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    Monday
    Apr182011

    Not Necessarily Consecutive

    This is the third article from my recent writing marathon, but it is not being posted on the third day.  I wondered if you’d notice!  Good living sometimes enables you to develop flexibility and patience.  However, it’s sort of like the Hobbit tradition of second breakfast; there is always something to look forward to.

    “If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”  Thomas Jefferson

    Genetically Modified Organism.  Just the name makes you want to steer clear.  Reminiscent of zombies and Dr. Frankenstein’s monster.  Genetically modified foods have been in the news lately, more so than any other time in their approximately twenty-year history.  They are now in most American homes and being consumed by most Americans.  In your home and on your table.  Did you know that?  U.S. corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, cottonseed (the oil most used in fast food), papaya (specifically from Hawaii), and small amounts of zucchini and yellow squash make the top of the modified foods list.  Chips, most packaged, refined, and fast foods, cooking oil, bread, sugar (which, in America, is a combination of sugar cane and sugar beets; with beets being the higher contributor).  The list could go on.  Now, how many times have you noticed (even if you had known to look) the package symbol indicating that the food you are purchasing contains genetically modified organisms?  Maybe you have seen other symbols or notices or listings on your fresh and packaged foods - Organic, A Low-fat Food, High in Dietary Fiber, Servings per Container, vitamin content, basic ingredients list, All-Natural…  You have?  You bet you have, it’s the law.  When I consider this whole scenario, it really makes me think.  Would I rather know that my package of tortilla chips will serve 25 people, 18 chips each, or that the corn used to make the chips was grown from seed that is genetically altered?  It is really no longer true corn.  It is a “super crop”, a “Frankenfood”, a moneymaker for the Monsanto Corporation.

    Food producers and manufacturers are not required to tell you that GM foods make up a large portion of your food purchases.  They shy away from printing on your food product that it was a product of DNA splicing.  Virus and bacteria genes are inserted into healthy seed, which makes it resistant to weed killers (mainly RoundUp-the kingpin of Monsanto’s empire), insect damage, and disease.  The food crop is now ‘hardier’, and it grows faster and is much larger.  There are numerous studies underway on the impact of this branch of biotechnology on human growth and development.  Not to mention the  effect these farming practices are having on those not growing genetically altered food crops.

    Six European countries have banned the use of GM seed and GM foods in their nations.  Others require labeling of those engineered foods.  Studies are currently underway that  link the rise in soybean allergies to the consumption of genetically modified foodstuffs.  There is also data indicating that the herbicide-resistant genes, now part of the food’s physical make-up, transfers into the DNA of the good bacteria living inside our intestines - and continues to function.  This is the same manipulation that occurs when dairy cows are given rBGH or rBST - GM bovine growth hormone.  Mmmm, mmmm, good!

    Salmon, farm-raised U.S. salmon, is now the next target of the food engineers.  I think this is what has prompted the increase in publications, studies, and public education.  If you are concerned, if you are disgusted, you can do something.  Buy only foods labeled as not containing GM foods, buy organic (which is governmentally regulated, by the way), contact your congressional representatives, write the FDA and the USDA, and support efforts to require labeling of all food that contains genetically modified organisms or was grown with GM seed.

    Here is a list of information to get you started.  I want this to be a wake-up call.  We have lived too long with the belief that our government will always, and only, do what is ‘best’ for us.  It seems that we no longer bother to find out what is really in the food we eat.  We pay no attention to what is happening beyond the ends of our noses.  Your phone call, letter, or email, when added to the thousands of others, will make a difference.

    Publications

    Genetic Roulette, Jeffrey M. Smith
    Seeds of Deception, Jeffrey M. Smith
    “Say No to GMOs”, Melissa Diane Smith, Better Nutrition magazine
    Tomorrow’s Table-Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food, Dr. Pamela Ronald

     

    Online Articles

    USDA Decision On GE Alfalfa Leaves Door Open For Contamination, Rise Of Superweeds

    FDA panel on genetically modified salmon leaves questions unanswered

    Monsanto’s Roundup Triggers Over 40 Plant Diseases and Endangers Human and Animal Health

    Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?

    Why Aren’t G.M.O. Foods Labeled?

    The American Academy Of Environmental Medicine Calls For
    Immediate Moratorium On Genetically Modified Foods

    Genetically Modified Foods

     

    Resources

    http://nongmoshoppingguide.com/
    A printable guide listing manufacturers of nonGMO foods

    http://www.responsibletechnology.org/ and http://gmwatch.org/
    To stay informed on the latest news and most recent developments on GMO

     

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