Saturday, May 1, 2010

How about some GMO's in your food?

I was surprised by how much of my food is already genetically modified (well, the stuff that I don't buy from the farmer's market).  I knew about corn, which is one of the things we have given up. Even the kitty cats! and they are both actually healthier for it.

In a study done on GMO corn/maize  "conclude[d] that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded." Which even before I looked it up - sounded scary!  It was even worse once I found out it was "chemical-driven liver damage".

So aside from corn - we can now thank agri-business for - soybeans, canola, papaya, wheat, rice....the list is pretty long and unfortunately since it doesn't have to be documented... well, you get the idea. So, it is pretty cool - Wholefoods (AKA: whole pay check) has joined up with a few others to prevent GMO's from being our defacto food.  They have agreed to test, verify and label their products as non-GMO.  See, for a list of providers and additional info.

Here is a video about the history of how GMO (genetically modified organisms) were created. How it has been added into the food chain with us not being really aware of it and how "Whoever controls the seeds, controls the food." 

It is 88 min long... so watch it when you have some time. :)

Not to point out the obvious -- but what is with the commercials for this video?  did they think just because it's a food topic that stouffer's would be a good choice?? They didn't watch the video, did they?


  1. I have mixed feelings on GMOs. Nature, has been making GMOs for millions of years. Humans (profit driven corporations and pet breeders) have been developing GMOs for just a few centuries.

    Are all GMOs bad? No, absolutely not. Some are wonderful, have fed billions of people, and are not concentrated cesspools of chemical toxin soup. Are all GMOs good? No, many are inherently evil, patented (ahhh, the profit), mass water consuming (think GMOs imposed on rural Indian sub continent farmers by their government in cooperation with the UN and how it's wiped out their water tables and driven sustainable farming further into extinction).

    But to paint ALL GMOs as inherently bad, as the EU does, is a gross over generalization in my and my wife's (a geneticist PhD's) perspective. GMOs can be done well, or they can be applied horribly, devastatingly, ruthlessly, insidiously. I try to avoid saying "all GMOs are Always bad" ... most are not good, but some have helped many humans live better lives.

  2. I have concerns about being a guinea pig in the name of science, productivity, etc. I realize that it will feed more people - but at what cost? Some of the research I have found has stated that due to higher yield, produce is now less nutrient dense than it was 10 years ago. So - while I maybe full - I won't be nourished. Is this better?

    I understand that nature does GMO. And, that humans have breed plants for some time. But we are no longer using nature to create our GMO's and I trust nature more than I do scientists or people mucking around at a genetic level things we barely understand.

    I'm not saying we don't understand genes, in and of themselves. But, do we understand the long range impacts both on the environment, our health and the health of the animals -- before we dump this stuff in the food chain? I'm thinking not. We haven't studied it long enough.

    I think my issue with GMO is when it is done in a lab, splicing and dicing genes. Versus what humans have done for centuries - breeding and blending plants or animals to generate higher yields and/or certain traits. I have no issue with using nature to control us. I have a issue with trying to control nature. (how is that for a sound byte? )

  3. Joe,

    here is documentation from SFSU (San Fransisco State University) about the FDA documents on GMO warnings by the FDA scientist which were ignored.

    I guess my issue is that GMO now means mucking about with genes using bio-tech versus mucking around with genes using biology. And, the bio-tech firms have chosen GMO as a way to define their "food" product, so that the argument that even nature has genetically modified organisms can be used to defend their lack of labeling.

    here is one from Ohio state which doesn't choose one way or another - but does say we need to do more testing.

    I understand what you are saying... I just don't think the question is about nature creating GMO's. Unfortunately, the term has been co-opted by agri-business. And, of those, I think the jury is out and should not be in our food chain until adequate testing is done.

    One is known for sure - at least from the studies done - it ups the risk of allergies. From the Ohio document listed above: "More than 90% of food allergies occur in response to specific proteins in milk, eggs, wheat, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans, and shellfish (3). The risk for allergic reaction stems from a protein from one of these foods incorporated into a food that does not cause a known allergic reaction. For example, if an individual who has a known allergy to peanuts unsuspectingly consumed a genetically modified organism that contained the allergenic protein from the peanut, conceivably the individual would experience an allergic reaction. This concern has been addressed with FDA measures put into place to prevent such a scenario." But, if we aren't labeling the product, how do you the consumer know if it will cause you a problem?

    ok. I'll leave this topic for now. I'll love to chat about it -- or continue discussing this on-line. :) but, the ball is in your court as to why you and DDF don't feel they should at least label the food. Which is all I'm asking for - because honestly, I wouldn't choose to buy that product.

  4. labeling GMOs is a good thing - I never said it was a bad thing. I just think the EU has gone a little crazy about them, and I know that agri-business has embraced them more enthusiastically than a meth addict embraces a rolled over semi truck full of pseudophed, seeing in$ane profit margin$ in the $eed re$triction$, which I concur is inherently evil.

    I am glad I am not a farmer... I'd be grossly unprofitable, very unhappy, and quite itchy.

  5. I'll have to read up on the EU standards. I was just happy that someone is starting to label here -- even if it is whole pay check.

    As far as farmers - that is the brilliant thing about CSA's, Farmer's Markets and the whole slow food movement. Farmers are now starting to have options...yea! And, as consumers so are we.

    so, while you may not be a itch free farmer - you might be able to be happy. :) I think my farmers at GCM are happy. But, I'm not sure I'd like to be a farmer because they have to wake up in the mornings. I like to SLEEP! ;)