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Don’t Let Big Business Genetically Alter our Food

Don’t Let Big Business Genetically Alter our Food

Our diets have seen a lot of changes in the last one hundred years, some good, some not-so, but none as unsettling as the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into our food supply in the mid-1990s. That’s when geneticists figured out how to manipulate DNA and insert characteristics from one species into another.

It sounds strange, and it is. Suddenly there were all kinds of new foods disguised as old standbys as companies developed crops that could resist pesticides or literally make their own, and gave foods new traits like the ability to grow bigger, ripen faster or slower, and travel better. As revolutions go, this one was a success: GMOs ingredients are found in about 70% of the foods in the U.S. today.

Many people, myself included, aren’t sure this is such a good idea. There’s a lot of evidence that GMO foods aren’t healthy for us to eat, to say the least. Animals fed GMO foods develop all kinds of serious problems, which makes me suspect there’s a reason there haven’t been any human studies. I think GMO proponents know we wouldn’t like what we’d find. Yet despite all that is known, 75% of Americans aren’t even aware that they’ve consumed a GMO, let alone are most likely eating them every day.

That’s a problem that might seem too big to overcome. With GMOs so entrenched in our diets and so few people aware of their issues, you may think there’s little we can do to reverse course and re-establish a safer, more sustainable food system that feeds us the way nature intended. But that’s not the case at all. The fact is we’re a lot closer than you’d think.

 The Institute for Responsible Technology has launched the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America, which aims to eliminate GMOs from our food supply. The idea is to get to a “tipping point,” in which a large enough number of consumers start avoiding GMO ingredients to make their use a liability for food companies. Organizers believe only 5% of consumers, or some 15 million shoppers, need to refuse GMO foods to convince food companies they’re a bad idea. That should be easy given that 53% of Americans say they’d do just that if GMO foods were labeled. Manufacturers also have nothing to gain by using them—GMO foods aren’t fresher, tastier, or healthier. Most make life easier for growers, not sellers, which means food companies won’t need a whole lot of persuasion.

They’ll only need a little, and we can all provide it by joining the Campaign and arming ourselves with the Non-GMO Shopping Guide. Download the guide and use it when you shop to make a difference. You’ll not only be eating a whole lot safer and healthier, you’ll be pushing the country to the tipping point where everyone else can too.

Jeffrey Hollender is the co-author of the recently published book The Responsibility Revolution. The Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of  Seventh Generation, Hollender also shares his insights at The Inspired Protagonist, a leading blog on corporate responsibility.

 

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by DeusxFloria via Flickr/creative commons
By Jeffrey Hollender, Seventh Generation

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153 comments

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7:19AM PDT on Oct 24, 2010

Thanks for sharing this information! Great article!

2:14PM PDT on Aug 29, 2010

Sigh...

If it weren't for my human instinct to live, I would have stopped eating long ago just to prove a point... We shouldn't have to be eating this stuff. I know overpopulation has done this to us, but we still should not have to indulge such terrible fake crap that does God-knows-what to our bodies.

3:53AM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

thanks for the post

8:58AM PDT on Jul 27, 2010

Heirloom seeds also tend to yield much tastier veggies. This adds a purely sensual incentive to the other reasons for staying away from GMO's.

9:55PM PDT on Jul 17, 2010

Putting chemtrails into the air so you have to change the structure (or make up) of our foods or plants so they will grow without problems. I believe this is a reason to why so much GMO food around too.

3:02PM PDT on Jul 17, 2010

but gmo's products are still cheaper than typical food (and absolutely cheaper than organic...) so we can't be surprised that most of people want to buy them

8:33PM PDT on Jul 14, 2010

Great article, thanks.

10:09AM PDT on Jul 14, 2010

Generic, fresh produce etc. isn't the answer to avoid eating GMOs. 85% of the corn grown in the U.S is GMO. This corn is not only fed to animals, it is broken down into constituents such as high fructose corn syrup, xanthan gum etc. If you read labels, you will find corn and soy products in 90% of the processed foods that are available on supermarket shelves. Generics are foods processed for a specific corporation or grocery chain. They source their ingredients from the same places as other transnationals that use GMOs. GMOs are in sugar -- GMO sugar beets are being grown. Soy products contain GMO soy and constituent parts. There are enetically modified vegetables being grown. GMO flowers being sold.
Some recent science is revealing that there are mutations occurring in the good bacteria in our guts from GMOs and that earthworms and soil bacteria are mutating. What are going to be the effects of this on human health and the environment? Even with organic food (which has to be GMO free), there is the possibility for GMOs to get into organic processed foods as they only have to be 75% organic. So if cornsyrup or sugar is used as a sweetener and it isn't organic, it could be GMO. Scary. Watch Food Inc. Get online and look for scientific studies on GMOs to see the extent of the problem. Of course, the companies will claim that it wasn't the GMOs that caused cancer. how can we prove that they'll say.

1:56AM PDT on Jul 14, 2010

thanks for post

9:51AM PDT on Jul 13, 2010

Stick to generic!

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