For years we have been told by the powers that be that GMO products are safe to consume and that there is “no scientific evidence” that they are harmful to human health. Let’s take a look at where we are today on the GMO discussion and whether we’re really safe from GMOs.
What are GMOs?
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. This label is given to any organism that has had it’s original genetic material manipulated by scientists in a laboratory. It creates combinations of genes that are not normally found through natural cross breeding methods.
The Non-GMO project states that:
“Despite biotech industry promises, there is no evidence that any of the GMOs currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.”
Why Do GMOs Exist?
Scientists began introducing GMOs in the early 1980’s, in an effort to improve the profit margin of the agricultural industry, and avoid issues in food production. The first GMO food approved by the FDA was a tomato with a longer shelf life. It was developed by a company called Calgene and released to the public in 1994.
Why are GMOs bad?
Altering the DNA of an organism to be more resistant to pests, can have devastating consequences on an ecosystem that depends on certain unique aspects of those pests. If you remove one organism from an ecosystem, we need to consider the effects on the rest of the organisms.
Another issue is the patenting and corporate control of GMO products. This has been highlighted significantly with Monsanto and their ownership of seed strains. Here is an expert from Robbie Cummins of AlterNet:
“For 20 years, Monsanto, with its army of lawyers and PR flacks, has spread lies in the mass media and scientific journals; intimidated or sued farmers and scientific critics; and infiltrated or bribed politicians, regulatory officials and academics. As the Corporate Europe Observatory put it:
Corporations like Monsanto have limitless resources to buy political power through lobbying. Not only are they represented by numerous lobbying associations at every level from local to global, they also have an army of hired gun lobbyists, fund scientists to act as their mouthpiece, and participate in ‘greenwashing’ projects.’
In addition, Monsanto has routinely carried out acts of biopiracy—robbing indigenous communities and traditional farmers of their knowledge, plants, and seeds and then patenting these life forms as their corporate “intellectual property.” Overturning or simply ignoring national laws, common law, farmer and consumer rights, and international trade and environmental norms, Monsanto and the other, now merging, chemical-biotech giants (Dow, Dupont, Syngenta, ChinaChem, Bayer, BASF) have essentially organized themselves into a powerful and monopolistic global cartel.
This Monsanto-led cartel, drawing comparisons to the Nazi I.G. Farben cartel of the 1930s and ’40s, has managed to gain a certain degree of public, media and scientific acceptance by repeating its lies over and over again in the mass media, including:
- Toxic industrial and agricultural chemicals are safe
- Seeds and life forms can legitimately be patented and monopolized
- GMO crops use less pesticides and chemicals
- GMO crops are the only way to feed the world
- Genetically engineered crops and trees and the chemicals sprayed or laced into them are climate friendly
- Foods derived from GMOs are “substantially equivalent” to non-GMOs
By destroying the health and livelihoods of millions of people, Monsanto has earned the dubious distinction of being the most hated corporation on Earth.”
The GMO vs Non-GMO debate is no new topic, but if we want to make an informed decision about something, we generally seek advice from experts. So what do they say?
Dr. Mercola is one of the most highly regarded professionals of the natural health industry and here is what he suggests about how to stay safe from GMOs:
“One way you can be sure to keep GMOs off your dinner table is to stop eating processed foods. This will avoid nearly all GMOs along with a variety of other dangerous ingredients. Better yet, grow your own food, or join a Community Service Agriculture program. It has many rewards, from providing you with fresher, uncontaminated produce and cutting your grocery bill, to increasing your sense of well-being and slashing your risk of suffering from disease. No GMOs on my plate.”- Dr. Joseph Mercola, Founder, Mercola.com.
Now that you know the reasons to stay away from them, here are our tips on how to stay safe from GMOs:
1.Read your labels. Don’t just trust the branding of a product to tell you that it’s safe from GMOs. To begin, read the back nutrition label and ingredient list and find out what is actually in the food you are buying. If it doesn’t say that it is USDA certified organic or Non-GMO certified, chances are that it will have GMOs in it.
2. Talk to your local growers. Again, don’t just take their word for it that they are in fact using safe non-GMO growing methods. Ask them what they’re doing behind the scenes, what organic methods they find work best and then use some of those tips in your home garden.
3. Grow your own food. Literally the only way to be absolutely sure that you are not eating GMOs is to grow your own food. However, If you don’t have a small farm sized space, then start with a few of the items from the dirty dozen list below. This list of foods is known to have some of the highest pesticide residues and therefore, the most likely to contain GMOs:
- Sweet bell peppers
4. Avoid non-organic soy, corn and cottonseed products and processed foods. Almost all of the Soy and Corn products in the US are GMOs. Now, because most processed foods contain soy, corn or syrup derivatives of these foods, it is essential that you watch the amount of processed foods you consume. We also suggest buying organic cotton products to ensure that you aren’t supporting GMOs, or absorbing chemicals through your skin.
5. Take a supplement that protects your gut health. Somewhere along the line, you will most certainly eat a GMO product, so you must take action to protect yourself. Gut health plays a significant role in that protection. If you have a healthy digestive system, your body should be able to withstand small encounters with GMOs and toxins. We highly recommend that you use organic, GMO free digestive supplements like Purium’s Biome Medic Proprietary Formula. After all, it is said that the belly has a brain of its own, so why not ensure yourself of a healthy, happy gut feeling from a GMO free belly!