For those of you that tuned into the podcast last night, you all know that we had to cut the show short last night due to an unexpected bout of food poisoning. I’m on the rebound today, starting to feel much better!
There was a lot of important information that I had planned on covering on the show. I’m sure it was information that you wanted to hear! This post will cover the information that I did not get to go over in the show last night. I will be doing another podcast about genetically modified foods on Tuesday November 6 at 7:30 pm ET. I will discuss all the information below and take your questions live on the air!
Are Genetically Modified Foods Really Safe?
Why Do We Have Genetically Modified Foods in the United States?
How Can I Protect Myself and My Family from Genetically Modified Foods?
What is Proposition 37?
What Additional Resources are Available if I Want to Become a More Informed Consumer?
Are Genetically Modified Foods Really Safe?
Currently in the US, it is estimated that 70% of processed foods on our grocery store shelves contain genetically modified ingredients. The FDA reports that there are no differences between GMO and non-GMO foods; their policy states that “the agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way”. Later, FDA documents were made public during a law suit that showed that statement was untrue. The FDAs own scientists repeatedly requested that the FDA complete long-term studies, due to concerns of increased allergens, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems. Michael Taylor, the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, repeatedly overruled the scientist’s recommendations. It should be noted that prior to working for the FDA, Taylor was a Monsanto attorney and later a Monsanto vice-president. Currently, if a biotech food company “believes” that their genetically modified “creations” are safe, they can put the food in our food supply without reporting it to the FDA. Many biotech food companies don’t feel they should have to be responsible for ensuring that their foods are safe. In a New York Times Interview, Monsanto’s Director of Corporate Communications stated that “Monsanto should not have to vouch the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.”
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) strongly urges consumers to avoid genetically modified foods. Studies link GMOs with toxins, allergies, infertility, infant mortality, immune dysfunction, stunted growth, accelerated aging, and death. The Institute for Responsible Technology has listed many of these studies on their website, here are just a few of the findings of that they list:
- Thousands of sheep, buffalo, and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton plants
- Mice eating GM corn for the long term had fewer, and smaller, babies
- More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, and were smaller
- Testicle cells of mice and rats on a GM soy change significantly
- By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies
- Rodents fed GM corn and soy showed immune system responses and signs of toxicity
- Cooked GM soy contains as much as 7-times the amount of a known soy allergen
- Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced
- The stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth, a condition that may lead to cancer.
- Studies showed organ lesions, altered liver and pancreas cells, changed enzyme levels, etc.
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Why Do We Have GMOs in the United States?
Why do we have GMOs in the United States, when some countries like Europe are virtually GMO-free? It’s all about the “tipping point”. A tipping point is “the critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development”. Europe hit the tipping point in April 1999, enough consumers stopped buying GMO foods to hurt the industry. Within one week of hitting this tipping point, all major food producers committed to ending the use of genetically modified ingredients in their products. These same companies are still using genetically modified ingredients in their US products. According to author and GMO expert Jeffrey M. Smith, if 5% of the US population refused to purchase genetically modified foods, major food manufacturers would no longer use genetically modified ingredients. Smith reports that there are several reasons that we have not hit the tipping point in the United States:
- the American population has not been educated on genetically modified foods
- American consumers don’t know which products contain genetically modified ingredients, due to lack of labeling
According to a poll completed by CBS and the New York Times, if genetically modified foods were labeled today, 53% of Americans would not purchase the labeled products. Smith predicts that even if 9 out of 10 of these Americans did not follow through with refusing to purchase these products, it would still be enough to reach our tipping point in the United States.
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How Can I Protect Myself and My Family From GMOs
Without food labeling, it’s overwhelming to even begin removing all genetically modified foods from our diets. According to Smith, there are four tips to protect ourselves from genetically modified foods:
- Buy organic foods
- Avoid the top ten at-risk ingredients:
- Yellow Squash
- Sugar (derived from sugar beets)
- Buy products that are labeled as being non-GMO
- Buy products that are listed in a non-GMO shopping guide
The Institute for Responsible Technology is an excellent resource for obtaining reliable information about avoiding genetically modified foods.
