All Islands Health Talk Non-GMO: Healthy New Year's Resolution
Dec 31, 2004 / Personal Health
All Islands, Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Oahu
Consumers of any age can improve their health with one New Year's resolution. "Avoid eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs)," says expert Jeffrey M. Smith, who points to evidence of mounting health risks associated with gene-spliced foods.
Source: The Institute for Responsible Technology
Smith urges consumers to cross off brands that contain genetically modified (GM) ingredients, which are in 60-70% of foods sold in the U.S. The principle offenders are non-organic soy and corn derivatives and canola and cottonseed oils. Thus, Ragu tomato sauce would be off limits, since it contains corn syrup and soybean oil, but Light Ragu or Barilla brand sauces, which contain olive oil and no corn sweetener, are non-GMO.
"Consumers in the U.S. are being used as human guinea pigs by biotech companies, which rushed their GMOs to market without adequate studies and before the science was ready," says Smith. "Once Americans learn they are feeding these high-risk foods to their children, they will demand non-GMO alternatives." In Europe, where consumer knowledge about GMOs is considerably higher, shoppers' concerns prompted food
manufacturers there to remove all GM ingredients. Smith sees this
trend building in the US, with more and more healthy brands declaring
ingredients "Non-GMO" on the label.
Smith's new book, Genetic Roulette: The documented health risks of
genetically engineered foods, due out in the spring, links GMOs to
risks such as allergies, immune system dysfunction, potentially pre-
cancerous cell growth, stunted organs and death. "Many of the beliefs
about DNA that were popular when GM foods were introduced ten years
ago," he says, "have been proven wrong. Swapping genes between species
turns out to have far more unpredicted dangerous side effects than we
Animals choose non-GMO
Smith also documents how several animals, when given the option,
choose non-GM food over GMOs. These include cows, pigs, elk, deer,
raccoons, squirrels, mice, rats and geese. He says a non-GMO New
Year's resolution will help people elevate their choices to match the
wisdom of the animals.
Cloned food may be FDA deja vu
"The FDA's recent announcement declaring milk and meat from cloned
animals as safe," says Smith, "reminds us of their 1992 approval of GM
crops. When the agency's internal files were made public years later,
they revealed that the FDA's GMO policy was dictated by corporate
manipulation, not sound science. Warnings by government scientists
were ignored by political appointees from the biotech industry." Smith
adds, "And like GMOs, the FDA does not want labels on cloned food,
thereby forcing the entire population into their dangerous
Go to www.responsibletechnology.org for eater-friendly tips for avoiding GMOs at home and in restaurants.
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Jeffrey Smith is the author of Seeds of Deception, the world's bestselling book on GMOs. He is the founder and executive director of The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) and a leading spokesperson on the risks of GM foods. His forthcoming book, Genetic Roulette, documents more than 60 health risks of GM foods in easy-to-read two-page spreads, and demonstrates how current safety assessments are not competent to protect consumers from the dangers.
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