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How GMOs Contribute to Global Climate Change

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Environment and Climate Resource Center page.

 Corn and soy-much of which are genetically engineered-are rapidly overtaking native grasslands in a number of US states. This is a trend that may have a not-so-insignificant impact on global climate change and subsequently, our ability to secure our food supply long-term.

 As discussed in a recent Mother Jones article, this conversion of grasslands to crop fields is the exact opposite of what might be in our best interest.

     " get ready for climate change, we should push Midwestern farmers to switch a chunk of their corn land into pasture for cows," the featured article states.

     "The idea came from a paper by University of Tennessee and Bard College researchers, who calculated that such a move could suck up massive amounts of carbon in soil-enough to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by 36 percent.

     In addition to the CO2 reductions, you'd also get a bunch of high-quality, grass-fed beef... Turns out the Midwest are doing just the opposite."

Federal Policy Worsens Environmental Concerns

 According to a recently published paper by South Dakota State University researchers, grasslands in the Western corn belt, which includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska, is being lost at a rate "comparable to deforestation rates in Brazil, Malaysia, and Indonesia."

 Between 2006 and 2011, nearly 2 million acres of friendly native grasses have been lost to corn and soy-two of the staples in processed foods that are driving chronic disease rates in an ever steepening upward incline. The same thing is happening in South America, where native forests are leveled in order to plant soy.

 The researchers claim the land being converted into corn and soy fields is actually much better suited for grazing than crop agriculture, as it is "characterized by high erosion risk and vulnerability to drought." So why would farmers opt to use such risky land for their crops?

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