My Plantcentric Journey

Posts tagged ‘gmo corn’

Dr. Oz Debate: Labeling Genetically Modified Foods, Pt 1 | The Dr. Oz Show

Bravo to The Dr. Oz Show for continuing to wake up viewers to the dangers of GMO’s. He addresses Whole Foods Market making every product with GMO’s in it be labeled within 5 years and interviews Whole Foods CEO. He also addresses GMO salmon, gmo tomato, which foods to avoid.. Please watch and share. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dr-oz-debate-labeling-genetically-modified-foods-pt-1

Warm Corn and Potato Salad – Vegetarian Friend

This has become a new staple in our home. I bought organic corn (to assure it was non-GMO), and we always have potatoes and onions on-hand. I didn’t have any chilies, so I sprinkled on some crushed red pepper flakes, some smoked paprika and some chili powder. I baked the potatoes in the microwave, so this dish is super quick. It is good warm or cold. Could easily add some edamame or beans of your choice to really up the protein. http://www.vegfriend.com/forum/topics/warm-corn-and-potato-salad

Top Breakfast Cereals That Contain Monsanto’s GMO Corn

The recent French study that related Monsanto’s GMO corn to cancer, liver damage, organ failure, kidney damage and premature death –  is now being taken very seriously by health organizations and even governments all over the world and they are now warning their people and farmers to make healthier and better food choices.

GMO labeling

Although United States of America is the richest nation on earth, it is now regarded as one of the least healthy societies in the world. People in US are becoming more aware of the health risks associated with processed andGMO foods and are more interested than ever before in organic sustainable living.

As usual, California is once again leading the country in proposing regulations that protect the public from health risks and putting focus on public safety. The desire to label GMO foods is growing stronger, not just in California, but  across the entire country and many organizations and communities from East Coast to West Coast of US are seeking support for California Proposition 37 in order to protect pregnant women, infants and children from the health hazards associated to GMOs.

Public organizations are compiling lists with the assistance of research institutes in US to monitor and disclose favorite food brands that may contain ingredients made with Monsanto’s GMO corn or have been genetically modified or engineered.

Since 85% of corn and soy planted in the US are genetically modified, therefore most processed foods are made of ingredients that contain corn or soy based compounds with high levels of GMO. In fact, soy and corn aren’t the only foods that have been genetically modified; there is also rice, canola oil, cotton, tomatoes, potatoes, dairy products, meat products and peas that have been genetically modified.

Last week the editor of Natural News Mike Adams released the name of many well known breakfast cereals that are made from Monsanto’s GMO corn as below:

Monsanto GMO-corn-breakfast-cereals

  1. Barbara’s Bakery Puffins Peanut Butter
  2. General Mills Cocoa Puffs
  3. Kellogg’s Corn Pops
  4. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes
  5. Kashi Heart to Heart
  6. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
  7. General Mills Kix
  8. General Mills Corn Chex
  9. Quaker Honey Graham Oh’s
  10. General Mills Honey Nut Chex

Nature’s evolutionary permutations has brought us here to this point in time and space in a remarkable journey of precision. We cannot let Monsanto destroy mankind in a flash through genetically modified DNA – and cause irreparable damage to humans – for profit.

GMO cancer

Humans, who can’t even eradicate common cold, can’t stop unnecessary wars, famine, injustice, inequality, 500 million children dying of malnutrition worldwide, 13 million child sex slaves, etc. etc. shouldn’t be trusted togenetically modify foods (causing pathogens to radically mutate uncontrollably) without enough research and enough time to understand the consequences and the implications and possible long term side-effects.

To illustrate my point, humans (and those particularly in power such as large wealthy corporations, i.e. Monsanto) can’t even agree to respect people’s choice and fully disclose through labeling food.

In fact the “Big 6″ pesticide firms (MonsantoDuPont, Bayer, Dow, BASF and Syngenta) have contributed $19M against CA prop No 37 and they REFUSE to want to label GMOs and respect people’s choice when there is absolutely no LOGICAL and MORAL reason for not labeling GMO foods.

