If you pay attention to labels on foods, you notice many labels some you probably are not familiar with. How are we supposed to keep up with all the labeling rules and regulations and what each means? And of course rules our government makes constantly change, so how to then keep up with changes? There is a lot of homework involved in understanding what you are eating that no schooling prepares you for.
Lately there has been some talk about GMOs and I have been happy to see this mainly because the majority of the American public is unfamiliar with GMOs. Genetically Modified Organisms are currently being discussed because proposition 37 will be voted on this coming November in California. This proposition will determine if food manufacturers will need to divulge via labeling if there food products are made using GMOs. Wait one minute there. So you are telling me that we are being sold genetically modified foods and are completely unaware of this currently? Yes, indeed my friends. So the majority of the American public go to their local grocery store and purchase fresh (natural) corn. Or I should say the American public go to their local grocery store and BELIEVE they purchase fresh (natural) corn. Unless this is organic corn, most likely this is GMO corn. Then you may think, “Well, how bad could genetically modified corn be? It’s still made from corn”. Let’s start by looking at what exactly GMO means. The definition of GMO biotech giant Monsanto uses on its own website is “Plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs. In general, genes are taken (copied) from one organism that shows a desired trait and transferred into the genetic code of another organism.” What I take away from this screams unnatural. This has the potential to unleash new food allergies due to crossbreeding.
Many scientists around the globe are very against GMOs and have voiced their concerns through the Open Letter from World Scientists to All Governments Concerning GMOs. They’re concerns are as follows:
- The scientists are extremely concerned about the hazards of GMOs to biodiversity, food safety, human and animal health, and demand a moratorium on environmental releases in accordance with the precautionary principle.
- They are opposed to GM crops that will intensify corporate monopoly, exacerbate inequality and prevent the essential shift to sustainable agriculture that can provide food security and health around the world.
- They call for a ban on patents of life-forms and living processes which threaten food security, sanction biopiracy of indigenous knowledge and genetic resources and violate basic human rights and dignity.
- They want more support on research and development of non-corporate, sustainable agriculture that can benefit family farmers all over the world.
Check out http://www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php for more information.
If GM foods were something that was truly nothing, meaning of no potential health threat to a population, I ask why is GM food labeling required in 40 developed and developing countries, including Russia and China? Also if these were not a big deal, why are the large companies producing GM foods spending billions to campaign against the labeling of GMOs via Proposition 37? It doesn’t take a food scientist to figure this out.
So what can you do to assure safety in your food? First, know the facts. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 88 percent of corn and 94 percent of soybeans grown in America are genetically modified. In addition to corn and soy, biotech companies have successfully gained patents for genetically modified sugar beets to make sugar, and alfalfa (hay) to feed to livestock. Nearly all of these wind up on your dinner plate in the form of processed foods or in the meat and dairy products made from animals fed genetically modified grain. Understand that ingredients made from genetically modified crops, or GMOs, such as corn, soy, canola, and even cotton exist in approximately 70 percent of the processed foods on store shelves, including nearly all foods advertised as “natural”.
There are free apps that will give you up-to-date information about GMOs and brands that do not use GMOs. Take caution when grocery shopping and ESPECIALLY when eating out. Any fast food in America and I believe you are asking for trouble. Do your research before going. Do not be afraid to ask about GMOs, organics and MSG (yes, MSG!) in your food. MSG is everywhere and under many different names, but that is a topic for another day.
Take care of yourself and fight for your right to know what you eat!