Imani on Genetically-modified Foods

There is a lot to be concerned about in today’s world but food security is at the top of list! Most of us have heard about the health benefits of eating organic but few associate the planetary challenges faced in relation to the food we eat. The recent release FOOD Inc. has slowly started to shift some of these perceptions. The companion book of the same title edited by Karl Weber also addresses some of the most pertinent correlations between what we eat and the impact those choices have on our planet.  If you haven’t seen the film, find a theatre somewhere near you showing it or pick up a copy and host a mini-film showing yourself! Gather some friends to watch the film together over a shared meal.

The film also clearly outlines the dangers and realities of genetically modified (GM) foods. Many of us concerned about the future of food in this country, specifically the dangers of unlabeled GM foods, have had our fears confirmed. For those still unclear about what exactly GM foods are, they are foods whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering. For example, genes from a cold water fish inserted into tomatoes to make them cold-resistant. The potential problem is that these protein combinations have never before been introduced to humans and we have no idea of their possible side affects. 

Although most consumers in the United States remain unaware that 90 percent of what sits on grocery store shelves are genetically modified, increasing numbers are demanding product labeling as done in Europe. Why are US companies who readily use GM ingredients in their products so reluctant to accurately label their products? Studies show that the majority of US consumers would choose non-GM foods IF they knew the foods they were buying contained GM ingredients.

The data obtained by the Committee of Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) and Universities of Caen and Rouen made public by a European court in 2005 “clearly underlines adverse impacts on kidneys and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, as well as different levels of damages to heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system,” reported Gilles-Eric Séralini, a molecular biologist at the University of Caen.

In addition, the argument that GM foods are necessary for mitigating world hunger are also being disproven. Vandana Shiva, activist and spokesperson about the disastrous affects of GM crops, states that genetic engineering has yet to increase yields significantly. Farmers of cotton in India continue to commit suicide at alarming rates in protest to the failed crops and financial ruin as a result of using GM crops with promised yields.

Not only are GM crops dangerous for our personal health, but health of our planet as well. We can see the damage chemical pollution has had on our planet on the past one hundred years. And the same companies that led us down that path of destruction are now selling us the idea of genetically modified “solutions”. The only difference is that chemical pollution, as bad as it is, offers possible ways to remediate over a period of time. Genetic pollution, on the other hand, ultimately contaminates and destroys native species. They are seeds of suicide that replicate at a rapid rate and are impossible to control. GM = EXTINCTION.

Choose to be an educated consumer & find out more!

Watch the films:

FOOD, Inc., Unnatural Selection and Future of Food

Interested in finding out more about how you can avoid GM foods for you and your family? Order a copy of Your Right To Know by Andrew Kimbrell. Included are shopping guides to help you choose non-GMO foods.

  1. I watched the film and yes it should be required viewing for ALL who eat food produced in the USA.

    A way around GM labeling issue is for all companies that do not use GM in their ingredients start a campaign to educate the consumers by clearly saying so on the packaging of their products at least this would alert the uninformed consumers that there is a choice to be made. Additionally it would make it easier for consumers to vote with their purchasing power. Most major corporations are motivated by profit and market share if sales fall due to consumer demand for non GM products some corporations would remove GM from their products. At the very least if the majority of non GM products are labeled consumers would be able to find them easier and make a more informed choice. It’s a small step but all long journeys begin with one step.

  2. I’m with you M! Every small step by a million of us creates big change. So if you’re reading this comment, the next time you go into your favorite grocery store, ask the produce person which veggies are GMO. If more and more informed people start speaking up and showing the corps that we know what’s going on, it will create a ruffle in the board room. I promise. I’ve been there.

  3. Great common sense here. Wish I?d toughht of that.

  4. Thank you for another excellent post. Where else could anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

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