Jeffrey M. Smith did not set out to become the foremost expert on the dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). However, since 1996 he has made telling others about the risks of GM foods his life’s work. What he has learned is that these unnatural foods put the health of people, animals, and the environment at great risk. If you buy conventionally processed foods at a supermarket or eat at restaurants, you are eating GMO food. The fact that a food has been modified with viruses or bacteria is not required to be included on a food’s label. At Our Natural Life, we want to support Jeffrey’s goals by getting the word out to as many people as possible. Please support us in our effort to educate. Our Podcast interview with Jeffrey can be found in the link below. You can also access the Podcast from iTunes, Zune, Tivo, and Stitcher.
Are you eating Franken-foods? GMOs are Everywhere
In Iowa, where Jeffrey M. Smith lives with his wife, he is surrounded by fields of corn, soy, canola, and cotton that have been genetically modified with bacteria to allow these crops to either eat poison, meaning that they are herbicide tolerant, or they produce their own poison in order to kill insects. Scientific studies confirm that these foods are very dangerous to people and animals.
Smith’s book Seeds of Deception is the best-selling book on GMOs. However, his more recently published Genetic Roulette: the Documented Health Risks of Genetically Modified Food, makes the topic greatly accessible. Instead of using a narrative format, Jeffrey uses easy-to-find, bulleted facts about the scientifically documented dangers and risks of GMO food. Quoting from Amazon reviewer C. J. Robinson, “The layout of the book is an exemplar of clarity and should serve as the model for any reference book. It is designed to make the material accessible to three levels of reader: scanners, casual readers, and those who want detail. Each double-page spread is devoted to a problem with GM foods, with the left-hand page having the topic heading, a quote by an expert, and a few summarizing bullet points; the right-hand page gives technical detail. You don’t need a science background to understand it. While the book is not bedtime reading, terms are defined and the boggle factor is kept low. The table of contents enables the reader to scan the problems with GM food and quickly to access the evidence on each. ”
This comprehensive book was written as a combination executive summary brochure and textbook, making it very easy to readily locate pertinent information. It is written in four parts to include heavily documented evidence for these assertions: 1) There are documented health risks for genetically engineered food; 2) the regulation of GM foods is inadequate to protect public health; 3) industry studies are not competent to identify most of the unpredicted side effects; and 4) there are serious flaws in the arguments used to justify GM crops.
In our Podcast interview, we use 2 letters Cathy received from Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss as a tool for discussion with Jeffrey. The letters were written in response to letters written by Cathy to Sen. Chambliss asking him to support HR 6636 , a bill sponsored by Sen. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). You will hear Smith debunk seven claims that Sen. Chambliss makes – 1) GM foods are similar to selective breeding, 2) GM foods are necessary to feed the world, 3) Use of GM foods reduces pesticide use, 4) GM foods undergo years of rigorous safety testing for people, animals, and the environment, 5) our food supply is the safest, highest quality in the world and agriculture biotechnology is heavily regulated for food safety. It only requires labeling if the new food product is significantly different than its conventional counterpart, 6) since biotech crops are safe to eat and there are no studies to refute this safety, mandatory labeling is not appropriate and would increase the cost of food to the end consumer (however he approves voluntary labeling of organic foods), 7) government scientists will thoroughly evaluate government crops and ensure that any variety submitted for deregulation is safe. Be sure to listen to our interview to learn the truth on these 7 points.
I will let you know this much here: The only human feeding study ever conducted on GM food was done with Roundup Ready soy. The study showed that genes inserted into the soybeans transfered to the bacteria living inside the human subjects. The bacteria continued to function inside them. Their gut bacteria now includes the Roundup Ready gene. This continues long after they stopped eating GM soy. They continue to have foreign, potentially dangerous proteins produced inside of them. Eating GM food is like playing genetic roulette. You don’t know what will happen.
A Call to Action!
We would like to challenge you to take action immediately. What can you do?
2) Spread the word. Blog about the topic of GMOs. Feel free to link back to our website and this article. The media in Europe caused every major food company to omit GMO products from their European brands, even though they continue to keep the ingredients in products sold in the United States. The commitments by the food companies all happened within a single week. The tipping point of consumer concern was achieved in Europe in only ten weeks. In that time period over 750 articles were written connecting GM food with documented health risks. This happened in 1999. In the United States it was hardly mentioned, and was referred to as one of the ten most underreported events of the year. Sixty percent of Americans think that they have never eaten a GM food. The issue is awareness. The press does not seem willing to cover this story, but with new media, we could send thousands of blogs to every continent. We need to educate people about dangers to their health. Write letters to the Editor and use social tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Friendfeed to alert consumers (everyone you know) to this vital issue. Please do your part! It’s our responsibility to stop it. Ten weeks from now is just before the Thanksgiving holiday. This would be an appropriate time to be truly thankful for choices about eating foods that are safe and as our creator intended.
3) Vote with your fork. Download the Non-GMO Shopping Guide so you can avoid foods that are GM. The easiest way is to eat fresh rather than processed foods and buy organic. Be sure to avoid the at-risk ingredients. These are soy, corn, cotton (cottonseed oil), canola, beet sugar, Hawaian papaya, and some non-organic zucchinni and crookneck squash. GM tomatoes, potatoes, rice, and wheat, are not currently in the food supply. Assume that fast food meals include GM ingredients.
5) Join the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America. This is designed to achieve the tipping point of consumer objection in the United States to force GMOs out of the market. As little as 5% of U. S. shoppers would be more than sufficient to affect change because GMOs offer no consumer benefits.
6) Take the no GMO Challenge! Try avoiding GMO foods for 30 days and blog about the attempt.
7) Join the GM-Free School Campaign to rid school lunch programs of GM foods. You can order a free video and 60 page manual from Jeffrey’s website to help bring the attention of the school community to this topic.
We’d love to hear about the steps you are taking! Leave a comment to this article and let us know.
Our Natural Life Product Launch!
Over the last 14 months we’ve been providing educational information, informative interviews, and provocative discussions about living a holistic, sustainable, and healthy life. We’ve invested much time and financial resources getting this information to you, our readers and listeners. Your overwhelmingly positive response has made the efforts worthwhile. We’d like to continue this project, but will need some capital to do so.
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This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday blog carnival. I’m a renegade. Are you?