GMO's Are In Our Food! OMG

Geneically Modified Organisms, I bet you swallowed some today. I am even more sure that if you have children, they did. GMO's are dangerous!

You ate food today that had gentically modified organisms in it. How do I know?
Nonorganic Soy, Corn, Canola and Sugar beets are almost all part of a experiment and you are the subject. If that does not piss you off read on. If you want to avoid GMO's too bad, this country does not require labeling listing foods that have GMO's!

All most all packaged food has a soy ingredient, or a sugar ingredient (sugar beets) and/or canola oil or all of the above. So if you ate today it pobabaly included GMO's. Instead of venting because I take this stuff very personal here is an except from a professionally written blog entitled "GMO's are not Real Food" by Health Counselor Tara Cook-Littman. (to read entire blog click on link below)

Some of you may have heard some chatter recently about GMOs, but I am guessing most of you are asking yourselves right now, "what the hell are GMOs?"

When I first learned about GMOs a few years ago, my initial reaction was a mixture of fear and anger.  You should expect a similar reaction, especially if this is the first you are really hearing of GMOs. It is my hope that this blog, and all my blogs for that matter, will help you make educated decisions about the food you eat. No matter what you decide in terms of eating GMOs or not eating GMOs, you should at least have all the necessary information. So, please read on!

First of all, GMOs are NOT real food. GMOs are genetically modified organisms that are produced by taking the genes from one species (i.e. animals, plants, bacteria or viruses) and literally forcing those genes into the DNA of a food crop or an animal to introduce a new trait. Does that even sound like food to you?  Sounds more like science fiction to me. GMOs were created by biotech companies in order to make a lot of money. But, the last time I checked there were no biotech companies necessary when growing vegetables or raising an animal, right? That used to be the responsibility of farmers alone.  

So how did biotech companies get involved in our food? It's a really long story. You can read that story in the fantastic book "Seeds of Deception" by Jeffrey Smith. But essentially, GMOs are the result of what happened when biotech companies got greedy, the government neglected to regulate and protect Americans (I use the word neglected very loosely as this was a purposeful oversight), and the American people were taken advantage of. I assure you this will not be the last you hear from me about GMOs, however, most importantly I want you to read this post and have an understanding of the follow things: (1) What are GMOs; (2) What are some the health risks associated with eating GMOs; and (3) How to avoid GMOs.  The following information will help you in your every day life to avoid GMOs.       

There are currently five widespread GM Food Crops on the market: (1) Soy; (2) Corn; (3) Canola; (4) Cotton; and (5) Sugar Beets.  GMOs have been engineered to be either herbicide resistant, pesticide producing, or both.  Many dairy farms in the United states are also injecting the cows with a genetically engineered hormone called rbGH or rbST.    

HERBICIDE RESISTANT - Herbicide resistant crops are able to survive a high dose of herbicides which are used to kill weeds. You can imagine that when the crop is resistant to a particular herbicide, the farmers can spray extra herbicide to kill the surrounding weeds which means a much greater herbicide residue on the vegetable crop being grown specially for you. One particular herbicide resistant crop is the Round Up Ready Soybean. The company, Monsanto, engineered a Soybean that is resistant to Round Up and now currently sells the herbicide as a package with its Round Up ready soybean seed which accounts for at least 40 percent of the companies annual revenue.  
PESTICIDE PRODUCING - Pesticide producing crops include corn and cotton. A gene from BT (Bacillus thurgiensis), a bacteria found in soil, was inserted into the plant's DNA which then caused the crops to literally produce their own pesticide by secreting BT toxin.  Essentially, pesticide producing crops have been engineered to release their own poison.     

GROWTH HORMONES: rbGH, rbST - Cows, like humans, produce their own hormones. Bovine somatotropin is a hormone produced by the cow's pituitary gland. Through technology, the hormone can now be created in labs and delivered to a dairy farm near you under the names rbGH, rbST, or artificial growth hormone. Let it be known that the United States is the only developed country where it is legal to use these artificial growth hormones in cows that are producing dairy for human consumption. Australia, Cananda, Europe, Japan, and New Zealand have all outlawed the use of artificial growth hormones. Does that concern any of you? If using artificial growth hormones is too dangerous for the citizens of all those countries, it's too dangerous for Americans as well.    

