Friday, May 27, 2011

GE Toxins are Everywhere

I'm feeling outraged and I'll tell you why. I just finished reading a Canadian study that found genetically engineered (GE) toxins cross the placenta and are readily found in our unborn children.
"93% of blood samples from pregnant women and 80% from umbilical cords tested positive for traces of the GE toxins." (1)
One of the GE toxins they are talking about is Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a soil toxin that binds to the receptors in an insect's digestive tract, killing it. The other two toxins tested came from herbicides containing glyphosate (like Roundup) and gluphosinate. Despite what has been promised by Monsanto, GE toxins have infiltrated our bodies and they have the potential to affect our future generations in ways we do not yet understand.

Unfortunately, the Canadian government played follow the leader with the United States in determining how it regulates GE organisms. If a novel or GE food can be shown that it is 'substantially equivalent' to other conventionally grown food - meaning if it looks and tastes and acts the same - it can then proceed to be governed by the same regulatory framework. Clearly, companies producing GE seed are going to do whatever it takes to make sure their products get onto the market unlabeled through this disastrous loophole. An informed public would not likely choose to ingest anything that was genetically engineered.

GE ingredients have been allowed onto our supermarket shelves and into the much of the food we feed ourselves and our family - all without our knowing it. Thanks to the lack of labeling, we now have no way to track or trace any direct correlation between the consumption of a GE food and it's potential health consequences. Nor do we have any way to hold companies like Monsanto accountable.

The team of Canadian doctors who performed this study believe that:
"The women ingested the toxins simply by eating a typical Canadian diet of products containing GE soy, corn and potatoes (think chips and just about any non-organic processed food), as well as meat, milk and eggs from animals fed GE grain."(2)
The main GE foods on the market in Canada are those listed above, as well as tomatoes and canola oil. Any flavourings and additives that are corn or soy based are also likely GE as a result. "According to the Grocery Manufacturers of America, an estimated 70-75 percent of products on US grocery shelves may contain GM ingredients." (1) Stop and take a look at how many different food items in your pantry contain any one of the above ingredients. You might be surprised to learn that GE ingredients make an appearance in a fairly significant proportion of your diet.

One would think that a study such as this would make our government take action and enact new labeling guidelines for GE ingredients, but the burden of proof is on society not on companies like Monsanto. We cannot wait for the government to protect us, we have to use what means we have available at our disposal now to make change. We can refuse to buy or ingest food with the above ingredients unless they are:
  • organic
  • grown locally by someone you can talk to about your concerns
  • grown in your own backyard.
As a mother, I worry about what my son has already been exposed to through my diet and how that will affect his development. I feel angry that as consumers and citizens we are left to fend for and figure food safety out for ourselves. However, there is hope too. If enough of us care to make a change in our diet, we can vote with our wallet and send the message that we don't want GE toxins in our food, our bodies or in our unborn children.

This article is linked up with Fresh Bites Friday and Fight Back Friday.

(1, 2)
(3) Genetically Modified Food: A Short Guide for the Confused, by Andy Rees, p17


Crystal Rassi said...

I totally agree! I would like more info on canning or how to keep growing foods in a Canadian winter environment, because that's when it's the most difficult to get organic foods.

Shanon Hilton said...

I'm going to be attempting to extend our winter harvest this fall with cold frames and by utilizing cold hardy plants. I'll be sure to post on it when it gets closer. Likewise with food preservation!

Anonymous said...

You are right on. I'm outraged too. For years we've heard that "the products of GE break down in the body and are not persistent and pose no threat" and now we find that's not true. It makes me wonder what else we don't know. It's just not a risk worth taking.