Bottom line is that there are no more myths about GMOs and GMO debate is over. The arguments I have heard from all those Monsanto supporters and those who have stocks in GMO and bio companies, and those proponents of GMO without any safety assessment prior to consumption by the general public is like a broken record player that completely ignores and disrespects people’s right to CHOOSE.

http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-foods/breakfast-cereals-monsanto-gmo-corn/

New Study: Genetically Modified Food Linked to Tumors and Organ Damage

by PAT ANSON, EDITOR on SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

A provocative new study is adding fuel to the debate over the potential health effects of genetically modified food. European researchers say rats fed a diet of genetically modified corn developed large tumors and multiple organ damage that led to premature death.

The study, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, is believed to be the first peer-reviewed, long-term animal study of a genetically modified food. It was funded by the Committee for Research and Independent Investigation on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN), which lobbies against pesticides and genetically modified food.

Researchers fed the rats with corn genetically modified (GM) to be resistant to Roundup, a widely used herbicide, or gave them water containing the weed killer at levels permitted in drinking water in the United States. They suffered mammary tumors, severe liver and kidney damage, and died at an earlier age than rats fed a standard diet.

“This is the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GM food crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats. It shows an extraordinary number of tumors developing earlier and more aggressively – particularly in female animals.  I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts,” said Michael Antoniou, molecular biologist at London’s Kings College and a member of the CRIIGEN scientific council

“The rat has long been used as a surrogate for human toxicity. All new pharmaceutical, agricultural and household substances are, prior to their approval, tested on rats. This is as good an indicator as we can expect that the consumption of GM maize and the herbicide Roundup, impacts seriously on human health,” said Antoniou.

Researchers studied 10 groups of rats, each containing 10 males and 10 females, over the course of two years, their normal lifetime. They were given different levels of Roundup in their drinking water and different amounts of NK603 maize, the corn genetically modified to be resistant to Roundup.

Many of the female rats in the study developed large mammary tumors.

They found that NK603 and Roundup both caused similar damage to the rats’ health, whether they were consumed on their own or together. Females developed fatal mammary tumors and pituitary disorders. Males suffered liver and kidney damage, skin tumors and developed problems with their digestive system. Researchers say even the lowest doses were associated with health problems. The lowest dose was below safety levels for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.

Up to 50% of the males and 70% of the females died prematurely. After two years, over half the females had developed large tumors.

“The research findings raise serious questions about the current regulatory process for licensing industrial chemicals, pesticides and other novel crops. The scientists observe that GM crops have been approved safe for consumption on the basis of 90-day animal feeding trials. They also point out that only Roundup’s active principle, glyphosate, has been tested rather than the commercial product, which includes ingredients that enable the glyphosate to penetrate plants more efficiently,” CRIIGEN said in a statement.

Seventy percent of processed foods sold in the U.S. and 85% of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified, according to CRIIGEN.

“On the basis of this study, we have to conclude that there is now a serious question mark over the safety of at least one GM crop. This suggests that all currently licensed GM crops should be re-evaluated and that in future safety studies in laboratory animals must be conducted over significantly longer periods of time that are equivalent to the animals’ normal life span not simply their adolescence,” said Patrick Holden, founder of the Sustainable Food Trust, which lobbies for food safety.

Genetically modified foods are unpopular in Europe, but are widely available and often unlabeled in the United States. Monsanto, which makes Roundup, first introduced a soybean genetically altered to tolerate the weed killer in 1996. Monsanto said it would need time to review the CRIIGEN study.

“Numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies performed on biotech crops to date, including more than a hundred feeding studies, have continuously confirmed their safety, as reflected in the respective safety assessments by regulatory authorities around the world,” said Monsanto spokesman Thomas Helscher.

Some experts raised questions about the CRIIGEN study.

“If the effects are as big as purported, and if the work really is relevant to humans, why aren’t the North Americans dropping like flies? GM has been in the food chain for over a decade over there,” said Mark Tester, a research professor at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics at the University of Adelaide, in an emailed statement to Reuters.

