The Great GMO Debate

August 22, 2012 at 12:52 am Leave a comment

There’s big news in health and nutrition this week. It’s an issue that’s much older than just a few days, but it’s hot button topic right now. #Prop37 is a trending topic on Twitter and it deals with GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

I guarantee that acronym is familiar to you, but maybe you don’t know exactly what it means, or what the big issue is. Let me give you a quick run down. A GMO is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using another organism’s genes to obtain desired traits. It’s a preferred method because food can be genetically modified be resistant to herbicides and/or produce their own pesticidal proteins. The company Monsanto is the largest producer of GMO food crops.

It sounds great, right? The issues is the fact that we don’t know what the effect is overtime on humans. Rats that were fed GMOs showed liver damage. Despite this, the FDA says that GMOs are “generally recognized as safe.” GM crops were supposed to increase production with less use of pesticides; however, that’s not what’s actually happening.

The bottom line is do we want to consume foods that might hurt us down the line, or are hurting us already? The issue lately is Proposition 37 in California. Proposition 37 is all about making it mandatory for food companies to properly label foods containing GMOs. Europe is already doing this, but we don’t have it in America. It’s predicted that the direction California goes (as in voting yay or nay), the rest of the country will soon follow.

Some big companies that consume every day are donating BIG bucks to make sure that this gets voted down. Monsanto, the biggest producer of GMOs and a huge abuser of farmers across the country (have you seen Forks Over Knives?), has donated 4 million bucks to ensure that you don’t know what you’re eating.

What’s worse, a lot of awesome veg brands who are owned by non-veg parent companies are involved. Dean Foods, parent company of Silk, donated $253,000. Silk will adamantly deny involvement and will declare that they have been properly labeling their products, and they have. Other brands, such as Lightlife, Larabar, and more are involved as well all because of their parent companies.

My problem isn’t specifically with these companies. You can’t blame the child when it’s the parent’s fault, right? My issue is that these companies have completely different values from their parent companies. Dean Foods is a dairy company, yet Silk commercials promote not drinking milk! Meanwhile, the dairy industry is laughing at us when we think we’re making an environmental difference when we choose Silk over dairy. Either way, they profit.

So, what can we do? First, look in to Proposition 37, even if you aren’t a resident in California. Maybe GMOs are totally harmless, but I want to know what’s in my food. There’s a reason these companies don’t want us to know what’s in the food. I’m tired of big money companies having the power over what goes into my body and having no concern of the negative consequences. Second, look in to GMOs and learn everything that you can learn.  Buy products that label with No GMOs. There’s a great app for the iPhone called ShopNoGMO – look into it! Third, check out Monsanto, but not just their website. Watch Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc. to see behind the scenes of the food industry and learn how Monsanto is changing the farming industry, perhaps not for the better.

The best thing we can do is be informed consumers. An excuse that the big companies like Monsanto use to fight Proposition 37 is that a change of labels and including GMO ingredients would just confuse the consumer. They don’t think we’re smart enough! Prove them wrong.

Info from Say No to GMOs

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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