Tag Archives: GMO’S

GMO Inside needs our help getting GMOs properly labeled or completely out of our breakfast cereals

FoodFacts.com is aware of our community’s strong feelings regarding the genetically modified ingredients in our food supply. We know how important to is to you to educate yourself, shop carefully, and stay aware of the latest developments in the GMO controversy. When we saw this information today, we knew our community needed to know the details of how they can lend a hand in the ongoing battle over GMO labeling.

GMO Inside is a group devoted to the rights of food consumers to know if the foods they are purchasing contain genetically modified ingredients. They have announced that they are calling on Kellogg’s and General Mills regarding the GMO ingredients in their breakfast cereals and effectively start over with consumers by labeling or removing those ingredients from their products. It’s called the “Fresh Start” action and you can help to move these breakfast cereal giants in the right direction.

During the month of January at http://gmoinside.org/take-action/ , GMO Inside needs all of us to to sign petitions, phone both of these companies to request non-GMO products, and comment accordingly on the Facebook profiles of each company and their brands. For Kellogg’s, the brands include Corn Flakes, POPS, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes and Special K. They are also the manufacturer of MorningStar Farms products and Keebler. General Mills boasts Lucky Charms, Cheerios, Chex and Kix as well as the Pillsbury and Betty Crocker brands. There are plenty more, these are just examples for both companies.

In addition to the effort to get the brands to label or remove GMO ingredients, GMO inside is also asking both brands to withhold funding from any opposition to the new Washington State ballot initiative for labeling GMO ingredients. This will come up for a vote during the next election season. It is important to note that both Kellogg’s and General Mills are selling their products in Europe, WITHOUT GMO ingredients.

The GMO Inside “Fresh Start” initiative has already gained over 5,000 signatures on their petition.

FoodFacts.com and GMO Inside share the same philosophies on the controversial topic of GMO ingredients. GMOs have never been proven to be safe for consumers. We find new studies constantly that raise serious issues about health issues that may be linked to genetically modified foods. And in addition, we are aware that the planting of GMO crops has actually increased the use of the pesticides and herbicides, proving harmful for farmers worldwide.

We urge our community to take action and visit the GMO Inside link to support this very important initiative.
Read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fresh-start-for-2013-national-coalition-calls-on-us-cereal-giants-to-take-gmos-out-of-our-breakfasts-2013-01-17

Genetically Modified Salmon could hit supermarkets quicker than first thought … Frankenfish gets initial FDA Approval

FoodFacts.com learned today that it’s quite possible that GMO salmon may soon be coming to a seafood section near you – but you might not know it when it gets there. Nicknamed “Frankenfish” due to its abnormally large size in comparison to natural salmon, genetically modified Atlantic salmon was given initial approval. This was the last step in the process to market.

The genetically engineered salmon was developed by AquaBounty and uses DNA from a Chinook salmon and something called an ocean pout (which is an eel-like fish). This genetic combination caused the fish to grow twice as fast as wild salmon. This makes the production of the fish more cost effective for the manufacturer. While we’re all aware of the copious amounts of genetically engineered products in our food supply, the FDA’s approval for the new salmon is actually the first time a genetically engineered animal product would be available to consumers anywhere in the world. Of course, consumers won’t know which salmon they’re buying – the larger sized, faster growing genetically engineered fish or the wild product that only contains its own genes.

There is plenty of opposition to the genetically engineered salmon. Obviously, for consumers the big issue is the labeling. But, others are perturbed by possible effects on the fishing industry in this country as well as the impact the GMO salmon could have on the wild salmon population.

The approval process is to be followed by a 60-day public comment period regarding the genetically engineered salmon. After that time comments will be reviewed and final approval can be given in early 2013. AquaBounty insists that its methods of raising the new salmon circumvent any possible problems being brought to light by the fishes’ opponents.

FoodFacts.com will monitor the FDA site to locate the public comment area for genetically modified salmon, so that we can alert you to it. In the meantime, there is certainly a lot of reading you can do on this controversial subject. We’ve shared the links below in hopes that you will educate yourself further on the many and varied potential issues that may be moving in to your grocery store in the very near future.

http://my.firedoglake.com/edwardteller/2012/12/26/fda-approves-frankenfish-what-could-possibly-go-wrong/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/aquaadvantage-genetically-modified-salmon-no-threat_n_2347757.html
http://www.livescience.com/25799-frankenfish-salmon-gmo.html

Are GMOs adding to obesity problems?

