Top 5 GMO Foods To Watch Out For
As you may or may not know by now, the United States government has allowed genetically modified and engineered organisms to enter the public food supply with no warning. Every day, millions of people unknowingly ingest these GMOs because corporations like Monsanto (and the politicians they’ve bought and paid for) claim it’s unfair to require them to label their products.
Multiple scientific studies have linked GMOs to illness, disease, and mutation in plants, animals and humans. These adverse affects have been found to be especially pronounced in pregnant women and children, consequently a demographic that is more apt to eat the low price, processed foods that carry most of the world’s GMO’s.
Until such time as the state or federal government decides to finally stand up for the American consumer by passing mandatory GMO labeling laws, the only way to protect yourself from these toxic “foods” is to avoid buying and eating them.
FoodConsumer’s Marie Cendejas recently published a list of the top 10 GMO foods that you should avoid at all costs. We’ve pared down the list to five GMOs we think are especially gross or dangerous.
These are the foods that are worth the extra time it may take to research origins and the extra money it may cost to buy organic. As always, buying local is ideal, because you can contact the farmer directly to ask what kinds of seeds are used.
Did you know tomatoes were the first genetically modified crop to be commercially available in the U.S.? (Probably not since the government didn’t tell us and they aren’t labeled). In 1994, transgenic tomatoes known as the FlavrSavrs hit the market. They contained a “deactivated” gene that was supposed to prevent the fruit from getting soft as it ripened. It didn’t work as well as biotech companies hoped. Now, experts are praising a new technique whereby two enzymes, (A-Man, B-hex) are suppressed. Unfortunately, there have been reports that some animals have died shortly after consuming GMO tomatoes. Yum.
This one is tough, because even foods that you wouldn’t normally associate with corn have ingredients, like sweeteners, that are derived from GMO corn. As Care2′s Jaelithe Judy reports, genetically modified corn and soybeans were developed by Monsanto in the 1990s to be resistant to the synthetic herbicide glyphosate (better known by Monsanto’s trademarked name for the weedkiller, Roundup). Now, more than 70 percent of corn produced in the United States are the genetically modified, herbicide-resistant variety. Fresh corn from Walmart should be especially avoided.
In the late 1980′s biotech researchers developed a papaya cultivar that would be resistant to Papaya Ringspot Virus. To do this, certain viral genes encoding capsid proteins were transferred to the papaya genome. Now, GMO papaya make up about 75 percent of the total Hawaiian papaya crop.
Rice is considered to be one of the world’s staple crops. In many areas, it has been genetically modified to contain a high amount of vitamin A. More recently, it was discovered that an American company, Ventria Bioscience, has been cultivating rice that’s genetically modified (GM) with genes from the human liver. Although the company claims it’s only producing this rice to help speed pharmacuetical research, it’s growing it in open, outdoor fields. Meaning crops nearby can be unknowingly contaminated. China, which grows and consumes a huge percentage of the global rice supply, recently suspended distribution of genetically modified rice within its commercial food suppliesover growing concern about its safety.
Potatoes were once one of the world’s most important staple crops, but thanks to growing awareness about the harm of too many empty carbohydrates, demand for potatoes as food has waned slightly in the past few years. Desperate for a way to infuse potatoes with more nutrients, researchers in India created a potato with thirty-five to sixty percent more protein using genes from the amaranth seeds. The potato is still very valuable to the starch and chemical industry, however. In order to protect these starch crops from pets and disease, potatoes are sometimes genetically modified with Bacillus thuringiensis var. Kurstaki Cry 1. Yet, mice fed GE potatoes have shown abnormal amounts of toxins in their systems. Also, according to Dr. Nina V. Fedoroff, Willaman Professor of Life Sciences and Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University found that “rats fed the transgenic potatoes had significantly lower organ weights.”
Do you know of another GMO that should have made the list? Share it in a comment!
Image via Thinkstock