What’s a GMO?
Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are created by modifying the DNA of a plant to accentuate desirable qualities, such as pest resistance, and minimize undesirable qualities such as tomatoes ripening too quickly and spoiling before the product can be sold. Generally the gene from one organism is transferred to another, creating a plant that would not be found in nature. GMO’s are present in certain baby formulas and a high percentage of corn, soy, cotton and sugar beets commonly used in processed foods sold in the U.S.
Why are GMO’s harmful?
Organic View, a publication well-respected by health conscious consumers, these gene modifications can become transferred the bacteria in the being that ingests them. It is well known by scientists that human gut bacteria is a delicate balance. When this balance is disturbed many health issues can result.
Once these gene’s are modified they reproduce with the altered genes creating cross-strains that were not intended in the laboratory, or by mother nature. There is no way to curb the reproduction of these plants once these cross-strains develop. Genetically modified canola plants were found growing wild on the side of the road in North Dakota (http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/genetically-modified-organisms-found-in-the-wild.html). There is no way of knowing the overall effect of these mutated strains on agriculture in the future.
Trans-fat, not widely known to have detrimental health effects including heart disease, is another product of bioengineering. It took decades to prove the ill effects of foods containing the structures not found in nature. Many believe it is not worth the risk to ingests the latest genetically modified products and that consumers have a right to know which fruits and vegetables would not normally exist in nature.
GMO’s require massive amounts of pesticides, herbacides and fungacides, strong chemicals that are harmful if ingested. Clearly these genetic modifications do not make a healthier plant than mother nature can make. Monsa
Legislation for the Right to Know
The Organic Consumers Association has been lobbied hard for Proposition 37, which was on the ballot in California in November 2012. Prop 37 called for companies to label all food containing GMO’s. It was rejected by a narrow margin, but the Right to Know movement has gained speed with a new proposition on the ballot in Washington State.
The Right to Know movement is calling for a boycott of companies that claim to be organic but contain unlabeled GMO’s.
What Can You Do?
Join this movement by subscribing to one of these resources:
http://www.organicconsumers.org – Very involved with legislation. Excellent newsletter.
http://organic-center.org/ – The science & research behind the benefits of organic.
http://www.organicitsworthit.org/ – Consumer oriented about the benefits of buying organic.
Also boycott the following brands, as well as their parent companies, and call the company to let them know you support labeling genetically modified foods.
Alexia (Con-Agra) 630.857.1550
Bear Naked (Kellogg’s) 800.962.1413
Boca Burgers (Kraft) 877.966.8769
Cascadian Farm (General Mills) 800.624.4123
Dagoba (Hershey’s) 866.608.6944
Gardenburger (Kellogg’s) 800.962.1413
Honest Tea (Coca-Cola) 800.865.4736
Horizon Organic (Dean Foods) 888.494.3020
Hunt’s Organic and Natural (Con-Agra) 630.8571550
Kashi (Kellogg’s) 877.747.2467
Larabar (General Mills) 800.543.2147
Lightlife (Con-Agra) 800.769.3279
Morningstar Farms (Kellogg’s) 800.962.1413
Muir Glen (General Mills) 800.832.6345
Naked Juice (PepsiCo) 877.858.4237
Odwalla (Coca-Cola) 800.639.2552
O Organics (Safeway) 877.723.3929
Orville Redenbacher’s Organic (Con-Agra) 630.857.1550
R.W. Knudsen (Smucker’s) 888.550.9555
Silk (Dean Food’s) 888.820.9283
Tostito’s Organic (PepsiCo/Frito-Lay) 800.352.4477
White Wave (Dean Foods) 888.820.9283