Posted by & filed under Consumerism, GMOs, Health & Disease.

Do you care about GMOs in your food? Did you know that being “certified organic” does not guarantee the food is not contaminated with GMOs? Contamination has been found in certified organic foods since 2002. That’s not a typo, folks. It’s horrifying to see how long we’ve been a part of the largest experiment in human history.

Let the food companies you support know you don’t want GMOs in your food. Write them a sample letter, like the one below. If you are in the US or Canada, suggest food companies become a part of the Non-GMO Project.

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization performing independent testing of food products for GMOs. You can search for foods they’ve certified are free of GMOs. Please note, a company being listed as a member does not mean all their products have been tested yet. The process takes time. However, each brand has a list of products showing which are certified GMO free. The site also has an iPhone app for finding those products while shopping. Major and minor brands are members – Eden, Annie’s, Nature’s Path, bionaturae, SAN-J, and Westsoy, to name a few. Currently, most members would fall under the “natural foods” category. Not surprisingly, the list doesn’t appear to have any major mainstream producers, like Dole, Kraft, Nestle, or General Mills, or even their affiliated “natural” labels.

Our efforts at labeling aren’t enough on their own. I know, I was a signature collector on the first GMO-labeling ballot initiative in the United States – in 2002! It’s been almost ten years, and we still have no labeling in the US. The food supply is already contaminated, and the major conventional food producers don’t care or are already financially involved in the GMO industry. If we want to stop GMOs and keep them out of our bodies, we have to let the food companies know it really matters to us. We have to tell them with our pocketbooks and our voices.

Below is a sample email to send a message to food producers:

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Hello,

My whole family loves your products, but is very concerned about ingesting GMOs. We’ve decided to eliminate genetically modified foods from our diets — even products that are listed as certified organic, but untested for GMO contamination. I know this is a huge request to you, and I very much want your company to be successful and your great products to stay affordable. But we are deeply concerned about GMOs, and will have no more exposure to them. More and more people are learning about GMOs, and as consumer knowledge increases, ensuring your products are GMO-free will become an asset.

Please consider joining the non-GMO project (http://www.nongmoproject.org). We’re using their iPhone app while shopping to help us find foods that are certified free of GMOs, to help us keep all genetically modified products out of our diets.

Thank you,

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Where do we send these letters? Click here for links to natural food companies and who owns them. We need to let them know we don’t support GMOs!

10 Responses to ““Organic” Doesn’t Mean GMO-Free”

  1. Jacob Shwartz-Lucas

    I’m very much in support of organic and permaculture farming. I’ve been involved in research to improve germplasm for drought tolerance. The research was designed to increase the yields of poor farmers in South Africa. This approach has serious limitations from a humanitarian standpoint, but fear over GMOs has created a diatribe and left people helpless to think for themselves, to understand the basic science. I’m a molecular biologist as well as a vegan. So, I’m very concerned about food. However, there is nothing harmful about “GMOs” per se. Organic and permaculture farming needs to adjust its definitions if it wants to meet its true goals of feeding more people in more ecological ways, instead of just catering to ignorance and fear.

    Reply
  2. Bernard

    GMO in a perfect world may not be an issue as they will be created to solve real issues not just to make them roundup resistant . There is (or more exactly was) lots of varieties of plants / seeds which were adapte to a lot of very different conditions and we have destroyed them to replace them by the one size fit all concept of industrial production. Can we do without GMO , i think the answer is yes but we need to change the current model of production back to smaller localised production.

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  3. Jacob Shwartz-Lucas

    Actually recombinant technologies have the ability to allow farmers to grow more diverse crops when local varieties are enhanced with disease and stress resistance. I suggest you all read a book called Tomorrow’s Table. The problem is not the technology itself, it is the opaque and monopolistic business practices. At its root though it’s not even the business practices it’s the IP system that drives this harmful behavior. If you all are truly interested in helping poor people eat though, you need to look beyond the purview of agriculture and IP itself, and instead look at land tenure and the tax system. All the fertile land is taken and economic rent is co-opted by individual landlords. This forces rents to increase and poor people to occupy poorer farmland on which to subsist.

    The techno-utopian approach, among the plant molecular sciences has been to attempt to create crops that can withstand various stresses, including drought, to increase yield and or prevent famine. This ignores the fact that the number of obese and overweight people people in the world is on the rise, 543 million and counting. ”65% of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight” (WHO, 2011). Despite the health threat caused by people eating too much, an estimated f 925 million people do not have enough to eat (FAO, 2010). Obviously, the problem with feeding people is not that there is not enough food being produced, fixable given more sophisticated technological applications, the problem results from assymetric distribution of food and the means to produce it. While it may be true that research done to improve gerplasm for agriculture purposes, whether to increase drought tolerance, or improve any other trait, can increase global food production, this however does not mean that the disadvantaged will necessarily have greater food security. This is due to the nature of rent and wage’s dependence on rent. See the Law of Rent (Ricardo, 1817) and The Law of Wages (George, 1879). In other words, if feeding people is the goal, what is in greater need is access to rent free fertile land and genetic resources, not patented germplasm/ plants with the ability to withstand extreme conditions. With this economic caveat in mind, improvement of germplasm affords the opportunity, if given the proper economic incentives, to produce diverse and nutritious food crops, more food in total, and to adopt more sustainable means for doing so (Ronald & Adamchak, 2010).

