Why Would You Eat That?!

Because You Don’t Even Know it’s There…

You may have come across an article or heard the term “GMO” or “Genetically Modified Organism” mentioned on a news piece, but do you know what it is?  I think you should because genetically modified organisms have the potential to wipe out everything natural about our food supply!
A GMO is created when the DNA of different species is fused to form a type of plant or food that does not exist in nature or is not created by traditional cross-breeding. Foreign genes from one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal usually in a laboratory.
Why would someone do this? The major benefit of all commercial GMO’s is that they are bred to either tolerate direct application of herbicides and/or have the ability to produce their own pesticides. They have not been bred to  improve nutrition or to have any other benefit to the consumer. So at present they have no health benefit, their benefits are purely economic.

Are there fish genes in your tomatoes?

Traditional breeding makes it possible to mate a pig with a different pig to create a new variety of pig, the same goes with hybridizing different tomato seeds for example. But, can you fathom combining totally unrelated species such as plants and animals together? With genetic engineering scientists can now overcome the barriers established by nature and create traits that are almost impossible to achieve through natural processes such as cross-breeding or grafting. For example, they have spliced fish genes into tomatoes. Human genes into dairy cows so that they produce “human-like” milk!
It reminds me of the H.G. Wells novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau. The novel deals with a number of philosophical themes, including moral responsibility, and human interference with nature.

How Can You Tell if What You’re Buying is GMO?

It’s not easy, despite the fact that 80% of processed foods are believed to contain GMO’s. Political influence and money has prevented the passing of labeling laws even though 87% of Americans are in favor of labeling them and 53% would not eat GM foods.
This is in sharp contrast to most other developed nations around the world, where there are significant restrictions or outright bans on GMO’s.
By reading the PLU code (a set of numbers), you can tell if your produce was genetically modified, organically grown or produced with chemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides.

Here’s what to look for: Look for the labels (stickers) stuck on your fruits and veggies:

A four-digit number means it’s conventionally grown. (with chemicals)

A five-digit number beginning with 9 means it’s organic. (no chemicals)

A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it’s GM. (genetically modified & with chemicals)
The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board

How does this impact the environment?

Except for soy, which does not cross-pollinate, pollen from GM crops can contaminate nearby crops of the same kind. In Mexico for example, it has been found that almost all heritage varieties of corn have some contamination. In addition, studies are showing that pesticide producing crops (GMO crops) are contaminating nearby streams thereby affecting aquatic life too. Additionally, beneficial insects may be harmed too and super weeds are evolving as they develop resistance to herbicides. When that happens, more herbicide is used to try to control the weeds and any benefit of herbicide resistant crops is decreased or negated. There is little doubt that the long- term effects on the environment could be disastrous.
Many European and South American countries have outright banned Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds and crops. They don’t want the risk of having their heirloom crops being “infected” with the GMO species.  Meanwhile, millions of dollars are spent in this country by lobbyists, keeping GMO labeling off of American food packaging.  Would you eat it if you knew what it was?
Visit The Non-GMO Project at www.nongmoproject.org  for some advice on how to keep GMO’s out of your kitchen and how to get involved in getting labeling laws changed so people can know that they are buying something unnatural.
And, as always, call your senators and congressmen!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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