this increase of pesticides/herbicides have a greater risk of unfavorable birth outcomes. Future generations of children being born with this toxic exposure have a greater risk of epigenetic changes, which can lead to autism, heart disease, and cancer.
Not only is Monsanto jeopardizing the future of our children; our wildlife, and ultimately our food supply, is at risk as well. Honey bees are dying out at an alarming rate, mainly due to pervasive insecticide use. Without honey bees, up to 80% of US flowering crops would fail. Monsanto claims that bees are succumbing to the Varrao mite, yet the EPA admitted in 2016 that the increased use of neonicotinoids (a class of insecticides) is to blame. The irony is that neonicotinoids are used to kill the Varrao mites, the very thing Monsanto claims is killing the bees!
The US-based company has made every effort to expand its reach to all continents, but everyone isn’t welcoming Monsanto with open arms. Country after country is rising up against the biotech giant and banning their products. There are now 38 countries that have officially banned the use of GM crops, including 28 countries in the European Union. Countries that have not instituted an official ban often have laws that require GM foods to be labeled. It seems like governments across the globe are catching on to the fact that GM crops do more harm than good. Sadly, the US shows no signs of following in these countries’ footsteps.
Monsanto has stated that in order to increase crop yield and feed the world, farmers should utilize GM seeds. But the New York Times found that both the US and Canada have not experienced the promised increase in crop yields since embracing GM seeds. In fact, it has been found that crops often yield less than their conventional or organic counterparts. If GM crops are producing less food and requiring more pesticides and herbicides, how are they going to secure the world’s food supply?
It is clear that Monsanto and other biotech giants are dangerous companies that are jeopardizing our food, our children, and our planet. But there is hope! We as consumers can make a difference! Purchase foods that are certified non-GMO. Support small local farms while buying fresh dairy, meat, eggs and produce. Take it a step further and support anti-GMO organizations at the state and national level. Let your voice be heard!
Victoria Fisher, RN, NTP
Victoria is the Senior Clinician at the Well of Life Center for Natural Health. The Well of Life Center is a holistic wellness center that specializes in nutrition, chiropractic, massage services, and more. Celebrating their 11th year in business, the Well of Life Center has locations in Doylestown and Bethlehem, as well as a Spa & Fitness center in Ottsville, PA. For more information, please visit welloflifecenter.com.