Genetically Modified Organisms

  “Seeds of Deception” by Jeffrey M Smith
Book Review by: Dr. Kathy Ferraro
     I recently had the pleasure of reading this book that discusses the potential dangers of genetic engineering in the US food supply.  Assuming that all of the 
 documented information is correct, this book offers a LOT of “food for thought.”
 Genetically Modified organisms(GMO’s) are very present in the Standard American 
 Diet.  According to this book as many as 70% of processed foods contain GMO’s.
So what is the fuss?  The fuss is that genetic engineering is a relatively new science and the risk of adverse outcomes from using these foods/products is not completely known.  Many food products that are currently being consumed by livestock that produce milk and meat, these feed/food products have not had rigorous testing to prove their safety.  They have been approved by the FDA and declared to be no different than traditional food products.  Frighteningly, they have been introduced into our food supply for well beyond a decade.
Some of the potential risks suggested by Jeffrey M Smith, author of this book are risk of allergic reactions, increased antibiotic resistance, decreases in nutrient density of foods, changes in hormone levels of milk as well as risk of introduction of new viruses into our environment. 
Another obvious concern is the use of round up ready seeds and even more powerful weed blocking chemicals that allow for the increased use of these chemicals on the foods that we are consuming. It is noted that more weeds are becoming resistant to round up as well. 
There are many other concerns that are suggested in this book.  
These are several suggestions that were made to decrease your exposure to GMO’s: 
     Buy Organic Non GMO as much as possible
     Avoid processed foods that are non organic
     Avoid generic vegetable oil, unless stated organic
     Olive oil is generally organic
     Major GMO crops are corn, soy, cotton, sugar beets(sugar on labels)
     Other GMO crops include hawaiin papaya, yellow squash and zucchini
     Many vitamins are made from soy and GM corn sources
     Avoid additives and preservatives
For more information, read the book, it is an insightful read.  You can also visit the website listed below and obtain a shopping/consumers guide that can be ordered or printed for free from your computer.

Know your Labels

By Dr. Kathy Ferraro

Many people are not aware of what Labels actually mean. This section is meant to be informative and helpful. It is by no means 100% accurate and is meant solely as a guideline to help you in your shopping. Please investigate your products fully to be certain that you know what you are eating.

Labeling of ORGANIC ingredients:

1. 100% organic- this implies that each ingredient must be 100% organic
2. “Organic” – This implies that at least 95% of the ingredients are organic
3. Made with Organic Ingredients- Implies that 70% of the ingredients must be organic, the non organic ingredients are not supposed to be GM. The non organic ingredients do not need to be tested as non GMO.

4. Natural- Products without antibiotics and hormones, does not imply livestock was fed non GMO grains.

Reading your PLU label:

1. If there are only 4 numbers in the PLU code this implies that the item was grown conventionally. The example is Banana’s with PLU code of 4011.

2. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with 8, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable.

3. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with 9, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified.

What is Fair trade?

This is the definition:

“Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seek greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair Trade Organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of international trade”

There you have it. For more information look on the website for the International federation for produce standards as well as the following:

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