Here at Food Facts, we’re always discussing the effect of ingredients on our health and well being. We’ve always believed that the ingredient list is key to many, many issues … including weight gain. While calories are important, we don’t believe that they are the be all and end all of weight control for anyone. If a low-calorie food has a bad ingredient list, we understand that a person might actually end up hungrier and looking for more to eat. We understand that ingredients like MSG or hidden MSG ingredients are actually known to increase hunger.

With the country more focused than ever on the obesity epidemic, we feel that it’s more important than ever to pay close attention to the foods we eat and their effects. Now it appears that we may be able to add GMO ingredients to the list of those that might make you eat more and consequently gain more weight.

There’s some new research coming from the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. Yes, it’s an animal study, but its results are certainly a cause for concern throughout the human population. It has linked GMO food products to weight gain.

The study was conducted over a 90-day period and involved both rats and salmon and was focused specifically on how these populations reacted to a diet of genetically modified foods.

The rat population was divided into two study groups. One group was fed only GMO foods and the other only non-GMO foods. The rats who were fed genetically modified corn not only got slowly fatter than the non-GMO population, they also grew considerably quicker and ate more food, more often.

The salmon population studied experienced the same results, with some extra findings. The GMO salmon population experienced more weight gain, and ate more food, more often. In addition, they developed an inability to properly digest protein and developed intestinal changes.

In both rats and salmon, there was a link between the consumption of genetically modified foods, hunger and weight gain. It’s important to remember that in both the rat and salmon populations, there was no restriction of movement (or calorie expenditure). The weight gain occurred regardless of the normal energy expenditure of either the rats or the salmon. Therefore, calories consumed vs. calories burned had nothing to do with the weight gain.

While the study concentrates on animals and fish, it does lead you to ask if it’s possible that the obesity explosion we’re experiencing in our own country and throughout the world, might just have something to do with the amount of processed foods we’re ingesting and their ingredients. Considering that corn is present in almost every processed food available, soy is a common ingredient (and mostly GMO) and canola oil is a popular and “better” oil (that’s also GMO), and that the phenomenal infiltration of these food products actually might coincide with the obesity problem, it’s definitely something we want to keep an eye on.

Food Facts wanted to make sure our community has this important information so that we can all continue to make the best choices we can for our diet and health. Read more here: http://sciencenordic.com/growing-fatter-gm-diet

GMOs: Beet Sugar vs. Cane Sugar

Here at Food Facts, we’re very concerned about GMOs (or genetically engineered food, or genetically modified organisms or genetically modified food – take your pick of terminology). We’re always posting information on our Facebook page and always keeping an eye out to the news.
Tonight, we’d like to bring up the subject of sugar as an ingredient.

Sometimes we think that sugar, in general, has gotten a bad reputation. It’s certainly not something we want to eat too much of, but it may fall into that “not bad in moderation” category for most of us – unless of course, you need to watch your sugar intake for health reasons. But those health reasons aren’t really limited to what we already understand – diabetes and hypoglycemia.

What about if you’re watching your intake of GMO ingredients for your health???? Sugar really becomes more complicated with the subject matter in mind.
What’s the difference between cane sugar and beet sugar? Cane sugar doesn’t seem to be a genetically modified crop – while beet sugar does check in as a heavily modified crop (95% of sugar beets planted in the U.S. are GMO).

Scientifically, there doesn’t seem to be a difference – at least not right now. We’ve been publishing links to articles that talk about the downsides of GMOs that are being proven over time. And – just to reinforce the notion – Food Facts is here to help consumers determine what is best for their nutritional needs, so we’re not “backing” any idea or product … we just want you to know what you’re buying. But when an ingredient like sugar becomes a question mark for consumers, we’re really concerned.

Sugar (in some form or another) is in everything that’s packaged from the grocery store. And even in some products that might not appear “packaged” to the consumer even though they are (read packaged apple slices or packaged fruit in the fresh fruit section).

Bottom line, if you are concerned about GMOs and the ingredient list just reads “sugar”, it could very well be (and probably is) beet sugar – and since 95% of the sugar beet crop in the U.S. is estimated to be GMO, there’s a problem there. Look for labels that talk about cane sugar and you can feel better. At least for now…

Growing evidence on the harmful effects of GMOs

Reports have surfaced all over the web recently regarding an important new report from genetic engineers with further explanation as to why genetically modified food is not good for people or our environment. Food Facts wanted to make are community aware of the report, highlight some of its important content and provide you with a link so you can learn firsthand what they are saying.

