MIXING IT UP FOR GOOD HEALTH
By Dee Woods
Last week I explained the results of a peer-reviewed, lifelong study of rats conducted by French researchers. The study showed genetically modified (GMO) corn to be unsafe.
During the two-year study, 50 percent of male rats and 70 percent of female rats fed GMO corn died prematurely when compared to the control group of 30 percent male and 20 percent female.
Several weeks ago, I wrote about the tremendous increase in asthma cases and allergies in the U.S., without even considering the many studies related to GMO that have shown GMO foods to increase allergies.
According to local researcher and author Sue Busen, corn, soy, cottonseed, canola, zucchini, yellow crooked neck squash, sugar beets and Hawaiian papaya are all GMO foods. “Alfalfa is the most recently approved crop in the US, and soon many animals that graze on hay, which contains alfalfa, will be consuming GMOs,” Bensen said.
Genetically modified food is here. In fact, 83 percent of corn in the U.S. is GMO. The problem is we don’t know when we’re eating it. We are also drinking genetically modified hormones through our milk supply.
I asked Busen what we could do to know when we’re eating GMO foods because none of it is labeled. Her answer: Require the labeling of all GMO foods. Russia has ceased importation of GMO foods and the European Union is considering what actions they will take.
Most of the problems are surrounded by the fact government-accepted studies have been modeled by an industry that stands to gain financially from GMO approval. The studies have been only 90-day studies, while most of the problems associated with the GMO corn showed up after 120 days. The official American policy on GMOs is that genetically engineered foods are no different than their conventional counterparts. The most recent French studies indicate otherwise.
Creating GMO foods may have begun with noble intent in the beginning, but GMO foods are showing themselves to be a Frankenstein’s monster that may be endangering all of us.
There are also a few touchy aspects of GMO seed, according to Busen. “Not only do the farmers planting GMO seed need to sign a contract that they will not save seed for future crops, and must buy seed each year from the manufacturer, but they also must buy the herbicides from the manufacturer as well,” she said. “Farmers are legally and financially tied to the company, such as Monsanto, and have no way out once they buy into the program.”
That brings me to the touchy political aspects of food safety. Monsanto Vice President Michael Taylor, an attorney, has been on the scene since 1991 in and out of government, helping to write the rules for GMO foods and GMO hormones given to cows. Taylor was appointed in 2009 by President Obama as a consultant to the FDA as “food safety czar.” Now, how’s that for irony? Food safety? In 2011, a new position was created for him. All of his positions have given him power over other companies. Food safety is the issue, yet, the safety of Monsanto GMO food, is not in question, because Monsanto has their former VP representing them at the FDA! I have always adhered to the admonition to “follow the money,” and so far I’ve been correct. Party affiliation doesn’t matter. Money matters.
Here’s what we need to do. The American people need to insist we have the right to know what foods are GMO or contain GMO components. Allow us to make our own decisions to avoid GMO foods. Other countries are requiring such labeling and the question of labeling is on the ballot in California. Russia just discontinued importing GMO foods since the French study was disclosed.
What is happening is treachery and we need to respond with a request for labeling. The U.S. government never has problems with forcing ridiculous labeling of products, so why would they have a problem with labeling GMO foods? Follow the money — and write or call your legislators. Our representatives in Washington should be voting to assure we know if we are eating GMO foods. It’s really not too much to ask.