Monsanto and Genetically Modified Foods
Kent State University
When people hear the term Genetically Modified foods, the name Monsanto also comes to mind. The Monsanto Seed Company has been at the forefront of genetically modified foods since the creation of their herbicide, Roundup, in the 1970’s. They began developing ‘Roundup Ready’ crops, which were sold to farmers around the world since they could withstand the effects of Roundup, thus negating the use of other herbicides and pesticides. With less chemicals used to maintain their crops, less chemicals are being ingested by humans and there are less chemicals in the environment. Roundup Ready crops have a multitude of other advantages, including higher quality, ability to grow in harsh environments, and they reduce tilling done by farmers. By reducing the amount of tilling, the farmland reaps many benefits. The soil will retain more water, less erosion occurs, and there will be less runoff of nutrients vital to plant growth. There will also be less chemicals running off into possible water supply systems. Genetically modified corn and soybean crops together make up about half of US crop acreage and they primarily go into animal feed, biofuel and processed food. (Stltoday) A staggering 70% of all processed foods in the US contain at least one GM ingredient. (learn.genetics.utah.edu) This is why many anti-GMO activists are pushing for labels on all foods containing GMO’s. They also eventually want to ban GMO’s entirely, because they believe they aren’t safe for humans or the environment.
David Zilberman, UC Berkeley Agricultural and Environmental Economist states that the use of GM crops has lowered food prices, increased farmer safety by using less pesticide, and raised output of corn, soy and cotton by 20-30%. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the world will have to grow 70% more food by 2050 to keep up with population growth. (ScientificAmerican)...