“Up to 90% of U.S. soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets are now genetically engineered and routinely inserted into human and animal foods with no labels or safety for testing”
“Approximately 80% of current grocery food items contain GMOs; while according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, the majority of beef, pork, poultry, dairy, and eggs come from CAFOs”
“Almost every other industrialized country has regulations to label genetically modified foods, except for the U.S”.
If someone were to ask me why I started this website, this topic would be my resounding reason! There is no other topic I am more passionate about than genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods, (they are one in the same) and the LACK OF LABELING in our country.
What if over half the food being sold in grocery stores contains pesticides and there are no warning labels?
What if you develop cancer in 10 years because of it? How do these chemicals affect unborn fetuses? Do you think this is fair? Wouldn’t you WANT to know?
WHAT ARE GMOs?
So what exactly is all this talk about GMOs? Well the molecular engineers working in labs for Monsanto, the giant American biotech company, are gene-splicing vegetable seedlings with poisonous pesticides and herbicides so that the plants are protected from diseases, insects etc.
Plants are growing with chemicals like RoundUp already IN THEM. Some countries are boycotting exports of vegetables to their country for this exact reason. So in other words, the SEEDS you are buying to make your garden this summer have ALREADY BEEN GENETICALLY MODIFIED!!
One of the disturbing facts I have come across during my research is the active ingredient, glyphosate, found in Monsanto’s Roundup formula. This ingredient is currently under “Registration Review’ by the EPA, with a determination by 2015. A research paper has shown the devastating effects on rats fed diets with this genetically modified corn laced with RoundUp.
According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) website: “…because GM foods have not been properly tested for human consumption, and because there is ample evidence of probable harm, the AAEM asks:
- Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.
- Physicians to consider the possible role of GM foods in the disease processes of the patients they treat and to document any changes in patient health when changing from GM food to non-GM food.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND GMOs?
GMOs are in most packaged foods you find in your supermarket, along with your dairy, your meat, and your produce. If you choose to not eat organic, the only way of knowing is to start reading your labels. If any of the following are on it, then you probably have a GM food. Although this list is not complete by any means, it should give you a pretty clear idea how wide spread GM foods are. WARNING: EVEN READING EVERY LABEL MAY NOT TELL YOU IF YOU ARE CONSUMING A GM PRODUCT BECAUSE MANUFACTURERS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO LABEL EVERY INGREDIENT IN THE UNITED STATES!!!!
- Soybean- Genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides (found in cereal, ice cream, frozen yogurt, infant formula, margarine, crackers, breads, cookies, chocolate)
- Corn – also been designed to resist certain pesticides (found in corn oil, syrup, sugar, corn flour, corn starch, chips, candy, powdered sugar, salad dressing, alcohol, vanilla, margarine, pasta)
- Canola (oil, found in fried foods, baked products)
- Cotton (peanut butter, crackers, cookies)
- Rapeseed– Glucosinolates, which were found in rapeseed meal leftover from pressing, are toxic. In Canada, where “double-zero” rapeseed was developed, the crop was renamed “canola” (Canadian oil) to differentiate it from non-edible rapeseed
- Potatoes – I’ve found mixed research on this. Some sites say the only potato genetically modified is the Russet Burbank, other sites say Atlantic, Russett Burbank, Russet Norkatah, and Shepody potatoes. (found in fast food/restaurant type fries and processed potato products)
- Dairy products (depends if animal was fed a GM diet and injected with rBGH which would infiltrate it’s products such as milk, cheese, butter, sour cream)
- Animal products (depends on if the animal was fed a GM diet, could be as much as all animal products)
- Vegetable Oil– Most generic vegetable oils and margarines used in restaurants and in processed foods in North America are made from soy, corn, canola, or cottonseed. Unless these oils specifically say “NonGMO” or “Organic,” it is probably genetically modified
Pretty scary, isn’t it? There is almost no food that has been altered in some way. (The above list courtesy of GEFreeBC.com, chart from RawforBeauty)
There is good news though! There is a Non GMO shoppers guide listed on nongmoshoppingguide.com which is amazing!!! It lists all the foods by category and the manufacturers who are certified Non-GMO. You can download it to your phone! I love technology!!
There are a lot of mixed reviews concerning genetically modified foods. A lot of research is held under data protection by companies, and I personally believe the science and study of GM foods is still young.
One of the reasons manufacturers don’t have to label GMs is it’s very complex to do so for processed foods that have several ingredients that come from different sources. Like flavors for instance, it is almost impossible to maintain non-GMO with 100% certainty. Very few processed food products are absolutely non-GMO unless you have a single ingredient from a single source such as sugar, all you need is an animal eating GM corn and everything coming from it will now be modified.
And most companies do not test their product for being non-GMO. They simply rely on statements and documents from their suppliers.
In order to protect yourself try to just eat real, organic food, preferably from your local farmer. Ask them where they get their seeds, if they use any pesticides. Did you know most fruit from your supermarket travels an average of 1500 miles! Can’t ask that farmer what kinds of seeds he used, now can you?
If there is ANY possibility the product is genetically modified, we ask that it be labeled. We have a right to know what is in our food. Just let us know and make up our own minds. I personally do not want my food being made in a lab. I prefer what God intended and that was to eat off the land, as pure and as clean as possible.
And going back to the olden days, like your Dr. said “everything in moderation”. A baked good now and then won’t kill you, some modified potatoes won’t either. My concern is we are eating this food by mass consumption now. It is in virtually EVERYTHING we eat. Therefore, moderation goes out the window.
