Last month we talked about Organic labeling so I thought we would continue this month talking about Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO’s. You may be surprised to learn that you have a 75 percent chance of picking a food with genetically modified (GM) ingredients when you’re at the supermarket. This is because at least seven out of every 10 food items have been genetically modified.

In fact, the United States leads the world in GM crop acreage with 123 million acres in all (that’s close to one-third of the agricultural land in the United States planted with gene-altered crops).

And the blight of genetically engineered crops across the globe continues to grow. Worldwide, there are at least 222 million acres planted with GM crops, and the number keeps rising.
Although the major food giants are carrying on with their claim that GM foods are no different from conventionally grown varieties, the research begs to differ.
Here is just a sampling of the unsavory findings associated with GM foods:

  • GM peas caused damage in mice
  • GM potatoes may cause cancer in rats
  • Bacteria in your gut can take up DNA from GM food
  • They may be spurring the creation of weed-killer-resistant superweeds

Aside from the potential risks to your health, genetic modification known as “terminator technology” is now being used to create, you guessed it, seeds that “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year (as opposed to using the seeds from their harvest to replant the following year, which is the traditional way).
This, of course, means bigger profits for the food companies that are patenting GM seeds, and more money shelled out from farmers. Worse still, this practice could actually threaten the entire food supply because the sterile seeds can spread to nearby fields.
There is an incredibly important documentary on this topic that I urge you to watch yourself and then pass on to ALL of your friends and family. This should be required viewing for everyone that is living in the 21st century. It will open your eyes to the dangers of GM foods and do it in a way that is very easy to learn. It’s called “The Future of Food”. This documentary will help you understand the very real threat that ALL future generations face as a result of genetic engineering, check it out here:
Also, there is a new tool to assist you when shopping for food. It’s called The True Food Shopping Guide. Created by The Center for Food Safety. This shopping guide is an excellent start, as you can print it out and take it with you to the store so you can avoid GM foods like the plague. There is even a free app that you can download to your smart phone to use while you are at the store, check it out here:

Along with using The True Food Shopping Guide, you can also follow these tips to avoid GM ingredients:

  • Examine produce stickers on the fruits and vegetables you buy. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.
  • Buy organic produce as often as you can. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms.
  • Stay away from processed foods. Most of these contain corn and soy products, and most corn and soy are genetically modified.

The major danger of genetically engineered foods may be related to the increased use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer Glyphosate, which is the most common weed killer in the US and just happens to be more toxic than DDT. Roundup, can accumulate and persist in the soil for years, where it kills off beneficial microbes and stimulates virulence of pathogens (not good).
Since organically-farmed fields are not doused with glyphosate, organic fields still contain beneficial soil bacteria that actually hinder pathogens in and on the food from multiplying out of control. This may be yet another reason why organic foods are less prone to be contaminated with disease-causing pathogens than conventionally-grown foods
When applied to crops, glyphosate becomes systemic throughout the plant, so it cannot be washed off. And once you eat this crop, the glyphosate ends up in your gut where it can decimate your beneficial bacteria. This can wreak havoc with your health as 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut and is dependent on a healthy ratio of good and bad bacteria
Glyphosate is a strong chelator, meaning it immobilizes critical micronutrients, rendering them unavailable to the plant. As a result, the nutritional efficiency of genetically engineered (GM) plants is profoundly compromised. Micronutrients such as iron, manganese and zinc can be reduced by as much as 80-90 percent in GM plants
As you can see there is much to be concerned about in regard to GMO foods. The truth is we really do not know what the end result will be. We have never done this in the history of mankind. You, I, and our kids are the guinea pigs in this great experiment. It reminds me of a comercial from many years past that said: “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”.

Sources and further reading:

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