GMOs are not environmentally friendly, and have not lessened the use of toxic chemicals—in fact, they’ve increased it.
- Many crops are genetically modified to withstand the use of extremely toxic herbicides like Roundup. However, weeds are becoming increasingly tolerant of Roundup, creating “superweeds;” so much so that a new generation of crops is being engineered to withstand an even more toxic herbicide containing 2,4-D (a known carcinogen and one of the two ingredients in the infamous Agent Orange, used as chemical warfare in Vietnam).
- Beyond super weeds, glyphosate is environmentally toxic, and is contaminating our ecosystem.
- Recent studies show that glyphosate-resistant crops are destroying bee populations and threatening our food supply.
- The widely-planted ArborGen’s GMO eucalyptus trees show the unintended consequences of introducing genetically modified species into the wild. According to the Center for Food Safety, these trees could devastate the environment and threaten natural forests by sucking up at least twice as much water as normal seeds, requiring increasing amounts of fertilizers, and contaminating vulnerable wild trees.
- From 2012 to 2013 Monarch Butterfly populations were reduced by over 40%. This dramatic decrease has been linked to the increase in the use of glyphosate and other insecticides in industrial farming. Like bees butterflies play an important role in pollination and serve as a bellwether for environmental health.
Glyphosate is moderately toxic to fish (especially rainbow trout) and highly toxic to all plant life, including aquatic vegetation. There is risk of drift onto nearby crop fields, orchards, streams, and backyard gardens.
Glyphosate and its breakdown products are very persistent in water and not further broken down by water or sunlight. A US geological report confirms that Monsanto’s Roundup persists in soil and water.
Bees are vital to the pollination for a majority of crops that humans depend on. According to the United Nation’s Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner, “The fact is that of the 100 crop species that provide 90 per cent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.” http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=37731#.U-0JkVZrzG4