Appropriately titled, “GMO Myths and Truths” was released last month. This a such an important paper because it is offering actual authoritative evidence that GMOs are not the innocent victim of a bad reputation. Genetic engineers collaborated on the report giving it substantial credibility.

Who they are
Dr Michael Antoniou of King’s College London School of Medicine in the U.K. and Dr John Fagan, a former genetic engineer have compiled this compelling information.

In 1994, Dr. Fagan returned substantial grant monies to the National Institutes of Health, due to concerns about the safety and ethics of GMO technology. He went on to found a GMO testing company.

According to Dr. Fagan, “Crop genetic engineering as practiced today is a crude, imprecise, and outmoded technology. It can create unexpected toxins or allergens in foods and affect their nutritional value. Recent advances point to better ways of using our knowledge of genomics to improve food crops, that do not involve GM.”

Dr. Antoniou is quoted as saying, “GM crops are promoted on the basis of ambitious claims – that they are safe to eat, environmentally beneficial, increase yields, reduce reliance on pesticides, and can help solve world hunger … I felt what was needed was a collation of the evidence that addresses the technology from a scientific point of view.”

Unsafe effects in laboratory animals and the environment
“Research studies show that genetically modified crops have harmful effects on laboratory animals in feeding trials and on the environment during cultivation”

Superweeds, anyone?
“Over 75% of all GM crops are engineered to tolerate being sprayed with herbicide. This has led to the spread of herbicide-resistant superweeds and has resulted in massively increased exposure of farmers and communities to these toxic chemicals. Epidemiological studies suggest a link between herbicide use and birth defects and cancer.”

“These findings fundamentally challenge the utility and safety of GM crops, but the biotech industry uses its influence to block research by independent scientists and uses its powerful PR machine to discredit independent scientists whose findings challenge this approach.”

Read more of what they’ve had to say here, as well as comments from the third author involved in the report, Claire Robinson, research director for Earth Open Source. The entire report can be viewed here.

Food Facts will continue to keep our community up to date with all the information being made available on this important topic.

Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kicks GMOs!

chuck norris

Foodfacts.com recently came across an article featured on NaturalNews.com which discusses famous actor Chuck Norris and his views against genetically modified foods. Check it out below!

Chuck Norris is a famous martial artist, actor, and superhuman-like legend. He deserves recognition for a lot more than simply his fearless strength and unrivaled manliness. The former star of the television show Walker, Texas Ranger is also well-versed in natural health issues, and has taken an open stand against genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), Codex Alimentarius, and the government assault against health freedom.

Natural health allies in the mainstream are few and far between, and Norris is one of a few that truly grasp the health freedom issues that we write about here at NaturalNews all the time. In a recent column at WorldNetDaily, Norris explains to readers why we must all band together and fight as one to protect our health freedoms, which are quickly disappearing right before our eyes.

Citing the near-total dominance in the US of GMO staple crops like corn, soy, and canola, Norris paints a grim picture of the sizable beast we currently face. Nearly three-quarters of all the processed food consumed by Americans contains GMOs, but the vast majority of people are completely unaware of this because there are no GMO labeling laws — and all efforts to enact GMO labeling laws thus far have failed.

Then, there is the issue of Codex Alimentarius, the world food code that threatens to control what we eat, and eliminate our freedom to purchase vitamins and supplements. Though Codex provisions have not yet been fully implemented in the US — or fully ironed out by the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO), for that matter — our health freedom is diminishing little by little almost every single day. And very soon, if we do nothing, Codex will become a reality.

In the US, the escalating government assault against health freedom can be clearly observed in events like the recent Rawesome Foods raid (http://www.naturalnews.com/033220_R…), the numerous raids against raw milk producers (http://www.naturalnews.com/raw_milk…), and the Wyldewood Cellars raid (http://www.naturalnews.com/032631_e…), just to name a few.

There have been so many government raids against health food producers, in fact, that we have assembled an extensive timeline of many of these events that date back as far as 1985 (http://www.naturalnews.com/033280_F…).

The big issue, though, at least according to Norris, involves the honest labeling of food. If we allow GMOs to remain unlabeled and fail to push hard for labeling legislation to be passed, then conditions on the health freedom front will only continue to worsen.

