Now that we know what GMO foods (Genetically Modified Organisms) are, and no matter what they actually are, can’t we just put this subject on the side, forget about it and simply keep eating our own usual (as in safe) food? Not so fast… Here are 3 of the top reasons why forgetting about genetically engineered foods is just not an option. Hint: Let’s watch and learn about what’s already and really in our plates…Because we are talking about our own and our loved ones’ health, we really only have good reasons to be extra cautious and go past the mere definition of a non made-by-nature type of foods and learn more about GMOs. Here are 3 of the top ones:
- Some US foods sold for human consumption are of genetically modified origin at vertiginous levels- GMOs are already there, right in our plates! As in, we all very likely already ate GMOs before, possibly a lot of them and we keep eating them on a regular basis. Just to give you an idea, here is the top list of GMOs on the market: corn (~ 88%), soy
- (~ 94%), s
- ugar beets (~ 95%), cotton (~ 94%; cottonseed oil is often used in food products), and canola oil (~ 90%; canola oil is used in cooking). Let’s not forget
- all animal and dairy products (milk, meat, fish, eggs, honey, yogurt, cheese…) due to animal (livestock and farm raised fish/seafood) feed, mostly derived from GM corn, alfalfa and other biotech grains.
- Not all GMOs are sitting in plain sight- More genetically engineered foods also sneak into our diet under the form of hidden GMO additives. Soy, for example, is a widely used staple of processed foods under various names including hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a vitamin E supplement) and GMOs are present in virtually all the packaged snacking options we munch on, from cereal to chocolate bars, candies, ketchup, soda, canned goods, baking mixes, sugary drinks, cookies, crackers, frozen (or not) meals… you name it. As many additional sources of GMOs where you don’t get to use your right to choose… or refuse them.
- There’s no legal obligation to label GMOs in the US- That’s the key point in the debate, and the main, simple and fair minimal request from most people reasonably wary of GMOs: let us decide to choose GMOs. At of today, companies are not legally requested to label genetically modified or of genetically modified origin foods (like all animal and dairy products, due to and via GMO animal feed). Hence if we don’t know we are consuming them, we cannot use our right to decide to buy and eat them, or conversely, to bypass them. The recent trial lost by Naked juice about their claiming “No GMO” on pack when they actually used some GMO derived soy is a good example of GMOs’ already overwhelming yet oftentimes anonymous presence in our daily lives…
Connecticut and Maine recently passed laws that would require food manufacturers to reveal GE ingredients on product packaging, but those laws will not go into effect until other states adopt similar measures. Washington state’s initiative 522 “would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, and seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale.” The bill, scheduled for the Nov 5, 2013 general election ballot, will likely face the same resistance California did with Prop 37, back in November 2013. Biotech companies spent hundred of millions of dollars against it to preserve their juicy profits. Meanwhile, per the Center for Food Safety, in the rest of the world, 64 developing and developed countries legally require GMO food labeling.
The next question is as obvious as straightforward: Why do GMO seed makers try so hard to keep GMOs a secret?
Why do they so brutally push back on GMO labeling? What are they afraid of and what do they know that we don’t? Whatever justifies taking away from us our right to use the precautionary principle when it comes to the food we eat, must be quite the big, dark secret… Just the simple fact that they fight on an ongoing basis any attempt to identify GMOs where they are, is proof of nothing positive…
Credit photo #2 (food product shots with GMO question marks): jadedpress.wordpress.com
Check out the GMO series of 4 posts by La Vie En Green, to get all the information you really should want to know about Genetically Engineered food and how GMOs do affect your daily life:
1- GMO 101