You may have heard about genetically modified organisms, dubbed “frankenfoods,” but do you really know the story behind them? Do you know why there has been such an uprising in the natural food world and why people are so passionate about getting GMOs out of the food supply?
The following 10 things you may not know about GMOs come straight out of my new ebook, Unraveling GMOs, to give you a bit of a sneak peak into what you can learn (or what you may not know about already).
1. Monsanto has a patent on their genetically modified seeds.
This means, without Monsanto’s consent, no one is allowed to conduct any type of independent testing regarding the safety to the environment, to our health and to confirm if there really is more of a benefit to using the genetically modified seeds. (source)
2. Since the mid-90’s, over 700 small farms have been sued
but have settled out-of-court rather than face Monsanto’s belligerent, and well-financed, contentious actions. Why have they been sued? Most cases it’s because Monsanto claims these farmers are infringing on patent rights because GM seed showed up in their fields of non-GM seed. Mind you, this can naturally happen by cross-pollination, wind and animal droppings.
3. One of the biggest PR claims for the use of GMOs is the scare tactic of needing to feed the world.
Did you know that the world’s third most used GM seed is cotton? Now, how can that feed the world? Besides, in the United States alone it’s estimated we waste 40 billion pounds of food each year. (source) I don’t think the shortage of food is the problem. I think it’s more that people cannot afford to buy the food. Why not work on a local level to build local economies so the people can have money to spend on food? Just a thought.
4. If you still think there are no such thing as revolving doors for the biotech industry and our government,
let me let you in on a few facts. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, from 1998-2002 the biotech industry spent $143 million on lobbying alone. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is also included in that number which lobbies and advertises on behalf of the whole industry. Under this organization, it has a total budget of $30 million, employs 70 and represents 1000 companies. (source) Um, can you say they are everywhere? This would certainly make it easy to give a few people here and there a nice, hefty bonus for making things run smoothly for the industry. Don’t you think?
5. Contrary to what most people believe, the FDA has not adopted a mandatory safety assessment of GM foods
and has never approved a GM food as safe. The FDA does not hold itself responsible to ever conducting a safety assessment of a new GM food to approve. Instead, they depend on a voluntary program for the pre-market of GM foods.
All approved GM foods have gone through this voluntary review but there is no law stating it is necessary. This basically means a company can put any GM food on the market they want and have been notified in a letter by the FDA that they are held liable if something goes wrong with the GM food. (source)
6. One study tested the blood samples of 69 pregnant and non-pregnant women who were eating a standard Canadian diet.
The results were shocking!
Researchers found Cry1Ab, a specific strain of BT toxin, in 93% of maternal blood samples, 80% in fetal cord samples and 69% of non-pregnant women blood samples. This means that not only is the BT toxin surviving in our gut, it’s transferring into our bloodstream and into the bloodstream of our unborn children! (source)
7. Did you know that not only do you have to look for common names like corn, soy, and canola to avoid GMOs in food,
but you also have to look for their derivatives?Yup. There is a whole slew of ingredients that are derived from GM corn, soy, and canola like dextrose, diacetyl, Inversol, milk powder, tocopherols (vitamin e), whey powder and much, much more.
8. Did you know that about 90 million metric tons of GM corn grains are produced worldwide?
Of that 90 million metric tons, at least 65 million metric tons of GM corn are used in livestock feed annually – that’s about 70% of the total grain production! (source) Wait… I thought we were supposed to be feeding the world with these crops?
9. Did you know that all living organisms have a natural barrier to protect their genes from any harm?
This means when a biologist proceeds to change the DNA of another organism, the genetic engineer must force the DNA into the genetic makeup. (source)
10. Genetic modification is very different from hybridization and other natural breeding techniques,
in that genetic modification can produce something completely unnatural. For example, with genetic modification, you can take the genes of an arctic flounder and put them into the genes of a tomato to make the tomato frost resistant (this by the way has been done before). With hybridization, farmers essentially steer the process so they can receive the desired outcome. A good example is peppermint which is a hybrid of spearmint and water mint.
Learn More About GMOs!
Whether or not you believe GMOs should be banned or if you think they should be allowed, making an informed decision based on your own research is what is most important.
In my new eBook, Unraveling GMOs, not only will you have a better understanding of the history behind GMOs but you’ll also learn how to avoid them by reading real life label examples and what sort of ways you can help to spread the word.
It’s an easy-to-read, enticing and comprehensive guide on the ins and outs of GMOs. Each page will leave you wanting to learn more and at the end of the ebook, you will be left feeling inspired and empowered.