What You Need to Know About GMOs

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

April 27, 2015

  • GMOs aren’t the answer to world hunger
  • How you’re being kept in the DARK
  • Take action now

People who defend genetically modified foods will cite a couple of different reasons for their support.

The one you’ll hear most often is that GMOs will end world hunger. And sure, this is what big biotech companies like Monsanto and Pioneer/Dupont would like you to believe.

But the fact of the matter is it simply isn’t true.

Just last year, the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service released a report on GMOs. Do you know what the report says?

“Genetically engineered seeds have NOT been shown to increase yield potentials” and “may be occasionally LOWER than the yields of conventional varieties.”

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If you aren’t familiar with GMO traits, some crops are altered with the BT toxin. (BT stands for bacillus thuringiensis, a toxin that kills corn borers and rootworm larvae – and is toxic to humans.)

Others are engineered to be resistant to glyphosate. This is a poisonous chemical in the weed killer Roundup.

The truth of the matter is these crops are failing miserably. More and more pests immune to the BT toxin are appearing. Weeds resistant to glyphosate are continually being discovered. This greatly reduces yields and requires farmers to use more and more costly chemicals on the crops.

Of course, you’re the one eating those chemicals.

You may not realize it, but the majority of GM crops grow right here in the U.S., not in countries that suffer from hunger. Those countries can’t afford the expensive seeds. And many countries ban the use of GM seeds.

Even more importantly, the altered crops aren’t ones I would recommend for a starving nation, much less our own. Eating chemical-laden corn and soy on a regular basis is sure to do more harm than good.

Yet, here in the U.S. we’re eating astonishing amounts of genetically altered food. They’re even hiding in products that claim to be “all natural.” And big biotech companies want it to stay that way.

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Here’s what you need to know.

Battle lines are being drawn in the war against GMOs. Today, many states are pushing initiatives to require labeling of GM foods. At the same time, the biotech firms and members of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association are seeking to eliminate a state’s right to mandatory labeling of GM foods.

Many folks are calling this effort the DARK act. This stands for “Denying Your Right to Know.”

My question is this: If proponents say these foods are the answer to world hunger (which I don’t believe for a minute), why would they deny you the right to know you’re eating them? Don’t you have a right to know what’s in your food?

Now, you’ll hear many say that state-by-state labeling will harm families by increasing their food bills. However, a report released in October, 2014 from Consumers Union – the public policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports – concluded that the cost of labeling would only run about $2.30 per person per year.

You’ll also hear that these foods are not “materially different” from conventional foods. Once again, there’s no truth to that.

Genetically engineering food crops is a slippery slope. It requires inserting genes into the DNA of the seed plant. Nobody knows how this affects other genes, and whether or not it introduces toxins and allergens into the food supply. Plus, once the plant is altered, it can’t be unaltered.

Worse, the amount of herbicide and pesticide necessary to maintain GM crops is much higher than what’s required to maintain conventional crops. These poisonous chemicals don’t disappear during processing. They’re still there…from plant…to product…to your stomach.

What can you do to support your rights?

First off, let’s put a stop to the DARK act. It’s as simple as clicking right here. All you have to do is sign the petition to let Congress know you have a right to know what you’re eating

Until we’re able to get GMO labeling on the foods we eat, I strongly advise avoiding genetically modified foods whenever possible. Here are three ways:

1. Buy organic. Certified organic foods can’t intentionally include any GMO ingredients. Choose products with the certified organic label as often as possible.

2. Look for foods that carry the Non-GMO Project seal. This seal is an independent verification that the food is GMO-free.

3. Avoid conventionally-grown foods or ingredients commonly modified. These include:

  • Corn, including cornmeal, cornstarch, corn oil, corn syrup and other corn-based ingredients.
  • Soy, including soy protein, soy milk, tofu, soy lecithin, soybean oil, and other soy-based ingredients that aren’t certified organic.
  • Canola and cottonseed oil.
  • Sugar beets. These are commonly listed on package ingredients simply as “sugar.”

The bottom line is no one knows what long-term impact GMOs have on your body. Even the companies who produce genetically modified food crops don’t know.

The best thing to do is make sure your voice is heard.

Resources:

Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo, et al. Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States. Economic Research Report Number 162 February 2014

Executive Summary. Memo from ECOnorthwest to Consumers Union. Oct 2014.

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