The USDA recently decided to drop regulations on Monsanto’s new corn (known as MON 87411), a type of modified maize that will not only be more resistant to strong weed-killers, but which will be able to better endure pests which damage root systems.
Monsanto modified the seeds to be more tolerant to Roundup, the weed-killing agent with a controversial main ingredient, the chemical glyphosate.
Recently, The World Health Organization has come to consider glyphosate to be a possible cancer-causing substance, and Monsanto has had to deal with a slew of legal action against them of late due to this possible link. Unsurprisingly, Monsanto has strongly disagreed with this view of the chemical.
Even further, because of over-use of the pesticide, weeds have become more resistant to the chemical through natural selection, leading to breeds of “superweeds” that are resistant to herbicides.
The company plans to release commercial versions of its corn product within the next five years. In spite of the USDA decision, the corn still needs to find approval with the FDA, the EPA, and many other agencies outside of the U.S.
Table of Contents
CONCERN MOUNTS OVER NEW GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has voiced concerns about GMO crops and the possibility that more stringent rules may be needed. In particular, they have stated that more research needs to be done concerning how the presence of modified corn will affect pollinating insects, such as honeybees.
The population of wild bees has seen a dangerous decline lately, and this has been a source of alarm for some researchers. As pollinators, bees have a critical role in the production of seeds for the next generation of crops, and if the amount of bees continues to dwindle, it could have huge environmental repercussions.
According to some studies, there may be a link between the use of increasingly strong herbicides and the shrinking amount of bee colonies. American beekeepers have seen an over thirty percent loss in beehives in the last decade, and some other areas have seen losses of fifty percent. Fearing that GMOs may indirectly be at fault, a number of European nations have outright banned modified crops.
In another related issue, the USDA has been examining Syngenta’s similarly engineered corn because of the possibility of breeding “superweeds.” Their corn has been modified to resist herbicides like glyphosate, which some argue can lead to the over-use of the chemicals, and lead to strains of troublesome weeds which are extremely resistant to herbicides. While Syngenta claims that making the corn tolerant to multiple herbicides helps combat this problem, others argue that it will only make things worse.
In 2014, there were around fourteen crops in existence that had been modified to be resistant to glyphosate, one of which was also tolerant of glufosinate. There is a possibility of superweeds developing anywhere these chemical agents are over-used.
GREED, WEEDS AND SEEDS
APHIS found that MON 87411 maize did not pose a significant threat to the environment. Never mind the fact that in 2005, London-based Independent told of a secret report prepared by Monsanto, which found rats that ate genetically modified corn had smaller kidneys and higher blood counts, suggesting their immune systems had been compromised.
Meanwhile, Monsanto is currently trying to combat a plan by California environmental officials who want to list glyphosate as a cancer-causing herbicide. The biotech company threatened state regulators that such actions could be deemed illegal, given that they lack scientific bases. Furthermore, the biotech giant is facing a host of lawsuits issued by law firms representing farmers, claiming the company has known about the dangers of glyphosate for decades.
Genetically modified corn has a history of damaging crops and human health. Don’t buy into into Monsanto’s greed, weeds or seeds.
Main Source: GMO.news