Cawritergirl's Blog

September 27, 2012

Genetic Modification of our Food Supply (and what you can do about it)

For those of you who might not have heard yet, if you live in the United States it is quite probable that nearly all the food you are consuming is genetically modified (GM or GMO).  What does that mean?  It means that unless all the food you are eating is certified Organic, usually with a label that says “USDA Organic“, your food has been genetically tampered with.  For fresh produce, the number on the sticker will begin with a “9” and usually also say “organic”.

There is some confusion between “organic” and “genetically modified”.  Organic food is by definition non-GMO and also doesn’t use those harmful pesticides used in big agribusinesses..  It is as close to unadulterated as you can get.  If you buy food fresh from a local farm, that does not mean it is organic, and that does not mean it non-GMO.  In my opinion, it is better to go to a store and buy organic than to buy GM produce from a local farmstand.

Now, this is the reason.  Genetic modification is being done in several ways.  It is all being done in laboratories.  If you took a science lab in high school or college, you can picture what I’m talking about.  There are people in white lab coats with pipettes.  They are injecting genes from different species–salmon, for example–into a canola plant and just watching to see what happens.  It has been found that these genes tend to mutate, much like genes do in nature, so there is really no way of controlling these experiments once they are introduced out into nature.  They are also using these genes to inject pesticides INTO the DNA of the plant.  When an insect attempts to eat the plant, it’s stomach will explode.  Now, you might say that’s good for the plant, but what about for us?  Until very recently, there were no long-term studies of the effects of GMO on any creatures.  GMOs have indirectly been linked to leaky gut syndrome, infertility, and a host of other illnesses that are seeming to become epidemic at this time.

There was a recent study out of France that showed rats with horrendous tumors after eating GM foods their entire lives.  Yes, rats are prone to have tumors, and interesting enough, these tumors did not appear until the fourth month while the industry standard for testing of products before release (created by the company that manufactures these seeds, of course) is only three months.  You can put those links together for yourself.

I have seen people posting on Facebook, saying things like “This company lied to us.  They told us they were organic but they are using GM ingredients.”  These companies are NOT lying to you when they don’t tell you that they are using genetically modified ingredients because in this country they are not required by law to inform you.  They are not calling their products organic, people just formulate ideas in their minds of what they expect from certain companies.  And if an employee says something is non-GMO, why would you believe them?  How would they know?  It is really just a lack of education on everyone’s part.  When looking at a box from a food manufacturer, just because some of the ingredients are organic, it doesn’t mean the whole product is organic and non-GMO either.  I know, you expect your healthy supermarket to provide healthy choices.  I understand that you don’t want to have to read labels, but the only way to avoid that is to look for the organic label on the product or read the ingredients.  There is a nice app for the iPhone called Shop No GMO that is very helpful and provides lists of verified non-GMO products and tells you ways in which you can avoid GM products.

There is a very important vote coming up in November in California.  Proposition 37 will require companies to label genetically-modified ingredients.  It’s fine if after you’ve done your own research you choose to eat these, but don’t you believe that you have a right to choose what you put in your body and the bodies of your children?  Food choice is essential to our well-being.  We’ve allowed it to be taken away from us while we’ve been unaware, but now that we are aware, we need to take back this freedom.  The biggest way you can help is to call, email, text, etc. every single person you know in California who can vote and make sure they vote YES to Proposition 37.  Once the law passes in California, it’s only a matter of time before the other states will pass similar laws.  This is such a little thing to ask for your future and the future of the human race.  Those opposing the proposition are spending close to $50 million dollars to bombard Californians with nice-sounding lies about the safety of their foods and products when these are essentially untested and the long-term effects are unknown.  Please do what you can to get the word out.  Thank you.

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