“The Institute for Responsible Technology is a world leader in educating policy makers and the public about genetically modified (GM) foods and crops. We investigate and report their risks and impact on health, environment, the economy, and agriculture, as well as the problems associated with current research, regulation, corporate practices, and reporting.
Founded in 2003 by international bestselling author and GMO expert Jeffrey Smith, IRT has worked in more than 30 countries on 6 continents, and is credited with improving government policies and influencing consumer-buying habits.
IRT’s work comes from a dedicated team of subject experts, consultants and staff who generously donate their time and experience. In addition, IRT employs media experts, social network campaigners, writers, graphic designers, communications specialists, fundraisers, outreach professionals and support staff, who operate both at our headquarters in Iowa, and from virtual offices in the US.
IRT’s Campaign for Healthier Eating in America mobilizes citizens, organizations, businesses, healthcare professionals, and the media, to achieve the tipping point of consumer rejection of GM foods.”
The Institute for Responsible Technology has created an iPhone app to help consumers protect themselves from GMOs. The organization has also created a GMO Education program that provides a wealth of information about genetically modified foods such as:
- The health risks associated with genetically modified foods
- A shopping guide
- The environmental dangers imposed by genetically modified foods
- A physician’s guide
- Tips on determining whether a product is genetically modified based on package labeling
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What is Proposition 37?
On the November 6 2012 ballot, Californians will be voting on whether the food industry in California should be required to label genetically modified foods. If passed, the law will:
- Require labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or
animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.
- Prohibit labeling or advertising such food, or other processed food, as “natural.”
- Exempt foods that are: certified organic; unintentionally produced with genetically engineered material; made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically
engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered
ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages.
There are companies that have donated money to fight against the law, and other companies that have donated money to support the law; over $34,000,000 has been donated by those opposed, over $4,000,000 has been donated by those supporting. On the opposing side, the top five contributing companies include: Monsanto, Pepsico (which also manufactures Naked Juice and Izze), Coca-Cola (which also manufactures HONEST Tea, Odwalla, and Simply Orange), ConAgra (which also manufactures Lightlife and Alexia), and General Mills (which also manufactures Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm Organics, and Larabar). On the supporting side, the top five contributing companies include: Dr. Joseph Mercola, The Organic Consumers Association, Nature’s Path Organic, Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One, and Lundberg Family Farms. You can view all contributing companies on the Cornucopia Institute’s website.
What Additional Resources are Available to Become a More Informed Consumer?
The Institute for Responsible Technology has recently released a documentary about genetically modified foods called ‘Genetic Roulette‘. This documentary is available to view online for FREE until October 31st, thanks to generous donations from to Nutiva, Bragg Live Food Products, Kamut, Frey Vineyards, Organic Pastures Dairy, EO Products, Berlin Natural Bakery, and Leo Younger. This documentary is a must-see for all!
“When the US government ignored repeated warnings by its own scientists and allowed untested genetically modified (GM) crops into our environment and food supply, it was a gamble of unprecedented proportions. The health of all living things and all future generations were put at risk by an infant technology.
After two decades, physicians and scientists have uncovered a grave trend. The same serious health problems found in lab animals, livestock, and pets that have been fed GM foods are now on the rise in the US population. And when people and animals stop eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), their health improves.
This seminal documentary provides compelling evidence to help explain the deteriorating health of Americans, especially among children, and offers a recipe for protecting ourselves and our future.”
Another way to stay informed is through my website! I often feature trustworthy news articles in my weekly “News You Can Use” posts. These are some of the recently featured articles:
Six largest pesticide corporations funding effort to try to defeat GMO labeling Proposition 37
Don’t celebrate yet, but a grassroots victory against GMO deception is now inevitable
Children born to parents who eat GM wheat may DIE before age five, warn scientists
Monsanto, Pesticide Companies Contribute Another $5.5 Million to Kill GMO Labeling Initiative
Why PepsiCo Is Fighting GMO Labeling in California
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© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’