Last week I posted about how to tell if your produce is GE, organic or conventional by looking at the PLU labels. This week I want to talk about GE foods and labeling of them. Some might ask, what is the big deal about genetically modified food and the labeling issue that so many people want in the grocery stores? For your information, genetically modified foods are sometimes also called GE (genetically engineered), GM (genetically modified) and GMO (genetically modified organism) and are sometimes used interchangeably.
Well, there are several big deals. For the first one we have to go back to the beginning. No GE crops that are grown for the production of food have ever been tested in long term studies to see if they are harmful to people. No testing required-no regulation whatever. Why? Because the USDA doesn’t require them? Why? Good question! I wouldn’t be as concerned if the manufacturers of these seeds were required to run tests to make sure their products/produce were safe for humans before putting them on the market. That could prove whether they are actually harmful or not. These corporations are certainly making enough money to do the research required for safety but don’t. I don’t think they care as long as they are not required to care. Here’s my opinion-Profits first! Money for these corporations, money for congress people (not all congress people) who won’t pass laws protecting the consumer, money for USDA to turn their heads. Sad isn’t it but if it isn’t true, than why are we not being protected?
Here is some information on current GE foods in America:
‘Round Up Ready’ corn seeds – What does that mean? Well, it means that the gene that makes ‘Round Up’ work (kill weeds) has been spliced genetically with corn genes. Round Up is the same herbicide you may be using to kill weeds in your gardens. So when a farmer gets ‘Round Up Ready’ seeds, they can spray Round Up on their crops without killing them but it kills the weeds. The crops will not die but the weeds will. Also the manufacturers of these seeds just happen to sell Round Up as well-hmm!! In the beginning it worked. Now I read recently that a whole slew of ‘super’ weeds have developed (evolved) that Round Up doesn’t work on anymore.
‘Bt corn’ seed (to control corn worms). Bt is an organic pesticide that is being sliced into the corn gene. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re the worm), the worms are starting to become resistant to this. Now, one could argue Bt is an organic pesticide. This is true, but do I want to ingest it in genetically altered food I eat? No.
‘Round Up Ready’ sugar beet seed which has been approved by USDA. Of all the sugar produced in the US, 54% comes from sugar beets and 90% of all sugar beets out there are GE grown. This will greatly increase GE sugar in the American food chain. Great! But there is a way out of this-use sugar cane products-sugar cane is safe-NON-GMO.
‘Round Up Ready’ alfalfa is also fed to our livestock that we eat or drink their milk. Again we don’t ingest it first hand but don’t you want to make that choice?
GE herbicide-resistant soybeans–95% of soybeans grown in the US are GM!
The second part will be on the next post-GMO Foods in the Grocery Stores-Part 2
Here are some interesting articles you might want to read: Read the first one for sure..
** TrueFoodNow.org-they have a great shoppers guide-quite extensive and list BY BRAND AND STORE and you can get an app for your phone while shopping.