Hide this

Are Your Supermarket Plums Genetically Modified? Here's How to Find Out!

February 21, 2009 | 84,035 views
Share This Article Share

plumsThe little stickers on fruits and vegetables have digits that let you know whether they're conventionally grown or organic, and if they're genetically modified (GM). There are many benefits to knowing this information:

• The health risks -- GM foods have been in stores only since the 1990s, so the long-term health risks are unknown
• The environmental risks -- Scientists are concerned that GMOs will reduce biodiversity
• The taste benefits -- People all over the world agree that the range of possible flavors is greater without a few GM foods crowding out the many natural varieties

Here’s what you should look for:

• A four-digit number means the produce is conventionally grown
• A five-digit number beginning with 9 means it's organic
• A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it's GM

What Are GMOs?

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Recently, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) has reintroduced a bill (HR 1599) that would preempt states' rights to enact GMO labeling laws. This bill would create a federal government program to oversee guidelines for voluntary labeling of products that do not contain GMOs. It would specifically prohibit Congress or individual states from requiring mandatory labeling of GMO foods or ingredients. It would also allow food manufacturers to use the word "natural" on products that contain GMOs. TAKE ACTION NOW! Your local representatives need to hear from you! Please contact them today by CLICKING HERE

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Non-GMO Food Resources by Country

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.

Donate Today!


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The GMO giants have been very effective in eliminating legislation that would require them to clearly label GM products and, as a result, most grocery stores in the United States do not post signs next to produce to let you know it’s been genetically modified. So checking the number on the sticker is a simple way to know for sure.

So here is the way you can do it:

If you see a five-digit number that begins with an 8, take a big pass, as that produce is GM. Of course, this tip works not only for plums but for just about any fruit or vegetable in the fresh produce section.

Why Should You Care if Your Produce is GM?

Genetically modified foods are, from my perception, one of the largest threats against the very sustainability of the human race.

Not only are they threatening to contaminate non-GM crops, even those that are labeled organic, so that one day soon ALL crops may be laced with GM elements, but their health risks are only beginning to be uncovered.

And what’s been revealed so far is enough to raise some major red flags.

Just last year, a long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety confirmed GM corn seriously affects reproductive health in mice. The results were so worrisome that GM opponents called for an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops in order to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world.

So far, at least 65 serious health risks related to GM foods have been documented by GM expert Jeffrey Smith. Among them:

• Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce
• Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells
• The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning
• Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed GM corn varieties
• Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products

Further, GM foods are known to be highly allergenic, and according to Smith’s research, between 1994 and 2001 -- the same time that GMO’s flooded the market -- food related illnesses DOUBLED.

There is also compelling evidence available that GM potatoes may cause cancer in rats. This research, conducted by Dr. Arpad Pusztai, was suppressed for nearly 10 years because industry backers were questioning his results.

Well, in 2007 a Russian study confirmed the link, and Dr. Pusztai was, in short order, suspended from his job, ordered to hand over all his data, and threatened with legal action if he spoke to anyone on the subject.

As time goes on, it is becoming abundantly clear that the safety of GM foods has never been proven. And if you choose to eat them, you are joining one of the largest, most unethical experiments of all time: seeing what happens when people eat GM foods for a lifetime.

In the United States, introducing GM foods into our diet was done quietly and without the mandatory labeling that is required in most other industrialized countries. Without knowing what impact GM foods might have on human health, or letting people know which foods contain GM ingredients, the biotech industry is gambling with your health for their profit.

Which Foods are Most Likely to be Genetically Modified … and How Can You Avoid Them?

Nearly all of these foods are GM so it is wise to avoid them:

• Soy
• Corn
• Cottonseed
• Canola

It would also be wise to limit products made from these ingredients, such as vegetable oils, maltodextrin and high-fructose corn syrup. In fact, because corn and soy are so widely used in processed foods, at least 70 percent of the processed foods at your supermarket contain GM ingredients.

That’s seven out of every 10 products!

Just another strong reason to avoid eating processed foods.

Other GMO products include:

• Some varieties of zucchini, crookneck squash, and papayas from Hawaii
• Milk containing rbGH
• Rennet (containing genetically modified enzymes) used to make hard cheeses
• Aspartame (NutraSweet)

Avoiding all of the products listed above, unless they are certified organic, is one way to cut down on your intake of GM foods. Buying products that are certified organic or that say non-GMO are two other ways to limit your family‘s risk from GM foods, as organic foods are not allowed to contain GM ingredients.

And remember, anytime you’re buying produce a five-digit number beginning with 8 on the product sticker means it's GM. If you are shopping at a farmer’s market or food coop that does not have stickers on the produce, ask the farmer directly whether or not it’s GM.

Particularly in the United States, where GM products are not required to be labeled, it can be difficult to eat a GM-free diet. But I feel strongly that it is one of the more important things you can do for your health, and to help protect the environment.

For your convenience, download this Non-GMO Shopping Guide, which uses information from the Center for Food Safety and Institute for Responsible Technology that you can get for free.

You Can Vote With Your Pocketbook

If more of us begin to refuse GM foods, food manufacturers will have no choice but to listen. If you’re new to this topic or haven’t yet taken the time to watch The Future of Food, please do so now. It is perhaps one of the most important videos on this subject, and one that everyone in America should watch and pass on to others.

[+] Sources and References

Thank you! Your purchases help us support these charities and organizations.

Food Democracy Now
Mercury Free Dentistry
Fluoride Action Network
National Vaccine Information Center
Institute for Responsible Technology
Organic Consumers Association
Center for Nutrtion Advocacy
Cornucopia Institute
Vitamin D Council
GrassrootsHealth - Vitamin D*action
Alliance for Natural Health USA
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Cropped Catis Mexico