This is where it all goes terribly awry. Some Monsanto botanist and some chemist must have bumped into each other in the hallway and started conversing about what each one did for the company and like the creators of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups thought it would be a great idea to add Round Up in with the GMO seeds. After all, makes sense that if you add the weed killer directly to the seed, you wouldn't have to spray the fields as much or as often. Guess they forgot to take into account the old adage that you are what you eat...
Unfortunately, just like germs and virus strains with antibiotics, the pests and weeds they were trying to combat quickly developed a resistance to this and farmers were still forced into pesticide and herbicide treatments for the crops in their fields.
Monsanto’s top 2 GMO crops are Soy and Corn and ironically, those are the 2 largest crops grown by US farmers for consumption here and abroad. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 90% of US soy and 85% of US corn is genetically modified.
A group of researchers from the Netherlands concluded a study earlier this year which compared pesticide and herbicide levels in GMO and conventionally grown corn in Iowa and published their findings in the Food Chemistry Journal. Their findings concluded that residues of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) and aminomethylphosphonic acid in all of the GMO samples. The Monsanto GMO soy samples showed levels of those pesticide/herbicide levels to be averaging 11.9 parts per million. *2
Monsanto’s own stance in 1999 was that anything over 3 or 4 parts per million was above a level Monsanto itself has characterized as "extreme." So why was the current acceptable in the US level raised to 20 parts per million? *3
According to Michael Hansen, Senior Staff Scientist at Consumers Union, there is increasing evidence that glyphosate is not the benign chemical that people thought it was. For example, last year, there was a study published that looked at just breast cancer cells that are sensitive to hormones, and they actually found low levels of glyphosate. Second, there’s increasing evidence that glyphosate might cause birth defects, and it’s also been linked in epidemiology to Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In a 2011 study, researchers for the US Geological Survey "frequently detected" glyphosate in surface waters, rain, and air in the Mississippi River basin. "The consistent occurrence of glyphosate in streams and air indicates its transport from its point of use into the broader environment," USGS stated in a press release, adding that "we know very little about its long term effects to the environment." *2
Brazil is the only country to grow more soy than is produced in the US and ironically the use of GMO crops is prohibited there. Other countries to have banned GMO’s crops or foods that contain GMO’s include: China, Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Paraguay, Shri Lanka and the UK.*4 What do all these countries know that we apparently don’t and what is the US waiting for?
Monsanto it should be noted, is not the only trusted company to produce GMO’s. Aspirin manufacturer Bayer Corp has Bayer Cropscience, Dow Chemical has Dow Agrosciences, DuPont has Pioneer Hi-Bred International. *5
*1 Monsanto’s web site http://www.monsanto.com/
*2 MotherJones.com http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/04/superweeds-arent-only-trouble-gmo-soy
*3 Living on Earth http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=14-P13-00018&segmentID=1
*4 Organic Consumers Association http://www.organicconsumers.org/gefood/countrieswithbans.cfm