Final Portfolio

Rosemarie Oliveto Unit 1: Letter Project
English Composition

Dear American Public, Have you ever thought about where your produce comes from? Or the process of harvesting your favorite fruits and vegetables? Recently, laws have been passed that will change your precious produce.
A major company named Monsanto has been the main source of GMOs ( genetically modified organisms ) that enhance the color, size and freshness of 40% of American produce. When fruits and vegetables are genetically modified it means that the fruit or vegetable has genetic material that has been genetically engineered. Monsanto has been around since 1901 and it continues to adhere it’s principals to farmers in America. “Monsanto currently owns 1,676 seed, plant, and other applicable patents.” This information comes from the Organic Consumers Association website. On the Organic Consumers Association website they state that Monsanto owns 151.4 million acres of GMO infected crops. GMOs are dangerous for the American public, according to a study by Harvard, “ Genetically modified organisms are often engineered to be more resistant to pesticides or produce pesticides themselves.” These facts are alarming, pesticides are a known pest killer, and the fact that produce that is genetically modified can self produce pesticides is dangerous, you are basically poisoning yourself.
Monsanto is getting stronger as a corporation, they have 10 genetic modification patents. Monsanto round-up has become a public conversation after countless lawsuits. The lawsuits are coming from the people who are getting cancer from the product. You may be wondering how people are getting cancer from Monsanto round-up, well I’ll tell you. Inside the Monsanto round-up there are countless chemicals, which have all been approved as “ generally regarded as safe” but that is false. With harmful chemicals such as Atrazine, which is known to cause breast cancer, “Atrazine has been linked to breast cancer, severe hormone disruption, and birth defects in doses as low as parts per trillion (one of the class of poisons where there is literally no safe dose).”According to Ronnie Cummins who wrote ‘GMOS,Pesticides and Chemicals – Don’t Trust the Feds’ Atrazine was banned in the European Union in 2004. Not only is there Atrazine, but there are thousands of different harmful chemicals inside the crops. Recently, a man who has cancer linked to Monsanto has one a lawsuit against Monsanto for $2 Billion dollars. The amount of people who have gotten cancer from Monsanto company related chemicals is so high that many lawyers have been overwhelmed with the amount of lawsuits. So, how is this really going to affect you? You could be fine from eating that perfect looking piece of produce or after a while of eating that gmo infected produce you could get cancer.
Do you ever feel that there is a shortage of fruits and vegetables in your grocery store? This may be due to the impact of extreme weather conditions on crops. Crops are sensitive and can go through very difficult weather shifts. Based on an article written by Raymond P. Mothas, on the Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Agriculture in America, “The economic impact of drought in the United States has been estimated at about $6–8 billion annually (FEMA 1995).” Many people don’t realize the financial impact of weather events, but for farmers they are always aware of weather conditions. Droughts, storms,snow,flooding,hurricanes. All of these weather conditions can be the deciding factor on whether or not your favorite fruit or vegetable is in stock.Sometimes one day of harsh/extreme conditions can wipe out a season’s worth of produce. For the farmers that have lost harvests and business to devastating conditions,there is a time of reproduction for their crops to fulfill in order to get back on their feet, but for many farmers they only have one type of crop and this could lead to bankruptcy and shortfalls in their profit. Texans were hit hard during the winter storms. Many farmers lost their entire crop for the season. Citrus farmers have been struggling in Texas, since citrus farms are super sensitive to the winter, the winter storm canceled the harvest season for most farmers. In the world of agriculture it can be difficult to have a steady flow of produce, especially in the face of climate related disasters. Recently, Texas has gone through a climate related disaster, they had massive snowfall and freezing over crops. Texas hasn’t gone through weather like this since 126 years ago. This is a vulnerable position and leaves many Texan farmers with worry. With time and resources, Texas will regain their production of produce and ensure its future in agriculture.
Hopefully this letter helps shed light on the problems occurring in the produce industry, even though many of the topics mentioned are widespread concepts and knowledge, this letter is for those who are unaware. Supporting local farms is an easy way of knowing where the produce is coming from and aids as a monitor for non- GMO produce. Shopping and supporting local farmers is also a great way to connect to the farmer and understand where your food comes from. When you support a local farmer you reduce the carbon emissions and energy used to keep your food cold. People can help reduce the resources that are needed to preserve the freshness of food by supporting local farmers and small family owned stores. You lower your risk of non Hodgkin’s lymphomas, which is the type of cancer that people get from eating fruits and vegetables with GMOs. The choice is yours, it is a challenge to completely avoid GMOs, since 93% of the corn and soy is owned by Monsanto and is highly genetically modified. I believe that if we all take a step back and recognize the problems in the agriculture industry, we can create a safer and healthier environment for our futures.

Sincerely, Rosemarie Oliveto


GMOs and Pesticides: Helpful or Harmful?

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