It’s Non-GMO Month
Are you wanting to change the labeling of the food we consume and promote GMO free food? It is time to support causes that are doing just that.
October is Non GNO Month
Non-GMO Month was created by the Non-GMO Project in 2010. The main objective is to raise awareness on GMO foods and the issues. Their outreach campaign reached consumers across the nation through retailers who registered for Non GMO month for free. The program was created to help them empower shoppers to make dependable Non-GMO choices.
By 2011 there were over 1,000 stores that participated in the cause. This year we are hoping to increase the numbers tenfold. At long last, products can carry a verification seal that shows they are compliant with Non-GMO Project Standard in the US and Canada. Today there are numerous products with the verification seal. Non-GMO Month gives an opportunity for consumers and retailers to support and celebrate our right to choose GMO free foods!
What is GMO & Non-GMO?
A GMO is a genetically modified organism. Foods that contain GMO’s have genetic material that has been modified using genetic engineering methods by using DNA molecules from different sources which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes.
According to the Grocery Manufacturers of America approximately 75 % of all processed foods in the U.S. contain a GM ingredient. Today, according to Sustainable Table, about 200 million acres of farmland worldwide are now used to grow GMO crops. Soybeans are the most common, demonstrating 63% of all GE crops in total, corn is 19 percent; cotton is 13 percent and canola 5 percent.
Seeds have also been genetically modified such as tomatoes, alfalfa, potato, rice, squash, papaya, flax and chicory. Furthermore, recently animals have been modified for the human diet like chickens capable of laying eggs that contain cancer fighting protein, non-browning apples that produce enzyme polyphenol oxidase, Enviro-pigs that are modified to produce 65 percent less phosphorous in their poop and urine, fast growing salmon and hyper-producing seeds.
High Risk Crops
According to studies from the Non GMO Project there are several high risk crops. The Non-GMO Project Verified lab continually tests commercial production of these crops. The latest update on high risk crops for GMO foods is December 2011:
- Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
- Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
- Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
- Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
- Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
As well, high-risk: animal products due to contamination in feed are milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc.
Monitored crops are suspected or known to be contaminated due to genetically modified species or by cross pollination:
- Beta vulgaris (chard, table beets)
- Brassica napa (rutabaga, Siberian kale)
- Brassica rapa (bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnip, rapini, tatsoi)
- Curcubita (acorn squash, delicata squash, patty pan)
Common Ingredients Derived from GMO High Risk Crops
According to the Non GMO Project there are various common ingredients in our food that is contaminated with GMO’s as follows:
Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.
Many other foods that are GMO’d include tomatoes, potatoes, salmon, pig and others.
Diet GMO Risks
According to a July 2002 article by Professor David Schubert, GMO there is no a priori way of predicting the outcome of their production. The cell biologist states the potential consequence of all of these perturbations could be the production of biomolecules that are either toxic or carcinogenic. In Professor Schubert’s article he further states that GM food is not a safe alternative in the diet.
Many experts agree that genetic engineering is imprecise and highly capable of inducing mutation. All genetic engineering processes lead to unpredictable changes in the DNA, proteins and biochemical structure which can lead to allergenic and/or unexpected toxic effects. GMO diets have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, millions of sterile, diseased, and dead livestock, plus damage to practically every system and organ studied in laboratory animals.
GMO foods and products have had foreign genes forced into their DNA. The implanted gene is typically a virus or bacteria. All GMOs are extremely unstable. Unfortunately we do not know the full extent of damage done to the environment and our renewable energy nor do we know the overall health consequences. To ensure that you have a safe and healthy diet look for GMO-free products labeled “non-GMO”.
What You Can Do
Support the efforts of companies that are enrolled in the Non-GMO Project Verification Program. As well, choose brands and products that have a verified Non GMO label and who are committed in supporting the rights of consumers to know what is in their food.
Find out other ways you can get involved is supporting the verification of Non GMO Project.
Want to Support October Non-GMO Month?
This month is an opportunity to coordinate our voices and actions! We need to stand up loud and clear for our right to know what is in our food. These changes require a lot of team work by spreading the word in our communities.
Find out more on the Non-GMO Month website. There you can find coupons for non-GMO foods and products, keep posted on the events that are happening nationwide, register for a daily giveaway contest, and register your store.
Articles of Interest for Non-GMO diets