Sunday, March 6, 2011

GENETICALLY MODIFIED: WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?



Several years ago I picked up some protein powder and as usual, read the label. I was looking for things like fat grams, sugar, etc.. What I saw was "no GMO's." No GMO's? When you see something like that on a food label you have to wonder what it means. Clearly if the label says it doesn't have it then it must be a bad thing, right? Well, I was content just knowing there were no GMO's in my protein powder, whatever that meant.

Fast forward a few more years and I'm eating a papaya in Oahu. The best damn papaya I've ever eaten. I don't like the Mexican variety because, in my opinion, it smells like feet, but Hawaiian papaya smells like a sweet flower and tastes wonderful. It wasn't long before I became addicted, eating about a dozen in one week. A couple years later I returned to Oahu to discover you couldn't find a single papaya anywhere :( I inquired at a grocery store as to the whereabouts of this succulent fruit and the grocery clerk tells me they were removed because there was a protest over them being genetically modified. What the hell does that mean? (I wondered that, didn't say it out loud).

I don't remember how I acquired my knowledge on GMO's at that point but I was way off base. I initially believed that GMO's were hybrids. Hybrids being crossbred/pollinated. You take the best characteristics from one plant and insert it into another to create a desirable quality. Why would people have a problem with that, especially since cross pollination can even happen in nature. Well, I finally get it.

In the past year I've been learning quite a bit about Genetically Modified Organisms. GMO's and Hybrids are not one in the same. To create a hybrid plant, non invasive methods of cross pollination are used. To create a genetically modified plant scientists alter the DNA of a particular plant. The purpose of GMO's is to create a hardier plant, one resistant to disease and pests. Sounds great on the surface but beneath it is very detrimental to our health.

In 1998 Dr. Arpad Pusztai, a world expert on plant lectins, was petitioned to study GMO's. During his research, after feeding GMO potatoes to rats, he found that the potatoes had a negative affect on the rats stomach lining and immune system. When he released his findings he was suspended and lost his contract.

Now I won't go into detail about how government is in bed with Monsanto, the creator of these GMO patented seeds, or how half of the former Monsanto employees now work for the FDA, if you want to learn all about that insanity I suggest you read the book "Seeds of Destruction." Warning: You will lose sleep.

Monsanto developed rBGH, that lovely hormone that is injected into dairy cows to make them produce more milk faster than normal. Thanks to this quick over production of milk, cows developed infections that needed to be treated with antibiotics. Now our non-organic milk varieties are full of hormones and antibiotics.


What I want you to know is simple.

1. The FDA isn't regulating Monsanto
2. GMO's have not been thoroughly tested for safety.
3. There are many countries around the world that have banned GMO's.
4. You are eating GMO's every day unless you eat 100% organic.
5. These genetically modified crops will put our organic farms at risk.
6. Monsanto is sucking the life out of small farmers.

For now, it doesn't look like GMO's are going anywhere. They are much like the tobacco industry, big and powerful but when they fall they fall hard... and they will fall. To start, we need to begin with labeling. We as consumers have a right to know what is in the food we buy. If we don't demand to know then we are no different than cows being lead to a slaughter house. Let President Obama know that you have a legal right to make an informed decision about your food:

Sign Letter to the President HERE

Say No to GMO's
Non-GMO Project
What are GMO's
Calling all activists: Truth in Labeling Campaign
Food.Inc