A common claim by the makers of GMO crops such as Monsanto and DuPont is that the highly controversial plants reduce pesticide use, but a recent peer-reviewed study says that those claims are patently false.
The study was released today on GMO crops by Charles Benbrook, who is a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University.
The numbers were staggering: A total of 527 million pounds of extra herbicides were used on the crops since they were first planted in 1996, which are gene-spliced to be resistant to them so as to theoretically increase yields, another claim that has been strongly questioned in the past. That’s a staggering number considering the transition period Monsanto went through to get farmers to plant the crops in the first place.
While the number of insecticides has actually dropped, by 123 million pounds, the extra herbicide use has alarmed many scientists and has contributed to bans or suspensions of GMO crops in various countries, along with a new study showing massive, persistent tumors in rats fed genetically modified foods.
Genetically modified foods are still a mystery to many Americans, but the main ones to watch out for are products containing non-organic corn, canola, sugar beets (ie “sugar” on packages), soy, and cottonseed oil.
GMOs and Pesticides: What Monsanto Stands to Gain
Of course, the main pusher of genetically modified foods, aka GMOs, is the multi-national corporation Monsanto, based in St. Louis, Missouri.
Monsanto has been the target of protests from across the country include multitudes of activists in European countries that are afraid the crops will be adopted and cross contaminate their proud natural food industries.
In America, the crops are grown in the open air fields of the Midwest and many other regions, and spread as the wind blows or bees pollinate them.
Monsanto continually claims that GMOs reduce pesticide use, especially Roundup, their best selling weed killer (which has also been classified in studies as a strong carcinogen), but this study shows the opposite.
Roundup has been found in pregnant mothers and in drinking water and many worry about the effects it has on soil diversity, the environment, and other aspects of the ecosystem.
Will GMO, Pesticide Study Help Labeling Initiative?
The study was conducted from 1996 through 2011, and is yet another long-term study has been released at the perfect time for advocates of the GMO labeling bill in California, Prop 37, that could be a precedent setter for the U.S.
The U.S. lags behind many other countries in terms of labeling or banning the GMO crops, but the vote in November could be huge for people who are fans of freedom from GMOs and a return to a natural food supply that is nourishing and does not encourage the use of more pesticides.
Recently, an interview of GMO labeling campaign initiative spokesperson Stacy Malkan revealed that a possible federal lawsuit could result if Prop 37 passes, but the campaign believes it has an answer for such a scenario, as Malkan revealed in the article.
Until then, GMO freedom advocates will continue to spread the word about studies showing a multitude of devastating effects from the crops, which were unleashed on the American people without their knowledge or consent.
Nicholas Tomasi is an AP-Award winning sports journalist and author turned health researcher. He currently runs AltHealthWORKS, a website dedicated to alternative medicine, organic food and the GMO-free movement.