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  4. Vivienne Reiner

    Gene Ethics is in the process of starting up a GM certification and verification project in Australia. We are talking with the Non-GMO Project about how we can use their system and tailor-make it to suit Australian circumstances. Once certified, businesses will be able to use the logo on their products, making it easier for shoppers to identify foods that avoid GM.

    Certification may involve on-site inspections, and we will have inspectors already in the industry trained up to strict GM contamination specifications.

    We encourage any interested producers or retails to contact us and help get this system off the ground as soon as possible. Email Vivienne on media@geneethics.org.

    Reply
  5. Jerome L. Meyer

    People can’t think for themselves because of fear and ignorance, jacob? Fear is what monsanto uses to make people believe in gmo’s. A core tenet of the psychology of manipulation is this: give people a fear and they are likely to follow your proposed solution. For example: World population is increasing, while resources are dwindling. According to monsanto scientists, “gmo’s increase yields.” Side note, margaret miller worked as a monsanto scientist. She did “long-term,” up to six whole weeks, studies on the health risks of gmo’s. Before she submitted it to the fda for review, she got a job-transfer – to review her work for approval at the fda. Surprisingly, she found no flaw in her work, announced the safety of gmo’s and got a raise. So, gmo’s will solve world hunger. If monsanto is concerned with hunger, why do they burn fields of natural food that were unintentionally cross-pollinated with gmo’s? And how many decades’ worth of gmo-crop harvesting are required to feed the hungry? More people, even Americans, are hungrier than ever! Are people aware, or ignorant, of the fact that transgenes are inaccurately and randomly forced into host dna? monsanto has zero control over where the transgenes will fuse to the host dna. And, to activate the transgenes, promoter genes are attached to and sent with the transgenes. Besides affecting the transgenes, the promoter genes affect the host dna. Depending upon where transgenes were randomly fused, the host dna is randomly affected also. Randomly activating dna elicits random protein-growths. Cancer is characterized by irregular cell-division. Might random protein-growth activations cause irregular cell-division? These variables are out of monsanto’s control. To be science, variables must be controlled. monsanto does not engage in science, they engage in the monopolization of life through the us patent laws. clarence thomas was placed by monsanto into the supreme court to “rule” that gmo’s (LIFE) may be patented. monsanto bought blackwater (former marines turned mercenaries) to enforce this worldwide. $ will not save people when it’s attained through destruction of resources – Dirty $. Clean $ – creating resources without destroying (e.g. using carcinogenic, toxic chemicals like roundup, etc.) could, if people worked together. gmo’s necessitate the use of toxic chemicals, even Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) crops, then people get sick, go to the doctor and get a prescription. This is called creating markets. Advertisers, monsanto, and etcetera make dirty $ by telling you otherwise, i don’t – i’m just poor, somewhat educated and considerate. Don’t be fearful to expose ignorance, that is how it’s overcome!

    Reply
  6. Jacob Shwartz-Lucas

    Jerome, there is no reliable evidence for a link between cancer and the degree of randomness in the insertion. That statement really needs to be qualified as a possibility un-backed by any real empirical evidence. Furthermore, is it likely that the degree of risk is as high with traditional fertilizer, fully acknowledged as carcinogenic?

    I fully agree with you though that the intellectual property surrounding the subject is far too pervasive.

    The problem that you all should seek to tackle is not own over plants but over the means to produce them, the land. With low taxes on land values, and high taxes on labor, people are incentivized to take a lot of land and not to use it very intensively. Permaculture could become a very profitable and utilized practice if taxes were removed from production and placed on land values. People would take the least land possible and do the most with it. Then, there would be less need to spray any artificial agent on crops over large surface areas, and permaculture would reveal itself as a more economically viable option.

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  7. Jerome L. Meyer

    What “real empirical evidence” is available to support the safety of gmo’s? The “long-term” six-week studies conducted by monsanto scientists support this? Isn’t that a conflict of interest? A real scientific study would compare three groups: organic diet, conventional non-gmo diet and gmo diet. They would be compared throughout their lifespan. If monsanto really cared about the safety of their food over profits, that’s what they’d do before flooding the market with unhealthy round-up-poisoned foods. If a scientist’s findings show possible health consequences from ingesting gmo’s, they’re intimidated, fired and their research is ignored and/or destroyed. Do you really wonder why there’s no “real empirical evidence” released to the public in the USA? And what’re you doing spouting pro-gmo rhetoric on anti-gmo websites? Isn’t that called “Trolling?” I should go trolling on monsanto’s forums. huh? Fair taxation would help, to bad tax laws, and laws in general, are regulated by the rich through their lobbyists. If the USA were a democracy, gmo labeling would be mandatory, as over 90% of Americans support this. You, Jacob, are in the definite minority here. Change food and you change life. After grasses’ evolutionary manifestation, life that could survive by eating grass evolved into new life. A new, genetically varied food manifested new genetically varied life. Genetically alter our food and we genetically alter ourselves. The question is: what will we mutate into?

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  8. Rick

    GMO food is not harmful per se? What about the results from the French experiment which fed the rats gmo only corn ? Coincidence ?

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  9. Michelle

    Looks like someone has shares in Monsanto. It’s simple mess with nature and its now a chemical storm we are eating. Trying to convince people to eat gmo food is absurd and by nothing less than an educated idiot.

    Reply

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