Has anyone researched what these huge quantities are doing to us? We can’t escape genetically modified foods if we are to eat and live on this planet. The only thing we can do is research, inform ourselves and spread the word to others.
- American Academy of Environmental Medicine
- Institute for Responsible Technology
- Non GMO Shopping Guide
- Natural News
- Safe Food
- Organic Consumers Association
Hello Jamie, Selective breeding & genetically modifying food are two completely different things. Selective breeding can be done only when the two parent animals or plants are sexually compatible. It means they are reproducing sexualy whether done naturally or manually by humans. There is no harm there. Where as GMO is a technique of inserting a foreign gene in to a plant or animal, the foreign gene organism being non-sexually compatible with the plant/animal that is going to be modified. When you insert a foreign gene(like that of a microorganism or even human gene) in to a tomato, it’s no longer called a tomato even though it looks & taste & smells like tomato. You have created a new vegetable and you need to give it a new name. You are now god. YAY!! Hooah!! Hooah!! How can you say what effect this new so called tomato is having on humans and their progeny unless you test it for thousands of years??? Food for thought. Yes, thousands of years – We are what we eat, We have developed this physical features and our conciousness levels based on what we were eating since we originated millions of years ago. So, I humbly request you and your Monsanto(Now Bayer corp.) brothers to get yourself properly educated before thaking that check from your Masters.
With all due respect, we have been “genetically modifying” food for THOUSANDS OF YEARS. Selective breeding is how avocado seeds aren’t 90% of the fruit, corn is edible, I could go on. Genetic engineering has made it possible to augment these practices by inserting desirable genes from one crop into another. This technology could reduce food waste from pests/rotting, increase water-to-crop yield efficiency, add additional nutritional value, or even REDUCE PESTICIDE USE! This fear-mongering is the reason people have demonized GMOs for reasons that they don’t deserve. I agree with you that GM foods should be labeled, and I even think Monsanto has some shady business practices, but I really wish people like you would stop spreading biased opinions (not based on evidence from looking at your sources) on technology that is frankly a miracle. The Earth’s population is increasing while the amount of arable land certainly isn’t. Golden rice, pest-resistant crops, I’d put my money on them (and spend less doing it!) than organic crops that only the rich can even afford.
If you want to buy organic, go for it, just don’t act like you are “happily unprocessed” by doing so: organic farmers are still allowed to use pesticides/fungicides/herbicides, just “naturally occuring” ones like copper and sulfur. That stuff has not been optimized to work as well as (GASP) ~synthetic~ pesticides, which means that organic fungicides are used at 2.5-22X higher rates than manmade ones (National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy).
thank you for your comment Jamie. I still prefer to eat organic and will continue to do so the more I research and learn how our food is really being grown, and yes Monsanto would be my #1 reason. I do agree with you that food is limited, however our is soil and streams are continuously being contaminated as these massive CFAO farms have continuous runoff from these animals and pesticides. The best practice goes back hundreds of years to organically grown and harvested food. Each year my vegetable garden grows as I learn how to grow my own food.
Another point I want to make is people years ago ate what was ‘in season’ in their area. People waited anxiously for a vegetable or fruit to come in season and cherish it’s short life span. Now we are shipping produce, vegetables and fruit year round in massive quantities and picking them while they are just beginning to ripen which lessens their nutritional value and again covered in pesticides. No thank you.
And don’t even get me started on farm raised salmon
I guess I would like to get you going on farm raised salmon. At present, wild salmon are overfished. But we eat, all together, a lot more farmed salmon that wild salmon. If not for farmed salmon, if we were dependent on wild salmon, we would be driving the wild salmon to extinction.
That said, the great majority of farmed salmon are farmed in an environmentally dreadful way, and the quality of the farmed salmon is lower, nutritionally, than the quality of wild salmon. But that is something we can fix. The salmon farmed in the ocean, near the shoreline, are in netted enclosures. The salmon are so close to one another that they get diseases which they can also spread to wild salmon. Their wastes cause local pollution, and the food they don’t eat before it drops through the net also cause local pollution. They are also treated with antibiotics because of the disease rate.
But we can fix some of this. We can raise salmon on land, in contained pools. They don’t get sick, and their wastes can be used as fertilizer for our farms. The only problem that leaves is that unless they eat a food high in omega-3 oils, they aren’t as healthy to eat. On the other hand, they are expensive because (a) concrete pools cost more than nets; (b) the water is not free; (c) purifying the water is not free; and (d) their wastes, even if useful as fertilizer, need to be extracted from the water with electrical machinery.
You have expressed concern about GMO salmon. At present, they are barely noticeable in the supply of farmed salmon. You are simply not likely to ever eat a GMO salmon even if you eat salmon every day and take no precautions about where it came from. But also, they are probably the best, not worst, of farmed salmon. That’s because (a) they were safety tested for more than thirty years before ever coming into the food supply; (b) they grow much faster than other farmed salmon so they require less food; and (c) they can be fed with genetically modified plant foods that have the needed omega-3 oils which we get from wild salmon but not from other farmed salmon. No grower does this yet, except as research projects, but it is very close.
This last point is almost impossible to believe. If you weigh all the food eaten by a GMO salmon, and then weigh the ready for market salmon, the salmon weighs more than the food it ate. Almost no other animal food we eat comes anywhere close to that . Chickens come closest, at 2/3 the weight of their food. For pork it’s about a third to a quarter of the weight of their food. For beef, discarding the bones, it’s one tenth.