In California, supporters of Proposition 37 moved quickly to call attention to the study. Prop 37 would require that all genetically modified food sold in the state be labeled.

“The results of this study are worrying. They underscore the importance of giving California families the right to know whether our food is genetically engineered, and to decide for ourselves whether we want to gamble with our health by eating GMO foods that have not been adequately studied and have not been proven safe,” said Gary Ruskin, manager of the Yes on Proposition 37 California Right to Know campaign.

View the Trailer to Jeffrey Smith’s New Film Genetic Roulette

narrated by Lisa Oz

Watch the trailer

Order the film

Visit the movie website: GeneticRouletteMovie.com

This film may change your diet, protect you and your family, and accelerate the consumer tipping point against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) already underway.

Never-before-seen evidence points to genetically engineered foods as a major contributor to rising disease rates in the US population, especially among children. Gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, inflammatory diseases, and infertility are just some of the problems implicated in humans, pets, livestock, and lab animals that eat genetically modified soybeans and corn.

Monsanto’s strong arm tactics, the FDA’s fraudulent policies, and how the USDA ignores a growing health emergency are also laid bare.

Don’t miss it! 

Brought to you by the Institute for Responsible Technology

Shipping August 25

View the trailer and purchase the film:

Watch the trailer

Order the film

Visit the movie website: GeneticRouletteMovie.com

Sincerely,

The Institute for Responsible Technology

#Monsanto Chapter 11, Verse 21

Is Certified Organic Always Non-GMO?

 

Thanks for asking, Tracy!

Is Organic Always GMO Free?

May 5, 2011

Organic is Usually GMO Free

Buying 100% Organic, Certified Organic, and USDA Organic-labeled products is usually the easiest way to avoid genetically modified ingredients.

The United States and Canadian governments do NOT allow companies to label products “100% / Certified Organic” if they contain genetically modified foods.

To put it in more detail:

100% Organic: Must contain 100 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). This is the only label that certifies a completely organic product AND completely GMO-free ingredients.

Certified Organic / USDA Organic / Organic: At least 95 percent of content is organic by weight (excluding water and salt). The <5% remaining ingredients must consist of substances approved on the USDA’s National List. GMOs are NOT on this list, so these products are also usually GMO-free.

Made with Organic: Up to 70% of the ingredients are organic. These products can NOT carry a “USDA organic” label and are NOT typically GMO-free.

But lately, even organic products are at risk….

Why Say “Usually?”

If USDA certification requires at least 95% of content to be organic, and a GMO ingredient can’t be included in that 5%, then USDA Organic is GMO-free, right? Not always.

Says Barry Estabrook in this excellent article: “The casings for those tasty USDA Organic sausages can come from conventionally raised animals that have been fed antibiotics (or GMO-laden corn). The hops in your favorite organic beer can be sprayed with all manner of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Strawberries can be labeled as organic even if they had their start in a conventional nursery.”

How is this possible? He answers that question too: “the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), which has the power to determine what materials can — and cannot — be used in organic production, too often weakens regulations in the face of intense lobbying by corporations who are more interested in the higher profits conferred by the word “organic” than in strong and meaningful standards.” And let’s just remember how much Monsanto has invested in corporate lobbying dollars…

Getting discouraged yet? There are more loopholes…

Despite rigid organic certification procedures, organic certification is about the *process* of growing food, not about the actual resulting food. There is no testing process for organic ingredients, so there is a chance that GMO contamination could occur.

And sadly, GMO contamination is growing steadily, year after year. Just look at this recent response from the USDA regarding a series of questions raised by organic farmers after GMO alfalfa was approved.

Even more sobering is the impending contamination from genetically engineered Kentucky Bluegrass. This grass is used in animal forage — including organic beef that comes from grass-fed animals. Now that Kentucky Bluegrass been genetically engineered for RoundUp resistance, not only is does it contain genetic material that is no longer natural, but it can be heavily sprayed with RoundUp to remove weeds. And because grass spreads rapidly, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes the next superweed.

