Since the beginning of contemporary GMO food production 40 years ago, scientists have been stating their case for why they believe that manipulating nature to create stronger, more disease resistant organisms is the way of the future. The problem with most of their arguments, ironically, is that they seldom think of the future that they claim to care about so much. Genetically modified foods will be one of the dominoes that lead to the collapse of civilization and we need to take every step possible to end this risky and detrimental practice. There are many factors that led up to this point, and thankfully the world doesn’t need to end and mass starvation does not need to transpire as long as responsible and immediate action is taken.
The main argument used in favor of continuing the practice of GMO foods and even mass factory produce farming more generally, is that we need to do this practice to feed the 791 million people suffering from malnutrition and starvation all over the world, which seems like a noble cause, at least on the surface. According to a study conducted by Cornell University, the United States could feed 800 million people with the amount of grains that livestock eat. So instead of ending the eternal global Holocaust that kills 56 billion land animals as well as two trillion fish, and simultaneously ending world hunger by feeding those resources to starving individuals, scientists instead decided to create another problem that will only result in mass death of humans if not the complete extinction of the human race, but more on that later.
If scientists are constantly surrounded by these facts and they have access to knowledge that there are other and more efficient and moral ways of pursuing an end to these problems, then why don’t they pursue them? The answer is painfully simple and tends to be the reoccurring answer in moral and scientific issues like this. According to Monsanto’s own website they donated $435,850 directly to special interests in Washington, this is not including all of the special under the table deals that we are far too familiar with transpiring in our nation’s capital. Many of these individual scientists are afraid of losing credibility, or more importantly, funding if they decide to question these corporate giants, even if it’s the right thing to do. GMO groups like Monsanto are not expanding the food supply like they will lead you to believe, they are controlling it and will use any means necessary to maintain that control.
So what exactly are these concerns that scientists have with GMOs, monoculture, and mass produce farming in general? Put simply, this way of farming is not sustainable, despite cries from the pro-GMO side saying that it is more efficient sometimes efficiency does not translate into positive efficacy. One of the results of this monoculture mass farming system is that it is working directly against the environment. According to an article in Time World, the Earth only has 60 years of topsoil left to use. Most of this loss of topsoil is a direct result of industrial farming and continuing this practice will not only not help people starving in Africa like many of the pro-GMO scientists may claim it will, it will also essentially put the whole human race in that predicament. Subsequently, a world without industrial farming is a world without GMOs. Another detrimental factor that comes into play is that while these crops may be more resistant to diseases, that resistance can only last so long and as a result of the diversity of crops being a thing of the past, we may see the end of bananas as well as other crops. A new strain of soil fungus known as fusarium oxysporum is destroying banana plantations in Mozambique and Jordan and it’s only a matter of time before it spreads worldwide since it only takes one clump of dirt to spread this fungal disease. It affects Cavendish bananas and since that is the only genetically mass produced banana that everyone all over the world grows, we may see an end to banana bread and banana smoothies in the morning in 20 years or less. This is very likely the reality for all GMO crops too, we can only engineer the plants to be resistant to disease for so long before the diseases get so strong that they just take the agriculture world by storm. It’s not a matter of if GMOs are bad or not, it’s about which will wipe out the human race first as a result of GMOs. The eradication of our topsoil resulting in famine, starvation, and perhaps even mass extinction or a botanical epidemic revolving around pesticide resistant diseases that will make any crops that we grow be contaminated and inedible also resulting in famine, starvation, and mass extinction. Luckily, these aren’t our only two options and if we act now, we may even be able to reverse the problems created by practices like GMO food and industrialized farming.
So what exactly is this solution that will get us out of this scary, world ending mess? That solution is permaculture, which is essentially creating a relationship with nature in which both parties benefit. By growing diverse local produce that is suited for the climate and enriches the soil, we will not only end our reliance of fossil fuels to transport food, which only has a lifespan of 40 more years anyway according to Stanford Business, and empower the community to take their livelihood into their own hands rather than the hands of multibillion dollar corporations, we will also significantly reduce the chances of mass human extinction by not destroying the topsoil to a point past recovery, but will bring the soil back to life rather than killing it; and with diverse produce we will be less likely to encounter diseases that will wipe out all crops and leave us all starving. If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish he will overfish the world to death also leading to his own demise, but if you teach a man to grow food in a way that he works with nature rather than against her, he will live comfortably and happily with no fear of famine and mass extinction for the rest of his days.
Cornell University. U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat, Cornell ecologist advises animal scientists. 1997. Accessed on 1 December 2017 at http://news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat .
World Economic Forum. What if the world’s soil runs out?. 2012. Accessed on 1 December 2017 at http://world.time.com/2012/12/14/what-if-the-worlds-soil-runs-out/.
Papperntice. The Definitive Guide Building Deep Rich Soils by Imitating Nature. 2015. Accessed on 1 December 2017 at https://permacultureapprentice.com/building-soil/.
Sara Gates. Banana Fungus, Insect Outbreak Threaten Global Supply. 2013. Accessed on 1 December 2017 at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/banana-fungus-threatens-plantations-fruit-supply_n_4453573.html.
Michele Chandler. It’s About 40 Years Until the Oil Runs Out. 2008. Accessed on 1 December 2017 at https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/its-about-forty-years-until-oil-runs-out.
World Hunger. 2016 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics. 2016. Accessed on 2 December 2017 at https://www.worldhunger.org/2015-world-hunger-and-poverty-facts-and-statistics/.
Dr. Mercola. Why does Monsanto Always Win? 2012. Accessed on 2 December 2017 at https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/07/31/monsanto-powerful-influence.aspx.
Monsanto. Political Disclosures. 2016. Accessed on 2 December 2017 at https://monsanto.com/company/governance/political-disclosures/.