GMOs Can Probably Cause Cancer

The World Health Organization (WHO) today said that Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, or Glyphosate, can probably cause cancer. Here is a Reuters article.

First what is Roundup, or glyphosate?  It is a very powerful herbicide that is used to kill weeds and just about anything which grows. If you went to Home Depot and bought a bottle of Roundup and sprayed it on your vegetable garden, you’d have a dead garden in a day or two. It is very potent.

So what does this have to do with Genetically Modified foods (GMOs)? Monsanto and other seed companies have modified corn, soy, canola, and other crops to be resistant to Roundup. By doing this the farmers can save money by not having to remove weeds from the fields by hand, now they can spray the fields with Roundup, it will kill the weeds, but it won’t kill the genetically modified crop.  Sounds great doesn’t it? Well read on.

When the field is sprayed the Roundup lands on the corn, soy, etc. The weeds, and the soil.  The corn for example will absorb the Roundup just as the weeds do, but it won’t kill the corn. The Roundup just stays in the corn, soy, etc and every part of the plant has Roundup in it.

When you eat a GMO food, or foods made form GMO foods, you are getting a small dose of Roundup with every bite.  Even baby formula has GMO ingredients in it.  Here are the top 10 GMO containing foods:

  • Canned soups
  • Frozen foods sweetened with HFCS
  • Baby Formula
  • Juices and dried fruit sweetened with HFCS
  • Many cereals
  • Vegetable and Canola oils
  • Tofu & Soy Milk
  • Meats – Cattle, pigs, chickens, and farm raised fish are fed GMO corn & Soy
  • Milk – Dairy cattle are fed GMO corn and soy
  • Soft Drinks – sweetened with HFCS

How do you keep GMOs and Roundup off of your families kitchen table? Simple, look for Certified Organic foods or those that bear the Certified Non-GMO Project Verified label.

 

References:

Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans

Reuters article.

Daily Finance – 10 foods you’ll have to give up to avoid eating GMOs

Why All The Ads Against Labeling GMOs

If you live in Colorado or Oregon I’m sure you’ve had enough of the political ads against GMO labeling, but why all the fuss?

First, what are GMOs? GMO is Genetically modified Organism.  Companies like Monsanto, Dow, and others have modified the DMA of corn, soy, and other crops to benefit the growers so they can grow more with less labor. So that sounds good right?  If you planted GMO corn in your back yard next to conventional corn you probably couldn’t tell the difference and there may be no real difference when it is on the table.  The danger comes when it is commercially grown.

There are two basic types of genetic modifications they’ve made to the corn, soy, and other plants.

Herbicide Tolerant plants

Can you imagine growing thousands of acres of corn or soy and having to manually weed the crop? Thousands of man hours of grueling work walking up and down rows pulling weeds. So one type of genetic modification is to make the plant resistant to herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. So now rather than pulling weeds they can spray the fields with toxic herbicides like Roundup and kill the weeds, but the GMO corn/soy won’t be affected by the poison.  Still doesn’t sound that bad. But when you look at the crop that has been doused with poison it doesn’t kill the corn/soy, but it takes it in and absorbs it. So when they harvest the corn/soy all that Roundup is in each kernel or bean and it ends up in the food you eat.

Go to Home Depot and pick up a bottle of RoundUp and read the precautions label. That is in your corn on the cob and in your kids breakfast cereal, and in the foods sweetened with corn syrup.

Just recently the FDA approved another GMO crop which can withstand a combination of Roundup and Agent Orange. If you remember the Vietnam war, Agent Orange was sprayed on the jungle to kill the foliage. It also had severe health impacts on the troops on the ground. A good friend was a helicopter pilot there and is now a type1 diabetic because of the agent orange.

Insect Resistant

The other type of genetic modification is to have the plant produce its own insecticide. So rather than having to spray the corps with bug kilers, the plant produces its own and kills the bugs when they eat the plant.  So eat the crop and you’re eating insecticide.

The one ad here in Colorado says there are already Organic and Non-GMO Labeling laws, but these are voluntary.  Only if a company wants to say their food is GMO they can – which no company will.

So why are the major food producers, growers, and chemical companies spending billions to fight GMO labeling? Because if they had to admit what is in their foods, then many people would switch to non-GMO products. Now you can’t tell. Even if it says No GMOs, or Non GMO, or All Natural, it still has GMOs. Look at a very recent Consumers Reports study where they found that virtually everything includes GMOs unless it has the Organic Seal or the Certified Non-GMO seal.

So please research the facts and really understand the truth behind GMO labeling, then cast your vote.

In Colorado is it Prop 105 –  Please vote Yes.

In Oregon it is Measure 92 – Please vote Yes.

References

Below are several references where you can read more about GMO produce, what it is and what it isn’t

Non GMO Project. This is the organization which provides Non-GMO verification for food products so they can bear the Non-GMO logo. This has pages on describing the types of GMO produce.

Earth Open Source – This has a good paper you can download which reviews much of the safety research on GMO foods.

Roundup Ready Controversy – This is published by MIT. It is factual and fairly neutral.

