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GMO foods a blessing or curse?

What makes it a GMO?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is a plant, animal, or microorganism that has had its genetic material (DNA) changed using technology that generally involves the specific modification of DNA, including the transfer of specific DNA from one organism to another. Scientists often refer to this process as genetic engineering. – via Agricultural Biotechnology 

History of GMO foods

On July 8, 2016, by more than a 2-1 factor (63-30), the Senate voted to take away consumer rights regarding the labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). On (07/29/16), away from the glare of publicity, President Obama signed into law a new bill that pre-empts courageous efforts by states such as Vermont by giving pharmaceutical companies like Dow, DuPont, and Monsanto the right to poison consumers without their having fair warning. The best way to stay healthy is by avoiding GMO foods.

We are being misled! USDA will allow new GMO foods to be legally marketed as “non-GMO.” Read “Foods gene-edited to withstand noxious herbicides are being labeled non-GMO.”

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it will not regulate the entire forthcoming generation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), allowing new genetically engineered (GE) foods to enter the food supply without any testing. This “free pass” by the USDA will also allow these new GMOs to be legally marketed as “non-GMO,” including in states such as Vermont have passed GMO labeling laws.  – via NaturalNews

The newest regulations (June 2020) from the Trump Administration weaken the regulations even more. See Trump Administration’s USDA further weakens oversight of genetically engineered and gene edited crops.

Educate yourself on GMO foods

I do not know about you but I want to know what is in my  food.  It seems that the government agencies and particularly many in the food industries do not want you to have that choice.

GMOs are everywhere, and now even more so! This sounds like a strong statement, but it is true when it comes to everywhere groceries are sold. Many processed foods contain GMOs in the ingredients as well as the produce that is directly genetically modified, so the chance of you entering a grocery store to find no GMO products is pretty low.

In the excerpt below, you can do your homework and avoid most GMO foods you buy and feed your family, if you want. It just takes getting educated and being diligent in your research.

Genetically modified foods (GMOs) are unfortunately in so much of the food we see in grocery stores these days, especially in North America. However, if you’d like to avoid them, there are steps you can take in order to know what is and what isn’t a GMO. All it takes is learning how to read food labels so you can avoid these products. It’s really that simple.

The point is, you have to change your behaviour. Read every single label. If you want to remove toxins from your food, it can be as simple as reading the labels on the products you are buying from the grocery store.

So, how do you recognize these things? When it comes to produce, any number on the produce sticker (product lookup unit – PLU) that starts with an 8 is GMO; however, if its starts with a 9 it’s Organic.

For packaged foods, a great place to start is by learning to recognize what ingredients the foods you are buying are made from. Not sure how to read the labels yourself?

There are a number of downloadable apps for your smartphone that allow you to scan the barcode of various products in order to reveal the sources of the ingredients.

Additionally, you can carry GMO cheat sheets when you go to the grocery store (i.e., to the point regarding fructose, or the GMO crops that are gown in Canada), or even better, learn how to make your own homemade versions of processed items you used to buy at the store. Not only will your food taste better but by choosing your own ingredients, you can remove harmful toxins. – via organicweek.ca

In the article above it is suggested that we must be able to read food labels.  It is not that difficult if you do not try to understand everything on the label.  Read my article on how to read food labels to have a clear understanding of the process and to protect yourself and your family from GMO and other harmful ingredients.

Some Foods That Are Genetically Modified

Some foods are currently being grown as GMOs. Others are not or not very often. It is possible to find lists of some foods that are often found in grocery stores as GMOs. Here is a chart with information about the dirty dozen and the clean 15.

gmo foods

Here is information about three common foods and how they are currently used as GMOs.

Papaya

The ringspot virus was a big problem for the Hawaiian papaya industry for many years, until the 1980s, when they began to experiment with genetically modified versions that were resistant to the virus. It was the addition of the “viral capsid” protein that created the effect of an immune response. It wasn’t until 1999 that the first commercial papaya crops were grown in Hawaii. These papayas now make up about three-quarters of the total output in the Aloha State. Currently, the United States and Canada both give these transgenic papayas the stamp of approval, while the EU has not yet allowed them.

Potatoes

While the potato industry is lagging behind as far as human consumption goes, the use of potatoes as a raw material is booming. In fact, three-quarters of all the potatoes grown in Europe are used for something other than your dinner plate. Many of the other potatoes are fed to livestock, and the rest are for the alcohol and starch industries. That’s a lot of vodka and dry cleaned shirts. Scientists are beginning to make GM potatoes specifically intended to be grown and sold as starch potatoes. As far as potatoes that you might find in your grocery store, about 10 percent could be genetically modified. These are not just the raw, whole potatoes you’ll find in the veggie section. You can also find GM potatoes in processed products containing potatoes.

Of all crops, soy is the most heavily modified. In 2007, more than half of the world’s soy was made up of genetically modified strains. Soy is modified for a variety of purposes. Common modifications include increasing its resistance to insects and fungus, as well as enriching its vitamins or fat and protein content so it can be used for animal feed. Soy is also integral to creating chemicals for use in pharmaceuticals. Since soy is one of the more heavily modified crops (and one of the most useful for additives), chances are in the United States that if the label says you’re eating soy, you’re eating genetically modified material. This isn’t just tofu and soy milk either — foods that include soy byproducts are very common and can be found in staples like bread, cereal, ice cream and chocolate. – via HowStuffWorks

I find avoiding GMOs the toughest challenge at the grocery store due to the complete lack of regulating and labeling them in the U.S. Even when you think you are buying something that doesn’t have any ingredients that could possibly be GMO, manufacturers manage to slip soy or corn into the ingredient list.

Here are a few tips for avoiding GMOs that I’ve learned so far.

1. Hundreds of companies are having their foods verified as GMO-free using third party verification services. The two most common ones you’ll see are from the Non-GMO Project and GMO Guard. If you see a stamp of approval from one of these two organizations on the packaging of your food, you can be sure it’s GMO-free.

2. Certified organic products are not allowed to be grown with GMOs so another way to avoid them is by buying organic or making everything from scratch using organic ingredients.

3. Another trick I’ve found is to shop the imported food aisles. Unlike the U.S., many countries have banned the use of GMOs. Instead of buying the American manufactured pasta, I buy pasta imported from Italy, where GMOs are banned in most parts. It’s typically cheaper than organic and I’m avoiding what I set out to avoid. For a comprehensive list of which countries regulate GMO use, check out Organic Consumers Association. – via naturallysavvy.com

Time to start your journey to Health

Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell co-authored The China Study® 10 years ago and there have been stories of revitalized health from around the world. Thomas Campbell, a physician, wanted a more practical follow-up book based on The China Study principles that have changed so many lives. He wanted a book that explored the science behind recent dietary confusion surrounding issues like soy, sugar, oils, wheat, GMO, and feeding kids. The Campbell Plan does this, but more importantly, it will help you transform your diet and your life. The ultimate success is The Campbell Plan will help you achieve all of your health goals if you follow the guidelines. Get it here: The Campbell Plan by Thomas Campbell, MD.

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Express your opinion

Have you been trying to find a way to avoid GMOs when grocery shopping? Are you concerned that we will be getting more GMOs in our food? Did these ideas help?

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