What's your stand on GMOs?

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

If you eat food, here’s a fact that you need to know:  in the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food, according to the Non GMO Project.  Guess what?  Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs.  In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale.  Ugh.  Shameful.

This blog post isn’t about politics though.  It’s about awareness.  Most people I talk with about GMOs have either never heard of them or have a very vague concept about them.    Here’s what you need to know:

According to the Institute for Responsible Technology, a GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.  This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.

GMO Foods have been shown to cause harm to humans, animals, and the environment, and regardless of growing disapproval, more and more foods continue to be genetically altered.   

The health consequences of eating genetically modified organisms are largely unknown. Genetically engineered foods have not been shown to be safe to eat and may have unpredictable consequences.

GMOs require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. These things are poisons, and should not be eaten or allowed to run off into our water supply. But they are, every day, by companies who care far more about the bottom line than they do about your health, your environment, or your children’s future.

Awareness about foods is imperative to our health. Avoiding these foods completely can be difficult. It is not mandatory for food manufacturers to tell consumers that there are GMO foods used in their products.  However, you can look for foods that are “Non GMO Project Verified”, ie, no GMO ingredients.  You can also choose organic, as well as decrease the amount of processed, packaged food you consume. 

If produce is certified USDA-organic, it’s non-GMO (or supposed to be!) Also, seek out local farmers and booths at farmer’s markets where you can be ensured that the crops aren’t GMO.  Don’t be afraid to ask!

Here’s a list of the top 10 worst GMO foods for your “do not eat” GMO foods list:

  1. Corn
  2. Soy
  3. Sugar
  4. Aspartame
  5. Papayas
  6. Canola
  7. Cotton
  8. Dairy
  9. Zucchini
  10. Yellow squash

It doesn’t stop there though.  GMOs are in baby formula, cake mix, pancake mix, muffin mix, cookie mix, chocolate chips, bread, Pop Tarts, granola bars, waffles, many cereals, ketchup, steak sauce, salad dressing …the list goes on and on.    

Check out this comprehensive list of GMO products:  http://shiftfrequency.com/comprehensive-list-of-gmo-products/  

 

Get involved.  We have a right to know what’s in our food.  If you want to have a voice about GMO labeling:  http://www.nongmoproject.org/take-action/mandatory-labeling/

Please check out these sites for more information: 

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/the-ge-process

http://www.nongmoproject.org/

Remember, awareness is key to your health.

In health,

Peggy Kelly
Holistic Health Coach & Wellness Educator