Through the years we’ve included extensive coverage related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and have covered a wide range of topics.
The areas we’ve focused on range from Monsanto’s ubiquitous control of the seed supply and their harassment of small, independent farmers, to the state and federal battle over labeling laws, to scientific studies linking GMOs to serious health risks such as cancer, liver disease, and a host of other grave health complications.
We’ve also meticulously compiled GMO related data spanning 4 years in our book “Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMOs and Monsanto,” which is available on Amazon.
As one Amazon review notes:
“It’s a fast read and and can bring even the completely uninformed up to speed quickly. If you value nature, your health and the health of loved ones, READ THIS BOOK. Educate yourself so you can educate others. We cannot wait until we all have GMO induced tumors and cancers and all of the bees are dead.”
Most varieties of alfalfa, beet sugar, corn, canola, soy beans, and zucchini grown in the United States are genetically modified. Hawaii now grows GMO papayas and attempts are ongoing to introduce and approve GMO salmon and pigs.
In one form or another, genetically modified food is immersed deep within the entire US food chain, and none of these GMO products are labeled. Well over 80% of all processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients, from salad dressings to infant formula.
While Monsanto and the biotech industry may have complete control over the US food industry, it may surprise Americans to know many countries across the globe have implemented an outright ban on genetically modified food, despite desperate measures by Monsanto and those Monsanto controls in powerful positions of the US government.
In 2007, then-U.S. ambassador to France Craig Stapleton conspired to retaliate against European countries for their anti-biotech policies. U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks revealed the Bush administration formulated battle plans to extract revenge against Europe for refusing to use genetically modified seeds.
Here’s a list of countries (and U.S. counties) that have banned genetically modified crops in one way or another, courtesy of the Examiner’s Alicia Bayer.
California counties of Mendocino, Trinity and Marin have successfully banned GM crops. Voters in other California counties have tried to pass similar measures but failed.
In Australia: Several Australian states had bans on GM crops but most of them have since lifted them. Only South Australia still has a ban on GM crops, though Tasmania has a moratorium on them until November of 2014.
In Japan: The Japanese people are staunchly opposed to genetically modified crops and no GM seeds are planted in the country. However, large quantities of canola are imported from Canada (which is one of the world’s largest producers of GM canola) and there is now GM canola growing wild around Japanese ports and roads to major food oil companies. Genetically modified canola such as Monsanto’s Roundup Ready canola have been found growing around 5 of the 6 ports that were tested for GM contamination.
In New Zealand: No GM foods are grown in the country.
In Germany: There is a ban on the cultivation or sale of GMO maize.
In Ireland: All GM crops were banned for cultivation in 2009, and there is a voluntary labeling system for foods containing GM foods to be identified as such.
In Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria and Luxembourg: There are bans on the cultivation and sale of GMOs.
In France: Monsanto’s MON810 GM corn had been approved but its cultivation was forbidden in 2008. There is widespread public mistrust of GMOsthat has been successful in keeping GM crops out of the country.
In Madeira: This small autonomous Portugese island requested a country-wide ban on genetically modified crops last year and was permitted to do so by the EU.
In Switzerland: The country banned all GM crops, animals, and plants on its fields and farms in a public referendum in 2005, but the initial ban was for only five years. The ban has since been extended through 2013.
In India: The government placed a last-minute ban on GM eggplant just before it was scheduled to begin being planted in 2010. However, farmers were widely encouraged to plant Monsanto’s GM cotton and it has led to devastating results. The UK’s Daily Mail reports that an estimated 125,000 farmers have committed suicide because of crop failure and massive debt since planting GM seeds.
In Thailand: The country has zigzagged in its support and opposition of GM crops. The country had widespread trials of GM papayas from Hawaii but reversed its plans when the seeds got wild and began contaminating nearby crops. Several countries such as Japan moved to restrict the importation of Thailand’s papayas as a result, not wanting to import any GM foods. Thailand is currently trying to embrace both sides — producing organic foods for some countries at a high price while moving towards embracing more and more GM crops. The country has also tried declaring some areas GMO-free zones in order to encourage other countries to trust their foods.
Countries That Accept GMO Crops
The U.S. now grows mostly GM varieties of corn, canola and soy. Hawaii now grows GM papayas. Approvals have also been given for GM alfalfa, zucchinis, beet sugar and tomato varieties, though not all are currently being grown.
China is one of the largest producers of GM crops.
Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic are approved for growing GM potatoes.
Finland’s government and population is receptive to GM foods. None are currently grown in the country, however, because no approved GM crops are suitable for the country’s growing conditions.
The Zambian government has launched a campaign to get the public to support GM technology.
Canada has widespread GM crop usage. Nearly all Canadian canola is GM, as is a large portion of the country’s soy and corn. Prince Edward Island tried to pass a ban on GMO cultivation but failed, and GM crops in the region are currently increasing.
Spain currently grows GMO maize (about 20% of the country’s maize is GM).
The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Portugal, Romania and Poland all grow some GMO maize.
The Phillipines grow GM crops.
The European Union (EU) has approved the cultivation of many GM crops (including potatoes and maize) but individual countries are able to opt out from growing them. However, most EU countries are not permitted to reject the sale of GM foods.
South Africa is growing an increasing number of GM crops.
Britain officially supports GM crops and has trials of GMOs like potatoes planted. However, there is widespread public distrust of the crops and Prince Charles has been a vocal opponent of GMOs.
South America has widespread planting of GM crops.
Thailand is alternately embracing and rejecting GM crops.
India also has widespread GM cotton use. Also mentioned above, the widespread planting of Monsanto’s GM cotton has led to tragedy throughout India.