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Welcome to a brave new world. This new world of Frankenfoods is frightening. You might be wondering, what are Frakenfoods? These foods are those that have been genetically engineered (GE) or altered by disrupting the genetic blueprints of living organisms- plants, trees, fish, animals, humans and microorganisms. Large companies claim that these new products will help to make agriculture sustainable, eliminate world hunger, cure disease, and improve public health.

In GE, animal genes and human genes are randomly inserted into the chromosomes of plants, fish, and animals, creating interesting and unimaginable life forms. What is scary is that these large companies are now becoming the architects of life. Add into this equation, the lack of regulatory restraints, labeling requirements or scientific protocol, and what we are seeing is an  entire new line of wonder foods  being created. What is even worse is that all of this is being done with minimal concern for humans and environmental hazards and the harsh impact on the billions of farmers around the world. Scary huh?

There is a growing trend of scientists who warn that GE techniques are inexact and unpredictable. In other words, just plain dangerous. There are curently more than four dozen GE foods and crops being grown or sold in the US.More than 80 million acres of GE crops are being developed in the US.Get ready for this. Most supermarket foods now test postive for the presence of GE ingredients. This includes the following unlabeled foods:

  • soybeans
  • soy oil
  • corn
  • potatoes
  • squash
  • canola oil
  • cottonseed oil
  • papaya
  • tomatoes
  • dairy products

GE foods are dangerous and unpredictable for humans, animals, for the environment and for the future of sustainable organic agriculture. Dr. Michael Antoniou, a British molecular scientist states” gene-splicing has already resulted in the unexpected production of toxic substances in genetically engineered bacteria, yeast, plants, and animals with the problem remaining undetected until a major health hazard has arisen.”

Problems with Genetically Engineered Foods

In 1989, tryptophan was genetically engineered, killing thirty seven Americans. More than 5000 others were permanently disabled or afflicted with a potentially fatal blood disorder before being recalled by the FDA.

Scientists warned that rBGH was potentially dangerous, but was injected into dairy cows to force them to produce more milk. These scientists were concerned that high levels of insulin like growth factor, in the milk of rBGH injected cows, could pose hazards such as breast, prostate and colon caner. A number of studies have shown that humans with elevated levels of IGF-1 in their bodies are more likely to get cancer.

In 1994, the Eurpoean Union(EU) banned rGBH.No other industrialized country has legalized its use, except in the US, 10 percent of all dairy cows continue to be injected with rGBH. Furthermore, the GATT Codex Alimentarius, a United Nations food standards body,  has refused to certify the rBGH is safe.

Food Allergies is another issue relating to GE foods. Those with food allergies, which affect eight percent of all Americans may be harmed by exposure to GE foods.

There is also damage to the insects and butterflies. In 1999, Cornell University found that pollen from GE corn was poisonous to Monarch butterflies. This research went on to state that there is evidence that GE crops are having a negative impact on insects, ladybugs, beneficial soil microorganisms, bees and maybe even birds.

How can you help to put an end to GE foods?

  • Organize protests, forums and media related events.
  • Pressure elected officials to demand mandatory labeling of all GE products
  • Volunteer to help with grass roots organizing.

Please take a moment to share your thoughts on this topics.

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4 Responses to “Frankenfoods: Genetically Engineered Foods”

  1. Mike says:

    It is a shame that we (humans) think that we are smarter or more efficient than Mother Nature. We may think we are improving crops or food with genetic engineering, but as we are finding out, it comes with a price (OUR HEALTH). Whoever said “Don’t mess with Mother Nature” was a prophet before their time!

  2. melissa says:

    I agree with Mike. This is why science scares me so much.
    There are some things we just shouldn’t be fooling with. I do not want to be used as a guinea pig. Thank you for the information.

    I have a question for Joy. Those food listed as containing GE ingredients, are those organic vegetables that you listed?

  3. Joy Feldman says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Great question. Organic foods are not allowed to contain GM ingredients. Although there are a percentage of non-organic ingredients allowed in foods labeled organic, even these non-organic ingredients are not allowed to contain GMOs.

    If you would like more information on GM foods, please check out http://www.truefoodnow.org They have an extensive list of foods by brand and category stating whether they have GM ingredients. The link to the shopping list is http://truefoodnow.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/web_new-ge-booklet.pdf. Check it out as it is quite extensive.

    A suggestion I would like to offer, is that if you stop purchasing GM foods, please let the manufacturer know that you have done so and why. You might help effect a change in how they produce their foods. Only a small percentage of the population making this switch may do the trick to convince major manufacturers to go non-GMO. In fact, if one of the largest food manufacturers makes the switch, it might create a huge shift forcing other companies to also remove GMOs from their product. Believe it or not, this happened in England. All the major food manufacturers made the committement to remove GM ingredients in the same week, following the announcement by Unilever.

    Thanks for the excellent question.

  4. melissa says:

    Oh my goodness! I checked out the link. I am absolutely shocked, but I guess I shouldn’t be. It is just another reason to buy organic and avoid sugar. Otherwise, you would go nuts trying to avoid buying those brands.

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