This Should be Banned: Found in 80% of Supermarket Foods
May 20, 2011
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Monsanto may soon be allowed to conduct its own environmental studies. Currently, the USDA is responsible for assessing environmental impacts of new GMO crops, but the agency plans to at least temporarily hand over environmental impact reporting responsibilities to the biotech companies behind GMO crops.
If this isn't the classic example of the fox guarding the henhouse I don't know what is.
The two-year pilot program will allow the companies to conduct their own environmental assessments, or alternately outsource the work to contractors. The USDA will retain the final say in determining the safety of crops.
According to Fast Company:
"The USDA won't actually admit that it's bad at performing its duties -- instead, the agency claims that the move will make the environmental reporting process more timely, efficient, and cost-effective ... [But if Monsanto] has a vested interest in getting one of its crops deregulated, why wouldn't it try to fudge the numbers on an environmental review? And why wouldn't its hired contractors do the same?"
You might think that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) don't affect you. But in fact, up to 90 percent of all major U.S. grown crops are grown with genetically engineered seed, and can be used in human and animal foods without any safety testing or labeling.
This includes GM corn, soybeans, canola, and sugar beets, which have made their way into approximately 80 percent of current U.S. grocery store items.
If you're not buying organically produced foods (or growing your own food), then you're probably eating genetically modified ingredients in most of the processed foods you're consuming.
The UK Progressive reports:
"Scientific testing has not been done on what effects GMOs may have on humans. What has been shown is that GMO foods contain excessive amounts of certain toxins, the effects of which have not been determined. Genetically modified foods also negatively impact the environment by creating more toxins and potentially leading to the creation of mutated soil bacteria, which may lead to more harm regarding the future of food production."
Vote with Your Pocketbook, Every Day
The food companies on the left of this graphic spent tens of millions of dollars in the last two labeling campaigns—in California and Washington State - to prevent you from knowing what’s in your food. You can even the score by switching to the brands on the right; all of whom stood behind the I-522 Right to Know campaign. Voting with your pocketbook, at every meal, matters. It makes a huge difference.
I encourage you to continue educating yourself about genetically engineered foods, and to share what you’ve learned with family and friends. Remember, unless a food is certified organic, you can assume it contains GMO ingredients if it contains sugar from sugar beets, soy, or corn, or any of their derivatives.
If you buy processed food, opt for products bearing the USDA 100% Organic label, as certified organics do not permit GMO’s. You can also print out and use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology. Share it with your friends and family, and post it to your social networks. Alternatively, download their free iPhone application, available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications. For more in-depth information, I highly recommend reading the following two books, authored by Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology:
For timely updates, join the Non-GMO Project on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
Please, do your homework. Together, we have the power to stop the biotech industry from destroying our food supply, the future of our children, and the earth as a whole. All we need is about five percent of American shoppers to simply stop buying genetically engineered foods, and the food industry would have to reconsider their source of ingredients—regardless of whether the products bear an actual GMO label or not.