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH GMOS? I used to believe that if I could buy it in the supermarket, it wasn't dangerous. Afterall, the USDA and the FDA had my back. I had faith that our government was doing extensive research and testing on everything we ate and I was certain that if something was potentially harmful to humans it would be banned. Or so I thought ... until I learned that there has been little to no testing done on the possible risks associated with GMOs. There have been NO human clinical trials despite the fact that all drugs have human clinical trials. The animal studies that have been conducted on GMOs had startling results with major impacts on the animals that were fed the GMOs. Despite there being warning signs, GMOs have been on the market in America since 1996. Has anyone else noticed a major decline in our health since the late 90's?  I have listed below a few of the most startling health risks associated with eating GMOs. This is far from a complete list. 

(1) GMOS Contain Allergens And May Even Cause Food Allergies to Non GMO Foods 
(2) Reproductive Problems  
(3) Super Weeds are being created
(4) Changes in DNA

Avoiding processed foods is one of the best ways to ensure that you will not eat GMOs.  In America today at least 90% of all processed foods contain one or more GMO ingredient.  We are completely unaware of this fact because there are NO laws requiring manufacturers to label a food as a GMO.  For this reason it is very important to read the ingredient list when buying processed and packaged foods.

Best of luck to you if you are trying to find a packaged food in America without corn, soy, canola, or sugar.  It is currently believed that 91% of soy crops are GMO, 88% of canola crops are GMO, 85% of corn crops are GMO, and at least 90% of sugar beets are GMO.  See www.responsibletechnology.org
Unless the sugar is listed as cane sugar, it is almost certain that you are eating a GMO.   

Be aware that GMO ingredients have aliases and they may be difficult to spot.  Some hidden GMO ingredients include; aspartame, baking soda, caramel color, corn flour, corn sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, protein, lecithin, malt, maltodextrin, sorbitol, sugar, soy sauce, soy lecithin, vitamin E, vitamin B12, and xanthum gum.  I challenge all of you to find a processed food on the market without at least one of those ingredients.  Please go towww.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com for a complete list of hidden GMO ingredients and other tips for avoiding GMOs.    

The USDA has a rule forbidding the use of GMOs in organic food products. So, if you are buying organic, you are avoiding GMOs. It is important to note there is a risk that the GMO crops have cross-pollinated with some of the Non GMO crops.  But, at this point there is nothing we can do about the potential risk of cross-pollination until GMO crops are no longer planted.

Always buy organic meat. Animals raised at non organic factory farms are given GMO feed. If GMOs are making us sick, they are making the animals sick too. If you are going to eat animal protein, it should be from animals that were healthy. In addition, when buying dairy please remember that the statement "made from cows not treated with rbGH or rbST" does not mean that the cows were not fed GMO corn and soy. The dairy must be labeled organic to ensure that the cows were not fed GMOs. Farmers producing organic dairy and raising animals for organic meat are not permitted to use GMO feed.        

If you want to be absolutely certain that your food does not contain GMOs, look for this label. The Non-GMO Project is a non profit organization that is dedicated to ensuring that foods are clearly labeled and are also independently verified as not containing GMOs. The Non-GMO project seal is the best way to ensure that your food does not contain any GMOs. 

You may see other Non-GMO labels, but, I do not recommend taking those labels at face value. They are not regulated and different manufacturers use assorted testing methods and have varying thresholds as to what qualifies as Non-GMO.

For instance, one manufacturer can decide that if the product contains less than .1 percent GMO then it can have their Non-GMO label, where as another manufacturer can decide that anything less than 2 percent GMO can be labeled Non-GMO. 

My hope is that GMOs don't have a future. I honestly think GMOs are a scifi thriller movie in the making. I can already see the movie preview, 'genetically modified corn about to hit the markets but it contains genes of a bacteria that threaten to kill millions of Americans. Their only hope is the lone USDA whistle blower who is trying to expose the danger but is in danger himself of being killed by hitmen who were hired by the company that created the seed of this corn and is about to make a stealth profit from the sale of the genetically modified corn seed'.  I hate to be the one to tell you, but this hypothetical scifi movie is actually not so far removed from reality.

