I found this at Exposing The Truth the other day and planned on condensing it down before sharing it here, but there’s so much good information packed into this article, I’ve changed my mind and decided to post it as I found it. Monsanto and the big agricultural industry as a whole is indeed killing us in the name of huge profits.
Ten Ways Monsanto and Big Ag Are Trying to Kill You – And the Planet
Energy-intensive industrial farming practices that rely on toxic chemicals and genetically engineered crops are not just undermining public health–they’re destroying the planet. Here’s how:
#1 Generating Massive Greenhouse Gas Pollution (CO2, Methane, Nitrous Oxide) and Global Warming; While Promoting False Solutions Such as Industrial Biofuels, So-Called Drought-Resistant Crops, and Genetically Engineered Trees
Evaluations of corn grown for ethanol show that whatever reduction in emissions you get from burning corn instead of oil in the gas tank is more than offset by the fact that producing biofuel from corn requires as much fuel as it could replace.
Corn production, like the production of all of the crops (corn, cotton, canola, soy, and now, sugar beets and alfalfa) that Monsanto has so successfully industrialized through its business model of selling patented GMO seeds to increase the use of its pesticides, is very fossil fuel intensive.
But that’s just the beginning of Monsanto’s contribution to agriculture’s green house gas emissions. With ever-increasing acreage, where are all those GMO crops going? They’re being fed to animals, and when you look at emissions from factory farms, you’ll wish we burned them in the gas tank instead!
Added to the greenhouse gas emissions from crop production and factory farms is the pollution related to heavily processed food and the fact that food in the U.S. travels anywhere from 1500 to 3000 miles to reach your plate and must be either cooled or frozen in transit or storage. That’s fossil fuel intensive, too.
Before we total the life cycle contribution of Monsanto’s crops to greenhouse gas emissions, we have to take several steps back and acknowledge that clearing land to grow GMO crops for animal feed is the biggest driver of forest and wetland destruction, which generates 20% of all climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases.
All told, the production and processing of Monsanto’s GMO crops, from deforestation to fossil-fuel-based pesticides and fertilizers, polluting factory farms, and fuel-intensive food processing and distribution, is estimated to produce up to 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
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#2 Polluting the Environment and the Soil-Food Web with Pesticides, Chemical Fertilizers, and Persistent Toxins, Including Dioxin
Industrial agriculture’s heavy reliance on pesticides and fertilizers is responsible for the release of many dangerous toxins into our environment, but since Monsanto first commercialized genetically engineered crops in the 1990s, we’ve been exposed to one more than any other. It’s common name is glyphosate, but Monsanto markets it as RoundUp and has created “RoundUp Ready” crops to promote it. RoundUp Ready crops are genetically engineered to withstand endless amounts of RoundUp. The success of Monsanto’s business model has made RoundUp the most-used pesticide in the history of the world.
The trouble is, RoundUp is very toxic. It’s known to cause cancer, birth defects and infertility. In fact, some scientists are now saying it’s more dangerous than DDT.
It only took about 15 years for the RoundUp Ready technology to begin to fail, with RoundUp-tolerant super-weeds springing up across the country and farmers having to resort to more and more toxic pesticides for weed control. The biotech industry says it has a solution: replace RoundUp Ready crops with a new type of GMO, “2,4-D Ready” crops.
As dangerous as RoundUp is turning out to be, the only thing worse would be 2,4-D replacing RoundUp’s as the most popular pesticide in the world. The use of 2,4-D releases dioxin. Dioxin is what has made Agent Orange, which contained 2,4-D, a source of horrific birth defects in Vietnam to this day. Genetically engineered 2,4-D-tolerant crops would be a disaster of untold proportions.
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#3 Turning Farmland into Desert
In the U.S., the soil’s capability to sequester carbon has been severely deteriorated due to the enormous increase in the use of nitrogen fertilizers, mostly to raise Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops for animal feed. The soil should be a sink for excess carbon but has lost about 50% of its organic matter, making it is less than half as effective as it used to be. Many of our most productive agricultural lands have been degraded or desertified because of industrial production.