Now is the time to bombard local, state, and federal officials with demands to pass GMO labeling legislation as soon as possible. As an individual, you can also help bring about change by choosing to buy only local, non-GMO, and organic foods.

(NaturalNews.com)

Why Aren’t G.M.O Foods Labeled?

genetically-modified-food
Foodfacts.com has been looking into G.M.O Labeling. If you want to avoid sugar, aspartame, trans-fats, MSG, or just about anything else, you read the label. If you want to avoid G.M.O.’s — genetically modified organisms — you’re out of luck. They’re not listed. You could, until now, simply buy organic foods, which by law can’t contain more than 5 percent G.M.O.’s. Now, however, even that may not work.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved three new kinds of genetically engineered (G.E.) foods: alfalfa (which becomes hay), a type of corn grown to produce ethanol), and sugar beets. And the approval by the Food and Drug Administration of a super-fast-growing salmon — the first genetically modified animal to be sold in the U.S., but probably not the last — may not be far behind.

It’s unlikely that these products’ potential benefits could possibly outweigh their potential for harm. But even more unbelievable is that the F.D.A.and the U.S.D.A. will not require any of these products, or foods containing them, to be labeled as genetically engineered, because they don’t want to “suggest or imply” that these foods are “different.” (Labels with half-truths about health benefits appear to be O.K., but that’s another story.)

They are arguably different, but more important, people are leery of them. Nearly an entire continent — it’s called Europe — is so wary that G.E. crops are barely grown there and there are strict bans on imports (that policy is in danger). Furthermore, most foods containing more than 0.9 percent G.M.O.’s must be labeled.

G.E. products may grow faster, require fewer pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides, and reduce stress on land, water and other resources; they may be more profitable to farmers. But many of these claims are in dispute, and advances in conventional agriculture, some as simple as drip irrigation, may achieve these same goals more simply. Certainly conventional agriculture is more affordable for poor farmers, and most of the worlds’ farmers are poor. (The surge in suicides among Indian farmers has been attributed by some, at least in part, to G.E. crops, and it’s entirely possible that what’s needed to feed the world’s hungry is not new technology but a better distribution system and a reduction of waste.)

To be fair, two of the biggest fears about G.E. crops and animals — their potential to provoke allergic reactions and the transfer to humans of antibiotic-resistant properties of G.M.O.’s — have not come to pass. (As far as I can tell, though, they remain real dangers.) But there has been cross-breeding of natural crops and species with those that have been genetically engineered, and when ethanol corn cross-pollinates feed corn, the results could degrade the feed corn; when G.E. alfalfa cross-pollinates organic alfalfa, that alfalfa is no longer organic; if a G.E. salmon egg is fertilized by a wild salmon, or a transgenic fish escapes into the wild and breeds with a wild fish … it’s not clear what will happen.

This last scenario is impossible, say the creators of the G.E. salmon — a biotech company called AquaBounty — whose interest in approval makes their judgment all but useless. (One Fish and Wildlife Service scientist wrote in material obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, “Maybe they should watch ‘Jurassic Park.’ “)

Also curious is that the salmon is being categorized as a “new animal drug” which means that the advisory committee in charge of evaluating it is composed mostly of veterinarians and animal scientists, instead of, say, fish ecologists or experts in food safety. Not surprisingly, the biotech industry has spent over half a billion dollars on G.M.O. lobbyists in the last decade, and Michael Taylor, the F.D.A. deputy commissioner for foods, was once vice president for public policy at Monsanto. Numerous groups of consumers, farmers, environmental advocates, scientists, supporters of organic food and now even congressmen — last week, a bill was introduced to ban G.E. salmon — believe that the approval process demonstrated a bias towards the industry.

Cross-breeding is guaranteed with alfalfa and likely with corn. (The U.S.D.A. claims to be figuring out ways to avoid this happening, but by then the damage may already be done.) And the organic dairy industry is going to suffer immediate and frightening losses when G.E. alfalfa is widely grown, since many dairy cows eat dried alfalfa (hay), and the contamination of organic alfalfa means the milk of animals fed with that hay can no longer be called organic. Likewise, when feed corn is contaminated by G.E. ethanol corn, the products produced from it won’t be organic. (On the one hand, U.S.D.A. joins the F.D.A. in not seeing G.E. foods as materially different; on the other it limits the amount found in organic foods. Hello? Guys? Could you at least pretend to be consistent?)

