[Author]by J. D. Heyes
Thanks to the efforts of Natural News and some other news sources, an increasing number of Americans are becoming more aware of just how damaging to the world’s food system genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have become. The rise in food allergies and gluten sensitivities are evidence that GM foods have impacted the global food chain in negative and dangerous ways.
As such, millions of Americans agree that, at the very minimum, GM foods ought to carry labeling designating them as such — just like the labeling requirements for ingredients in other foods.
Some states are beginning to get the message and are responding to demands by their citizens to require such labeling. As reported by Prevention magazine, Connecticut and Maine are two states that are moving in that direction; also, our editor-in-chief, Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has reported extensively on recent efforts in California to require GMO labeling [http://www.naturalnews.com].
Why it is important to require GMO labeling
So far, the federal government has resisted requiring GM foods to be labeled, no doubt in part due to intense lobbying by the food industry (as happened in the defeat of a California labeling initiative), which does not want to label GM foods, for some reason. But such resistance to labeling means that Americans who want to avoid GM foods are basically on their own to figure out what to avoid.
As repored by Prevention: To the rescue: the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a pro-GMO-labeling environmental nonprofit, has just released a Shopper’s Guide to Avoiding GE Foods to make it a little easier for people to avoid GMOs (GMO and genetically engineered, or GE, are used interchangeably to describe these crops). The reason why it is so important to require GMO labeling is because of their potential to cause ill effects in those who consume them.
Besides the fact that such crops have never been adequately tested for safety, the EWG says that GM foods are increasing the amount of herbicide-resistant weeds that no longer die when they are sprayed with Monsanto’s Roundup, which the seeds were bred to resist.
As such, farmers are increasingly being forced to use more and more potent and toxic herbicides in order to compensate. Also, the widespread adoption of GM crops by American farmers has endangered organic farming due to unintended contamination of organic crops (mostly through agricultural run-off and crosspollination, when pollen blows from a GMO farm to an organic one).
EWG “cites one estimate from the Union of Concern Scientists that the potential lost income for farmers growing organic corn may total $90 million annually, all because their crops get unknowingly contaminated by nearby GMO farmers,” Prevention reported. So, without labeling, how do you avoid GM foods?
Here are some ways you can reduce your exposure:
–Stick with the organic stuff.
Under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program, farmers are prohibited from planting seeds that have been genetically engineered. Also, organic food producers are prohibited from using ingredients that come from GM crops — soy, corn and canola, for example. “Organic regulations also prohibit organic dairy and livestock operations from using GMO grains (again, corn and soy) to feed their animals,” Prevention reported. One thing to remember: Not all organic foods are good for everyone. As Natural News’ Derek Henry reported in January, five organic foods that may damage your digestive system include wheat, soy, peanut butter, cow’s milk and pork [http://www.naturalnews.com].
–Make sure you buy “Non-GMO Project Verified.
The Non-GMO Project begins where organic certification ends. The project certifies products that have less than 0.9 percent GMO contamination.
–Check labels and dodge the “Factory Four.
Corn, soy and sugar (the latter from GM sugar beets) and vegetable oils that are made from GM crops are the four most common GM ingredients you’ll encounter in your food. Another thing to remember: About 90 percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered. (by Natural News).