Environmental Sciences Europe – This is 2 year rat study which is what Monsanto published to get GMOs approved, but monsanto only ran the study for 90 days vs 2 years. In the conclusion they list the ailments seen in the rats – in general a two to three fold increase in mortality.

Food & Water Watch – Agent Orange Ready Corn – This lists the dangers of Agent Orange.

GMO Answers – To give fair balance, this is an industry site (Monsanto, food manufactures, etc) so the information is very pro GMO.

Manufacturing.net – This is a news outlet for the manufacturing industry, including foods. They have a good writeup on who is funding the anti-GMO labeling campaigns in Colorado and Oregon and why.

Graphic of who has contributed to each side of the GMO labeling campaigns – This is a great graphic by the Cornucopia Institute of which companies and organizations have contributed how much to both sides of the GMO labeling campaigns in Colorado and Oregon.

GMO vs Non-GMO Corn – What are the differences.

GMO CornIn the quest for cheaper food many farmers, have switched to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn seeds. What Monsanto did to the corn was modify its genetics so that the weed killer and herbicide, Roundup, won’t kill the corn. This enables the farmers to spray the corn crops with high amounts of roundup to kill the weeds so that they don’t have to hand till each row. So a huge labor savings resulting in lower production costs, and cheaper food.  Concept is great, because we all want lower cost foods.

The problem is though that that Roundup weed killer, and its active ingredient glyphosate, is absorbed by the corn plant through the plant and the soil and is incorporated into the plant. Without the genetic modification the corn would be quickly killed, but it lives on.  All that glyphosate ends up in the corn we eat and all the foods derived from corn like corn syrup, HFCS, beef, milk, eggs, and hundreds of other food products.

What has also been found is that, as can be expected, there are high levels of glyphosate in the corn, more than 18 times than what is allowed in the US water supply and 65 times more than what is allowed in Europe. Worse yet is the glyphosate level in corn is 130 times higher than what has been shown to cause organ damage.  So what are you putting on your families table?

Not only are the levels of glyphosate extremely high, but also very high levels of formaldehyde and surprisingly the levels of many minerals are much lower in the GMO corn vs conventionally grown.

Below is a table listing the differences in toxins and minerals from two adjacent midwest US fields, one genetically modified corn and the other non-GM

Parts per million (ppm)
Ingredient GM corn Non-GM corn

Glyphosate 13 0
Formaldehyde 200 0
Nitrogen 7 46
Phosphorus 3 44
Potassium 7 113
Calcium 14 6130
Magnesium 2 113
Sulphur 3 42
Manganese 2 14
Iron 2 14
Zinc 2.3 14.3
Copper 2.6 16
Molybdenum 0.2 1.5
Boron 0.2 1.5
Selenium 0.6 0.3
Cobalt 0.2 1.5

Even though the GM crops weren’t sprayed with formaldehyde as the  glyphosate breaks down one of the by-products is formaldehyde.  You don’t want formaldehyde in your body until you’re laid to rest.

The easiest way to make sure you aren’t poisoning your family with GM corn is to buy only organic corn or grow the corn yourself.  But you’ll still get glyphosate and formaldehyde onto your dinner table. Corn and Soy (which is also genetically modified and sprayed with Roundup) are the primary grains fed to cattle, pigs, chickens, and farm raised salmon, shrimp, catfish and others.  So if a cow is fed an diet rich in GM corn and soy, then the toxins will be in the meat and the milk. For chickens it will also be in the eggs.  If you buy organic meats, milk, and eggs, then they must be fed non-GM foods so those are the sure bet for your families safety.

There are many genetically modified foods besides corn:

  • Soybeans – Most is GM
  • Corn – Most is GM
  • Wheat – non is allowed in the US yet but it is found in Europe for non-foods and for animal feed.
  • Rapeseed and Canola oil
  • Sugar Beet
  • Potato – These have been modified to increase the amount of starch.
  • Cotton – This not only is used for clothing, but also for animal feed.
  • Paypaya – Modified to be more disease resistance.
  • Apples – Apples may soon show up in the GM column. Not for herbicide resistance but to keep them from browning.

Some plans have been genetically modified to product their own toxins that will kill insects that eat the plant. This does save spraying the crops with insecticides, but they make their own which can’t be good for us.

Yes, organic foods are more expensive, but go to Home Depot and take a look at a bottle of Roundup and read the cautions. Just picture spraying that on your food as you cook it or mixing into the kids cereal in the morning.  Read the label, you’ll shop organic.

Sources: Permaculture Institute, Mercola, and GMO Compass

Mars is producing GMO Chocolate

I just saw a report in Confectionary News that  Mars Inc. is developing a strain of GMO chocolate to increase yields by increasing its pest resistance.  Doesn’t sound bad does it? Well they way they typically genetically engineer a plant to resist pests is they insert a bit of DNA into the plant which causes it to produce its own pesticide. So when an insect dines on the plant it kills it. When you eat the plant, you also ingest the pesticide. No it won’t kill you, but lab tests with GMO corn and soy have found that mice will grow certain tumors. So I’ll stick to only organic chocolate. click here for the full story.