So, so sad. The proposition 37 ballot item did NOT pass in California. The United States and Canada do NOT require genetically engineered food to be labeled, 40 others countries DO require labeling and have for years. Here is a list of some of those countries: Mexico, Brazil, Germany, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

I spent a lot of time last night thinking about GMOs. I’m really disappointed that proposition 37 didn’t pass. I think GMOs are bad for several reasons.

  1. GMOs have not been proven safe. No one knows what the long term consequences of GMOs on individual health and the environment as a whole will be.
  2. In the documentary David vs. Monsanto I learned that GMO seeds can’t be sowed. Once the seed sprouts it “terminates” and will not re-seed. GMO seeds need to be purchased “new” each season. I find that rather scary. Nature is no longer in control.
  3. The other thing I learned from the documentary David vs. Monsanto is that a farmer who spent 50 years cultivating his crop seeds can be ruined instantly by GMO seeds contaminating the natural seeds. This is contamination through natural pollination by wind and insects. It’s hard to keep a farm organic when it’s surrounded by fields that grow GMO plants. You can read more about this type of contamination here.
You may disagree with me and think that GMOs are the greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind. That’s fine, great in fact. I’m thrilled that there is something that you think is awesome. It really is great, and we should both agree that our food should be labeled as containing GMOs. Some of us will choose not to eat food containing GMOs while others might seek that food out. In either case we can all make an informed decision. Simple and perfect.
Unfortunately, for all of us, there will be no labeling in the U.S. If you think GMOs are awesome and you want to make sure to incorporate them into your diet then you just keep doing what you’re doing. If you would like to avoid eating GMOs here are some suggestions on how to keep them off your plate.

What to Avoid

  • Most common Genetically Modified Crops grown in the US and the percentage of that crop that was GMO in 2010 Soy 93% – found in all soy products, Cotton 93% – common ingredient in vegetable oil and margarine, Corn 86% – found in corn products and high fructose corn syrup, Canola 90% – canola oil.
  • Other products that contain GMOs: Sugar Beets, Dairy (cows injected with GE hormone and possible fed GM grains/hay), Aspartame/AminoSweet (commonly found in chewing gum and diet beverages), Farm Raised Salmon, Papayas.

What to Do

  • Buy 100% Organic – look for the label. If food has been genetically modified or been fed genetically modified feed the US Government and the Canadian Government don’t allow the 100% organic label.
  • Buy 100% Organic Eggs – if eggs are labeled “free-range”, “natural” or “cage-free” they may not be GE – free. The best eggs will come from you local organic farmer.
  • Look at the PLU Numbers. I mentioned this in a past post. A 4 digit number means the produce is conventionally grown/raised. A 5 digit number beginning with 9 means it’s organic. LOOK FOR THE “9”. This is new, I don’t think I new this the last time I mentioned produce numbers: A 5 digit number beginning with an “8”  means it’s GM. Unfortunately PLU labeling is optional and as we are now very aware, Monsanto and other large companies don’t want to label their GMO foods so it’s unlikely you’ll find a PLU with an “8”. That would be too easy.
  • Buy 100% Grass-fed/pasture raised Beef – if the meat is grain-fed (conventional) or grain-finished (a lot of meat at whole foods is grain finished) there is a good possibility that they were fed GM corn. Eat-Wild is a great resource.
  • Look for 100% Organic when buying Pork and Poultry
  • Look for the Non-GM or GMO-free label. This is rare but hopefully it will become more common, like the “organic” sticker. Basically, buy organic whole foods and avoid processed foods. Here is a list of GMO-free Foods, not sure how accurate it is but it’s a start.
  • Download the True Food Shoppers Guide Mobile App (search True Food in apps store), it’s FREE or you can download a Printable Version. I just found this so I have not tried the App or reviewed the entire printable version (it’s long but looks really great).
  • Look for LOCAL, organic products. More than half of all GM foods are produced in the US but they come from large industrial farms so shop at local farmers’ markets  or better yet sign up for a CSA. LocalHarvest is a great way to find a CSA in your area.
  • Buy Whole Foods and avoid processed, refined, prepared foods (anything in a box, bag)
  • Grown your own food. Easier said than done, I know.
Well, I feel a little bit better. At least I’ve outlined some strategies for controlling GMOs in my life. Hopefully some of you will also find this helpful.
Eat Well, Feel Good, Have Fun

References:

http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/what-are-gmos-how-many-us-foods-contain-them-infographic.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Genetically-Modified-Foods

http://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/gm-foods.php

http://truefoodnow.org/shoppers-guide/

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One Response to No Labels for GMOs

  1. Ella Baker says:

    Without GMO labelling the welfare of the people in jeopardy. And various diseases will continue to threaten us.

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