The subject is unquestionably complex. Few people outside of scientists working in the field — self included — understand much of anything about gene altering. Still, an older ABC poll found that a majority of Americans believe that G.M.O.’s are unsafe, even more say they’re less likely to buy them, and a more recent CBS/NYT poll found a whopping 87 percent — you don’t see a poll number like that too often — wants them labeled.

In the long run, genetic engineering may prove to be useful. Or not. The science is adolescent at best; not even its strongest advocates can guarantee that there aren’t hidden dangers. So consumers are understandably cautious, and whether that’s justified or paranoid, it would seem we have a right to know as much as Europeans do.

Even more than questionable approvals, it’s the unwillingness to label these products as such — even the G.E. salmon will be sold without distinction — that is demeaning and undemocratic, and the real reason is clear: producers and producer-friendly agencies correctly suspect that consumers will steer clear of G.E. products if they can identify them. Which may make them unprofitable. Where is the free market when we need it?

A majority of our food already contains G.M.O.’s, and there’s little reason to think more isn’t on the way. It seems our “regulators” are using us and the environment as guinea pigs, rather than demanding conclusive tests. And without labeling, we have no say in the matter whatsoever.

Article Provided by: Mark Bittman

Don’t know if you’re eating GMO’s?

franken-tomato

If you think that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) don’t affect you, then consider this. Up to 90% of all major US grown crops are grown with genetically engineered seed, and can be used in human and animal foods without any safety testing or labeling to let us know what’s been used.

This includes GM corn (maize), soybeans, canola (a North American cultivar of oilseed rape), sugar beet and cotton, which have made their way into approximately 80% of current US grocery store items. Don’t know if you’re eating GMOs? If you’re not buying organically produced foods or growing your own vegetables and raising your own animals for food, you’re probably eating genetically modified ingredients in most of the foods you’re consuming today.

In Europe last week, officials ruled that the European Union’s constituent countries could not independently ban genetically modified crops. Paolo Mengozzi, legal adviser to the European Court of Justice, ruled that only the EU itself could institute such bans. France and five other EU countries have put a blanket ban on GMOs, citing safety concerns. “The French authorities could not suspend the cultivation of genetically modified maize (MON 810) on national territory without having first asked the European Commission to adopt emergency measures citing a risk to health and the environment,” said Mengozzi.

Last month, for the first time, European judges allowed GMOs in small amounts as contaminants in other crops – such as imported alfalfa (aka ‘lucerne’).

Monsanto’s MON 810 seed has been authorized for sale and cultivation in the EU’s 27 member states since 1998. The license for MON 810 is up for renewal this year, with pressure coming from both sides. The US has been putting pressure on the EU to accept the planting of GM crops from US-based companies. France, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece have all blocked GMOs.

MON 810 corn and the Amflora potato, developed by BASF, are the only GMO seeds approved for farming in the EU. Dozens of GMOs can, however, be imported. The US has been lobbying hard to get all GMO restrictions removed in Europe, considering it an issue of unfair trade (with GMOs making up 95% of US corn and soybean production, it limits what the US can export).

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.

The US Department of Agriculture statistics show that the majority of animal products produced in the US today that are raised on confined feed lots (aka ‘CAFOs’ – confined animal feeding operations), are fed with genetically modified feed, and are injected with genetically engineered hormones and vaccines.

Genetically modified foods are grown so that crops can withstand repeated, heavy application of weedkillers – and still survive and be turned into food. GMO crops were first introduced in the 1990s, and pesticide use has only increased – it hasn’t eliminated weeds or the need to reduce weeds. Instead, weeds have become stronger and our food has become more toxic.

US consumers are years behind in demanding the reversal of the use of GMOs. How safe do you feel knowing your government does not give you the right to choose which foods you will buy based on how they were grown?

Lack of truth in labeling takes away the consumer’s choice to eat or refuse foods grown with genetically modified ingredients – there is no requirement by the US government to label GMO foods.

Americans have the right to know what is in their food, and food labeling is the most basic of requirements for consumers to be able to make a real choice. Ask your federal, state, and local politicians to commit to truthful labeling and your right to know as a consumer by supporting mandatory GMO labels on all foods.

http://www.ukprogressive.co.uk