Dow Chemical (a biotech company) currently has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deregulate a new GM corn that is resistant to an herbicide made from 2,4-D.  2,4-D is the chemical component that made up half of the Agent Orange chemical weapon that was sprayed on villages and crops during the Vietnam War.  2,4-D has been banned since the 1970's. How is it even possible that a company would think it was a good idea to bring back a chemical that had such devastating affects?  If Dow is permitted to sell GM corn that is resistant to an herbicide made from 2,4-D, you can see why real life isn't so different from the hypothetical scifi thriller above. As Americans we seem to have lost our voices along the way.  Please let your voice be heard. Sign a petition (link below) to show you are against 2,4-D being introduced into our food supply and prevent Dow Chemical from selling GM corn that is resistent to 2,4-D. http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/12/action-alert-say-no-to-dow-chemicals-ge-corn-petition/    

Remember, my approach with everything is to implement changes into your life slowly so that the changes stick and you do not overwhelm yourself. If the prospect of completely eliminating GMOs from your diet right now feels too overwhelming, take a step back and evaluate what smaller steps you can take to begin replacing GMOs with non GMO foods. For a start, try replacing your Tostito corn chips with an organic or NON GMO Project brand of tortilla chips. Eliminating GMOs from your diet is possible, one change at a time.    

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

DeniseL February 10, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Canola is not a plant...according to Wikopedia: Canola refers to a cultivar of either Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) or field mustard (Brassica campestris L. or Brassica Rapa var.). It is produced from a hybrid variety of rapeseed and is the center of some controversy[dubious – discuss], regarding whether it is suitable for humans and animal consumption.[1] Some sources claim it is an edible oil suitable for consumption by humans[2][3] and livestock.[4] The oil is also suitable for use as biodiesel. Originally, Canola was bred from rapeseed in Canada by Keith Downey and Baldur R. Stefansson in the early 1970s,[5][6] but it has a very different nutritional profile in addition to much less erucic acid.[7] The name "canola" was derived from "Canadian oil, low acid" in 1978.[8][9] Genetically modified rapeseed is sometimes referred to as Rapeseed 00. A product known as LEAR (for low erucic acid rapeseed) derived from cross-breeding of multiple lines of Brassica juncea may also be referred to as canola oil and is considered safe for human consumption.[10]
Janak Desai February 10, 2012 at 02:43 PM
This is great article Glen! Thank You! As mentioned one the best ways is to eliminate as much processed food as possible and buy organic whenever you can. Another way is to know where your food comes from. Get it from local farmers that you can build relationships with and get to know their philosophy on food. Many local farmers grow using organic practices, but may not be certified orgainic. However, here's something even better - why not grow your own food? Dig up your front lawn if you have to. You can also apply for a community garden plot in Fairfield(and many other towns), contact the town. Half of the battle is knowing where you food comes from.
Chuck E. Arla February 10, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Must you use a vulgarity in your opening? (1st para; sentence 4)
Analiese Paik February 10, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Professional polls reveal that Americans want GM foods labeled just as they are in Europe and other countries. Please support the JustLabelIt campaign (http://justlabelit.org/) , lobby your lawmakers to support mandatory GMO labeling laws, and choose foods labeled Certified Organic or Non-GMO to avoid them in your diet. We have a right to know what's in our food so we can make informed choices at the register. To learn more about what GM foods are and the risks they pose to our health, animals and the environment, read While You Were Eating on my blog: http://fairfieldgreenfoodguide.com/2011/05/10/while-you-were-eating/
Petra February 11, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Anyone can label something non-GMO because the FDA hasn't given any guidelines. It is as easy as labeling something "natural". It is not regulated in the US. Colorado just passed a law prohibiting their government-owned land from growing GMO plants/crops. Connecticut needs to do the same. Cross-pollunation is inevitable, due to winds, bees, etc. Our pure foods are in grave danger. Monsanto is a primary evil, and every action taken to stop them is needed. We need to follow Colorado's lead and start local to protect our food.
Fairfield native February 13, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Thanks for covering this topic- we need more information on GMO's
Glen Colello February 15, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Jeffrey Smith, ex. director of The Institute for Responsible Technology and author of "Seeds of Deception" and "Genetic Roulette" will be the keynote speaker at the Ct. NOFA Conference 3-3-12. He will also be speaking in Fairfield at fund raiser for the above mentioned "IRT" on 3/1 - to donate or to gain more info on the fund raising event contact glen at catchahealthyhabit@yahoo.com
Leslie Yager April 02, 2012 at 01:14 AM
"Don't Be Fooled by GMOs" Great event Tara, Liz, Glen, Analiese. For those motivated, next step, labeling: http://righttoknowct.org/ Grassroots efforts gain power via internet! Great to have Dick Blumenthal and SO many high schoolers in the house!


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