Between cross-pollination and wind-borne seeds, organic pastures all around our nation are soon going to be contaminated. It’s already happening in Australia— a farmer just lost his organic certification due to wind-borne contamination from a neighboring GMO crop.

How Does Contamination Occur?

Contamination can happen any number of natural ways: 1.) via cross-pollination between GMO and non-GMO crops, 2.) from trace amounts of GMO ingredients found in animal feed (as per the alfalfa/bluegrass section above), 3.) from seeds traveling by wind or by migratory birds that take root in the soil of an organic farm, and 4.) from ingredient suppliers that co-mingle various sources.

It can also happen when it takes nearly three years for a manufacturer who illegally uses the term “organic” in their labeling to be noticed, reported, investigated, and forced to amend their label. The oversight of organic manufacturers “falls far short of assuring standards are met.”

Is there a Certification Process for Being GMO Free?

Yes. When you see this label on a product, it means the producer took the time to go through a certification program similar to the one used to obtain organic certification, only it’s designed to focus on GMO-free processes.

Started initially by retailers, the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program (PVP)‘s core requirements include “traceability, segregation, and testing at critical control points.” Compliant products bear the Non-GMO Project Seal shown above (explained in detail here), indicating that the product has been produced in accordance with the best practices of the Non-GMO Project Standard.

Sadly however, just like organic certification, the word “usually” once again comes into play: the Non-GMO Project says directly that its label does not guarantee that a product is 100% GMO-free, because contamination is an ever-growing threat.

Read a great article about the reasons why this program was started, despite similar process testing procedures for organic products.

GMO Free Labels

When you see a “GMO free” label on an organic product, how does it compare to certified organic or certified Non-GMO Project standards? Hard to say.

Because there is no certification program associated with this label, it is simply the producer’s word that all fields, ingredients, processes, and storage avoid contact with, and contain no genetically modified ingredients.

This doesn’t mean this label isn’t valid; sometimes producers can’t afford the cost of becoming certified organic or certified through the Non-GMO Project, and thus use this label as a sign of good faith.

And because so many consumers don’t know that Certified Organic = GMO free (I didn’t, until I did the research), it can be a more obvious and affordable way of letting customers know.

No label in sight? Sometimes you need to read the fine print: some manufacturers don’t include a little GMO free icon, but they do include the words “we don’t use genetically engineered ingredients” (or similar wording) on the back of their labeling (hope you brought your reading glasses to the grocery store). :-)

Organic versus Certified Naturally Grown

When the USDA Organic program started in 2002, many small farms were forced to make a difficult choice: either pay high certification fees and complete mounds of paperwork to become “Certified Organic,” or give up using the word “organic” to describe their produce and/or livestock.

Believing that neither choice was very attractive, a group of farmers created Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), to provide an alternative way to assure their customers that they observed strict growing practices. Their methods include using natural biological cycles – incorporating a careful balance of micro-organisms, soil flora and fauna, natural pollinators, plants and animals – to create a sustainable farming system.

The resulting products meet and in some cases exceed the USDA standards but do not carry any of the official government approved organic seals. CNG now consists of more than 500 member farms in 47 states and growing.

Note: the majority of the CNG farm listings that I perused included the words “GMO free” in their product descriptions.

Other “Natural” Product Labeling Terms

Additional labeling terms – such as Natural, Cage Free, Free Range, Certified Humane (raised and handled), Vegetarian Diet, Fair Trade, and Locally Grown – have no direct relevance to whether a product is GMO free (genetically modified vegetables can and do get used in animal feed sometimes… particularly corn fed to pigs, cows and chickens).

For a helpful description about each of these, click here.

For a helpful ranking chart about egg labeling in particular, click here.