Recent studies on the University of Illinois Morrow plots (the oldest continuously farmed experimental plots in the U.S.) have shown that since 1955, when synthetic nitrogen was first used, 40-190% too much nitrogen was applied, yet yields dropped and organic matter declined dramatically. These problems on the Morrow plots are writ large on millions of acres of agricultural soils that have been degraded by synthetic fertilizer all over this country.
Synthetic nitrogen fertilizer kills soil life, including earthworms and microorganisms. In addition to reduced yields, degraded and deadened soils produce less nutritious food.
#4 Poisoning Drinking Water, Acidifying the Oceans,
Synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is also responsible for the nitrate poisoning of two-thirds of the U.S. drinking water supply. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is the major cause of the 405 oceanic dead zones around the world (including the Gulf of Mexico, the Chesapeake Bay, and the coasts of California and Oregon). Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn uses more fertilizer than any other crop.
#5 Chopping Down the Rainforests for Monoculture GMO Crops, Biofuels and Cattle Grazing
Clearing land to grow GMO crops for animal feed is the biggest driver of forest and wetland destruction, which generate 20% of all climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases. In Argentina and Brazil, Monsanto’s genetically engineered soy is the main cause of deforestation.
Argentina has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world with an average of 0.8% of the forest cut down each year, against a global rate of 0.23%. During the period 2002-2006, 1,108,669 hectares of forest were lost. That is 277,000 hectares per year, equivalent to 760 hectares per day or 32 hectares per hour. The speed with which CÃ³rdoba’s forests are disappearing is unmatched worldwide, it even surpasses that of tropical forests in poor countries. This is a ecological tragedy for the primitive forests which shelter a biodiversity found nowhere else on the planet.
In Brazil, the soy output increased 7.2 percent in 2011, causing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon to jump sixfold.
#6 Increasing the Cost of Food, While Reducing Nutrition and Biodiversity
This business press (http://www.forbes.com/
Nowhere has the connection between Monsanto’s fortunes and farmers’ misfortunes been so clear as in India where 200,000 farmers have committed suicide since 1997. For many Indian farmers growing Monsanto’s genetically engineered Bt cotton, it is their only means of escaping the debt they’ve accrued to obtain the seeds and pesticides.
BBC News: Report Sought on India Farm Suicides
Monsanto has made food and farming more expensive, while reducing the nutrition and variety of food available to the average consumer. The world’s farmers and consumers now grow and eat a small number of crops (corn, cotton, soy, canola, sugar beets and alfalfa). The result is that we’re eating a lot more of these few crops, mostly in the form of animal products, oils & fats, and sugars. The most notorious of these are high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and processed meats.
#7 Spawning Pesticide-Resistant Superbugs and Weeds, and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Monsanto’s Superweeds and Superbugs
First Superweed Appears in Western Canada
#8 Generating New and More Virulent Plant, Animal and Human Diseases
Dr. Don Huber Talks about Hazards of Genetically-Engineered Foods
#9 Utilizing Wasteful Fossil Fuel-Intensive Practices and Encouraging the Expansion of Natural Gas Fracking and Tar Sands Extraction (Which Destroy Forests, Aquifers, and Farmland)
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#10 Stealing Money From the 99% to Give Huge Subsidies to the 1% Wealthiest, Most Chemical and Energy-Intensive Farms and Food Producers
Subsidy Abuse by Biotech and Big Ag
It’s not enough to stop eating genetically engineered food. If we want a liveable planet we’ve got to boycott all factory farmed food and make the Great Transition from energy and chemical-intensive agriculture to a re-localized and organic system of food and farming. The World According to Monsanto is a recipe for disaster. Monsanto and Big Ag contaminate every link in the food chain, threatening the very foundation of life: living nutrient-rich soil, clean water, resilient crops, healthy animals, stable climates, and diverse food sources. The good news is that agro-ecological and organic methods can
reverse this threat and sustain food production for future generations, but we don’t have much time to turn things around.