Originally published November 1 2014
Environmentally conscious investment firm warns against investing in GMO companies
by Julie Wilson staff writer
(NaturalNews) An Oregon-based investment firm concerned about the world's "ecological crisis" will not be investing in genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as they are considered a bad "financial risk," according to a detailed report [PDF] released by the firm in September.
Portfolio 21 Investments "has been a pioneer in the field of social and environmental investing since 1982," according to their website, and aims to invest in companies that address ecological issues.
The firm considers environmental sustainability as both a "fundamental human challenge and a tremendous business opportunity," objectives which they say the biotech industry couldn't care less about.
"As we got into our background research, we read of an industry that bullied its critics, overwhelmed government regulators and used the global agricultural and food systems as a source of profits at the expense of many participants," the company's president, John Steur, said to its subscribers.
"It was disappointing, disturbing and even a little hard to believe"
The thoroughly researched report details how environmental, social and governance/regulatory risks contribute to a bad reputation for the GMO industry, as well as present an awful financial risk for investors.
Controversy continues to surround GMOs as consumers become more informed of the dangers and the total lack of research showing that they're safe to eat. This consumer education contributes to a bad reputation for the industry, as growing awareness "builds up negative perceptions" of GMOs, the report found.
Investing in the biotech industry poses a financial risk because more consumers are less accepting of GMOs, and in fact genetically modified (GM) crops have been pushed to the low end of the market in wealthy countries and are considered a "cheap choice for animal feed, biofuel feedstock, and heavily processed food."
Addressing the biotech industry's claims that GM crop technology is required to feed the world, the report concludes that "mechanized agriculture" is likely needed to feed everyone, but "GM agriculture is not."
GM crops are "insufficient and inconsistent" compared with the amount of risk involved, and the technology should be "far down the list of solutions for securing the global food supply."
The biotech industry's cozy relationship with government and the disturbing influence they have over the regulatory process
The first GMO actually began with genetic modification in livestock, not crops. In order to produce more dairy, scientists sought to learn how to mass-produce somatropin, a naturally occurring growth hormone made in abundance after a cow gives birth. Somatropin stimulates lactation by allowing the cow's reserved energy to produce milk.
Research to mass-produce somatropin began in the 1930s, but years passed before a breakthrough was made when Monsanto scientists learned to use genetic manipulation to introduce the hormone into E. coli, a bacterium found in the lower intestine.
"The bacteria multiply tremendously quickly, allowing for rapid manufacture of the somatropin proteins," the report said. This extracted hormone soon became known as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rGBH).
The rGBH is not designed to offer any health benefits but simply exists to produce more product and more money. In animals, the hormone causes ovarian cysts and reduced fertility. There's a strong link between elevated rGBH levels in humans and lung, breast, colon and prostate cancer, among other diseases, yet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) swiftly approved the hormone.
"Bovine growth hormone proved to be an informative first step in the application of genetic manipulation to food production," paving the way for other soon-to-be-developed GM crops.
The report highlights the dangerous level of influence that the biotech industry has over the regulatory process, noting that while "the FDA's stated mission is to ensure safety for consumers, on the subject of GMOs it has acted more like a promotional organization for its large corporate sponsors."
Detailed reports like the one released by Portfolio 21 extensively explain why the biotech industry is toxic to mankind and needs to be dismantled and replaced by sustainable methods for crop production.
Also, the impacts of genetic manipulation absolutely need to be weighed and carefully considered by a public that's been told the truth about GM technology.
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