Do You Know Your GMO?

The informative and thought-provoking documentary, The World According to Monsanto, illuminates Monsanto’s unethical practices from past to present, as they attempt to dominate the world’s seed supply with Genetically Modified (GMO or GM) seeds.  Although I was disheartened while learning how biotech has greatly impacted the food industry in less than a couple decades, I was pleased to discover that many people are starting to wake up to the issues surrounding this current reality.  Specifically, people are coming together to try to make labeling GMO foods mandatory.   According to a 2008 CBS News Poll, a whopping 87% of Americans want such a mandate to pass and it seems quite possible given that 50 other countries have already successfully done so.

The author of the blog Moms for Safe Food shares a wealth of information on her site.  This link will lead you to short, educational videos that she has hand-picked to relay important information on GMO products.  You may also want to check out her article, What’s in Our Food.

Here are a few more, related resources that may be of interest

Monsanto’s GMO Corn may be linked to organ failure

Farmers in India regret buying Monsanto’s BT Cotton

The Future of Food Documentary

:: 5 WAYS TO AVOID Genetically Modified Foods ::

Number 1 :: Non-GMO Shopping Guide 

The “power of the purse” is the greatest power that we, as consumers, have at this point.  This site arms the consumer with loads of information.  You can also download their iPhone app to make sure that you’re not accidentally tossing a GM product in your shopping cart.

Number 2 :: Organic Consumers Association

One way to avoid GM foods is to buy organic, as these goods must be processed without bioengineering.  If you can’t afford to solely buy organic, then at least make sure that you’re buying organic animal products – eggs, dairy, meat – since most livestock are fed Roundup Ready corn.

Number 3 :: Monsanto Boycott

The title of this website says it all.  Here, you’ll find tips on how to avoid supporting this company, as well as how you can get involved in the pursuit of making labeling GMO foods mandatory.  Food for thought :: Former VP of  a subsidiary of Monsanto is quoted as saying: “If you put a label on genetically engineered food, you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”

Number 4 :: Reduce your consumption of processed/packaged foods

As Michael Pollan highlights in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “Corn is in the coffee whitener and Cheez Whiz, the frozen yogurt and TV dinner, the canned fruit and ketchup and candies, the soups and snacks and cake mixes… there are some 45,000 items in the average American supermarket and more than a quarter of them now contain corn.”

Number 5 :: Think SCCC

SCCC = soy, cotton, canola, and corn

These are the most common GM crops.  According to the USDA, 91% of soy, 87% of cotton, 75% of canola, and 73% of corn crops grown in the US are GMO. As highlighted in Jennifer Grayson’s Huffington Post article, Eco Etiquette: How Can I Avoid Genetically Modified Foods? “We’re not just talking tofu and tortilla chips, either: It’s the sheets on your bed, those potato chips fried in cottonseed oil, and the aspartame in your Diet Coke (made using a fermentation process that involves soy and cotton).”  Tofu lovers can breathe a slight sigh of relief, however, as here’s some positive press on House Foods, America’s biggest Tofu Producer.

On a positive note, the California Secretary of State just announced that the GMO labeling ballot measure exceeded the requirements to be placed on the November ballot.  Should you feel compelled, express your voice to Congress and ask that they pursue mandatory GMO labeling laws: Contacting the Congress.

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