November 11, 2013

Perhaps Mutant Tomatoes WILL Give Us Heat Vision!

Have you ever wished for superhero-like abilities?  Well Washingtonians and I suppose all Americans here is our chance!  Not only do genetically modified ingredients cause liver, pancreas and kidney damage in animals, third generation hamsters can no longer reproduce and more than half of the babies of mother rats fed genetically modified (GM) soy, died within three weeks. Hmmmm, makes one wonder, what do we have in store for the human race?  And what will happen to our food supply?  Well, on the upside, in the words of Stephen Colbert, "I'm hoping one day a mutant tomato can give me heat vision."

To make matters more confusing our ever elusive government contradicts itself...GMOs have patents because they are unique and different.  However the good ol' FDA says that GMO food is the same thing as Non-GMO may be shaking your head because it truly is unbelievable!  Well believe it!

How is it that over 90% of the US population would like to make GMO labeling mandatory and we can't seem to pass an Initiative in Washington state to support this?  I grew up here so I may be a bit biased, I do believe that our populace is educated, progressive and health conscious.  However, I am in such disbelief that we shot Initiative-522 down?  Afterall, we are a bit late to the party, in more than 60 countries worldwide there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs.  So how did it just so happen to shake out in the opposition's favor?

Lucky for the non-supporters of I-522 , the Food and Agriculture Biotechnology Industry spent over half a billion dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures.  Same old story just another day; the deep pockets that want to perpetuate their business, pay to misinform and fright.  Oh my, how positively confusing for the consumers and golly gee, the price of food would be driven up because of the cost to the food manufactures.  Again to quote Colbert, "Yes, America's food manufacturers can't take the time and expense to find out if there's genetically modified ingredients in their food, they don't even know if there is FOOD in their food!"

The positive news for supporters of I-522 is that people are now aware and there is no going back! Many were in the dark for some time about GMOs.  As GE has been going on for a few decades and the first GMO foodstuffs were released in the early 1990's (Flavr Savr Tomatoes).  So my dearest readers fear not, shop at your local coops and you will see that the shelves are lined with an abundance of products labeled with the "Non-GMO Project Verified" seal and lucky for us, all  100% Organic foods cannot be created with GMOs (read the label, there are a few differences between 100% Organic, Certified Organic/USDA Organic & Made with Organic).  And for those of you minding your pocketbook take a look at Trader Joe's, they took a vow in 2001 banning GMOs in their products.  Seek out natural food markets or the organic section in your conventional grocery store for your next shopping trip!

Steer clear of GMOs as best you can.  Here is a list of major food items to avoid if they aren't labeled as Non-GMO or 100% Organic or in most cases Certified Organic/USDA:

  • Corn (hence the high-fructose and old-fashioned corn syrup found in many products, stay away!)
  • Soy (flip over your loaf of bread and check out if there is Soy oil in there, did you find it? Now never buy that loaf of bread again!)
  • Canola Oil (seek out Certified Organic Safflower or Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • Sugar Beets (why not go for organic "cane" sugar?)
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas 
  • Papayas
  • Alfalfa
  • Zucchini & Yellow Squash
  • Honey (purchase Certified Organic & Raw)
  • Dairy (to ensure that the animals that are milked aren't fed GMOs & of course administered the rBGH hormone)
  • Salmon
  • Pork
  • Rice

Lastly, let's clear something up right now!  (If you took the time to watch the Colbert Report clip on GMO labeling failing to pass the vote in Washington State, the Fox Reporter must be referring to GE vs. Traditional Plant Breeding when she mentions the "seedless watermelon." If you missed the clip, click here to see it.)

GE vs. Traditional Plant Breeding:
Haven't we been altering the genetic makeup of plants for centuries?  Yes, traditional plant breeding has been around for millennia, a practice of keeping seeds from the best crops and crossbreeding varieties to improve their taste, storage life, appearance, yield and much more.  In this practice breeders cross relate organisms whose genetic makeups are very similar.  However with genetic engineering (GE), genes from completely unrelated organisms can be spliced together, say an Arctic fish and a tomato.  I'm not saying that conventional breeding is all natural and would have eventually happened in nature, however by choosing plants that are very similiar in genetic makeup one would guess that it could possibly happen with evolution.  Now, a fish crossbreeding with a tomato, not possible.  After all, even in nature species do not mix, if they do you end up with a high probability of an infertile mule!

More On GMOs:
GMOs & Studies: Responsible Technology's website
Great articles written in 2002 about GMO's:
Over 90% of Americans want GMO Labeling in Poll Results:
Ad in favor for GMO Labeling:
A Brief History of GMOs:
Fishy Tomato:
Food and Agriculture Biotech Industry Spends More than half a billion dollars on Influencing Congress:
Foods to Avoid if not clearly marked:
Non GMO Project:
Keep in mind that "made with organic ingredients, does not mean organic:"

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