The Even Longer Story Behind GMOs and Organics
(includes excerpts from The Organic and Non GMO Report website)

To have a product certified as organic, a producer/manufacturer/farmer must undergo third party verification to ensure that the requirements of USDA National Organic Program are met. These requirements certify the process of growing the crop (they do not test the resulting crops/food). Processes that are reviewed include:

• All production methods — which must be free from most synthetic chemicals (e.g. pesticides, herbicides & fertilizers, antibiotics & hormones), genetically modified organisms, irradiation, and use of biosolids;

• All farmlands — which must be free from synthetic chemicals for generally 3 or more years;

• Storage procedures — producers must keep strict physical separation of organic products and non-certified products

• On-site inspections — producers are subject to initial (and sometimes subsequent) inspections.

Want to read an even more detailed description about organic certification? click here.

Organic certifiers want to ensure that GMOs are not used in organic products, but getting 100 percent verification that all substances are non-GMO may not be possible. Apparently the effort is significant, and requiring 100 percent verification could grind a processor’s operation to a halt.

Due to a lack of guidance from US National Organic Program (NOP), organic certifiers have developed their own methods to address GMO challenges posed by non-organic ingredients (for that <5% of non-organic ingredients allowed in foods labeled organic).

Oregon Tilth Certified Organic and CCOF developed flowcharts or “decision trees” to evaluate the GM status of ingredients. Quality Assurance International (QAI) developed a GMO Declaration that it asks clients to submit to verify the non-GMO status of ingredients.

Says Gwendolyn Wyard, Oregon Tilth’s processing program reviewer, “The problem is that “organic” is a process certification. We’re asking whether they use GMOs, not whether there is GM DNA or protein in the final product.”

Verifying the non-GM status of some ingredients can be challenging. For example, the supply of the ingredient tocopherol/Vitamin E has been controlled by one or two companies who collected soybean oil from many co-mingled sources. Oregon Tilth requires that tocopherols come from an identity preserved, non-GM source, but Quality Assurance International (QAI) does not require an IP (identity preserved) tocopherol, says Jessica Walden, QAI technical specialist.

Instead, QAI developed a “GMO Declaration” to address questions raised by the NOP’s rule on genetic engineering. The declaration describes QAI’s policy toward GMOs focusing on three categories:

When a product is a non-organic agricultural ingredient such as cornstarch, in order to qualify as non-GMO in “Organic” and “Made with Organic” categories, the original organism that produced the ingredient must be non-Genetically Modified. When a product is a non-organic non-agricultural ingredient, such as flavors and colors, the product must be free from Genetically Modified DNA or proteins. Lastly, ifmicroorganisms such as citric acid are used, the microorganism must be a non-GMO.

On the declaration, the supplier must highlight measures taken to verify their non-GMO claim, such as traceability/identity preservation, GMO testing, and independent audits.

QAI’s GMO declaration has streamlined the response from suppliers for GMO documentation. Instead of receiving various GMO statements, QAI has its clients submit the GMO declaration.

Reading all of this, you gain a new respect for farmers who not only buck the industrial farming system by going organic, but by their perseverance in navigating the volumes and diverse methods of certification!

So what does this all boil down to, when you’re trying to choose a product?

Just this week I was looking for mayonnaise at my local natural foods co-op. They had a fairly broad selection of various organic mayonnaises from different manufacturers.

All of the mayo labels said “organic” somewhere on the label. Two of them said USDA Certified Organic. But only one had “GMO free” in addition to “organic” on the label. Coincidentally, it was the only mayonnaise that was not made from one the “Big Four” GMO crops (corn, soy, canola or cotton/seed).

Does that mean it was the only mayo that was GMO free? No. The others were labeled organic, which technically means they couldn’t be GMO. Yet they didn’t have a “non-GMO” label, and they were sourced from crops with high incidences of GMO farming (soy and canola).

I tried consulting my two “non GMO shopping list” iphone apps, but none of the mayo brands on the shelf were mentioned (either as a pro or a con).

So I ended up playing it uber safe and buying the safflower-based mayo with the Non-GMO label.

What would you have done?

http://gmo-awareness.com/2011/05/05/is-organic-always-gmo-free/

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