Labeling of genetically modified foods is a hot topic and for a good reason.
Genetically modified foods are everywhere, causing health and environmental problems without us even knowing it, as formal safety testing or food labeling is not required for these organisms.
In Europe Monsanto’s practices have been banned. I have read about people with severe allergic reactions who go to Europe, where they do not indulge GMO food, and they have no problems. I’ve also heard about Europeans who do well eating in their country, who come here and suffer with terrible gastric disturbances eating our food, until they return home.
If you think you are safe, think again.
What foods are GM?
GM crops in the U.S. include soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres).
Products derived from the above, include oils, soy protein, soy lecithin, cornstarch, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup among others. Also:
- meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed (and the majority of the GM corn and soy is used for feed);
- dairy products from cows injected with rbGH (a GM hormone);
- food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents, including the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet®) and rennet used to make hard cheeses;
- honey and bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen.
Non-food items that may contain GM ingredients include cosmetics, soaps, detergents, shampoo and bubble bath. Pharmaceutical companies use Aspartame in some laxatives, supplements and children’s vitamins.
Processed foods often contain hidden GM ingredients. Even the “natural” term be used products containing GMOs.
Unless they are organic or explicitly declared non-GMO, the following ingredients that may be made from GMOs:
What are Genetically Modified Organisms?
A GMO is any organism in which the genetic material has been altered or shuffled around in a way that does not occur naturally. This technology allows individual genes to be transferred from one organism to another. This science is used to cultivate GM plants, which are then used to grow GM food crops. GMOs on the market have been given genetic traits to provide protection from pests and diseases or resistance to pesticides, or to improve the quality of the crop.
The most prevalent GM crops were designed to resist harsh chemicals; these crops have DNA traits from bacteria, fungi or other plants that create this resistance. Farmers who use GM crops can spray their fields to kill everything growing in the area except the food crop. Imagine what is being killed in our bodies when we eat these foods.
Big biotech claims that genetic engineering is a necessary step towards feeding the world’s growing population. And yet debate still rages as to whether GM crops actually increase yields at all. Furthermore, the UN recently stated that 30,000 people a day were starving to death, but not because of underproduction of crops. It’s simply through lack of access.
Are Genetically Modified Foods Safe?
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine reviewed the animal feeding studies that have been published in peer reviewed journals and found that the animals that were fed the same GMOs that are in our diet had reproductive disorders, immune system problems, gastrointestinal problems, accelerated aging, organ damage and dysfunctional regulation of cholesterol and insulin.
On top of that there is story after story of animals; livestock as well as pets that have been taken from a GMO diet and put onto a non-GMO diet and their behavior improves. The death rate goes down. The stillborn rate goes down, litter size goes up. The use of medication goes down and now we have many doctors and their patients saying that when the patients avoid GMOs a lot of their symptoms go away as well.
The AAEM concludes “there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects” and that “GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.”**(read more).
Genetically engineered franken-foods are already required to be labeled in the European Union nations, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries around the world.
The FDA says such labels aren’t needed because GM foods are “substantially equivalent” to conventional foods. Yet biotechnology companies say their GM seeds are unique and should be patented. So in the twisted logic of the FDA and USDA we have GM seeds that are unique and patented and GM foods that are the same as normal foods. The result is that the biotech companies have it both ways. Oh and the FDA doesn’t require safety testing of GM foods. It’s voluntary.
So we are all participating in a massive feeding experiment.
What You Can Do?
Unless specifically labeled organic or verified non-GMO, avoid products made with ingredients that might be derived from GMOs.
* Avoid at-risk ingredients including soybeans, canola, cottonseed, corn, and sugar from sugar beets.
* Buy Organic—Certified organic products cannot intentionally include any GMO ingredients.
* Look for “Non-GMO Project” verified seals.
* Buy only products listed in the NON-GMO Shopping Guide…http://nongmoshoppingguide.com/
* There is also a growing movement for buying local and supporting local farmers.
Take these actions to protect yourself and your family, but that is not enough.
I encourage everyone to get behind any movement to label GMO foods, especially to support the effort in California. A lot of money is at stake and the companies that benefit the most – especially Monsanto – are fighting hard to keep the public in the dark.
Tell the FDA: Label my Food!
A petition (Docket #FDA-2011-P-0723-0001/CP) has been filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling for labeling genetically engineered foods. More than 500,000 Americans have already submitted comments in support of the petition, but we are not done yet! Let your voice be heard. Contact your representatives. Take a moment to submit your support for the petition.
Let’s flood the FDA with comments so they know that the public wants labeling of GE foods!
Please sign this petition against Monsanto. Small farmers just lost against the powerful giant company.
Solutions are available, and decisions are being made now. Let’s all get involved!
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
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