Is GMO Free A Reality?

10 Sep

If you saw Food, Inc you may remember that the wind was carrying the GMO pollen on to the area farmer’s fields and they were being sued for stealing patented information. This scene paints the seed companies in a terrible light. There is a huge mark up on these seeds and there are giant ramifications for using the seeds without purchasing them. You are pitted to hate the seed companies. However, did you ever stop and think that it is now nearly impossible to have fields that are completely free of GMOs?

If there is an organic farmer located near a conventional farmer that uses GMOs his fields are at risk of being contaminated. The legal and monetary implications are terrible, but they should not completely overshadow someone’s desire to purchase GMO-free products and no longer being able to do so. And that’s where we are today.

If you try to purchase only GMO free products there is no way to ensure with 100% certainty that you are getting GMO free products. Seeds are naturally designed to be light weight and travel well. Natural selection encourages seed dispersal for many reasons. One example is roots. If all of the seeds grow in the same place, their roots will not have enough room to grow. They will also compete for resources. This competition will be harmful for the species as a whole. If the seeds are carried by the wind they will grow further apart from one another. This will help ensure that the maximum number of seeds develop into plants and strength the species.

Similarly the wind can carry the pollen. If the pollen is dispursed there is a chance cross-pollination will occur. This will lead to hybrid vigor, which is in an increase in the genetic strength of an individual and eventually the species because of heterozygotes. Since hybrid vigor is good, plants naturally selected for the ability to spread their pollen. Therefore, pollen is light weight, attracks pollinators and is carried by the wind. All of these factors, which are great in the natural system make it impossible to control the spread of GMO plants.

Planting GMOs is like ripping open a feather pillow, there is no way to contain all of the feathers once you have released them.

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Posted by on September 10, 2009 in Sustainable Agriculture


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