Oct 18, 2012
The consumer advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put out a new paper that estimates the average person’s yearly consumption of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). And based on the figures, which EWG admits are very likely understated, the average person consumes more than their own body weight’s worth of GMOs every single year, a shocking reality with unknown, long-term health consequences.
For their study, EWG researchers compiled data from 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data sheets on average per capita consumption of various GM foods, including corn-based sweeteners like corn syrup, salad oils, and various other “corn products” like corn oil and corn meal. They then analyzed these figures based on the percentages of each of the crops used to make these products that are genetically engineered in the U.S.
The average adult in America, it turns out, weighs 179 pounds, and consumes an average of 193 pounds of GM corn-based products and salad oils every year. And when various other GMOs are added into the mix that were not included as part of the original study — in addition to corn and sugar beets, soybean oil and other soy-based products, conventional papaya, and canola oil are all widely consumed foods of GM origin as well — the contrast between body weight and GMO consumption widens even more significantly.
“From these figures, EWG calculated that the average American annually consumes genetically engineered foods in these quantities: 68 pounds of beet sugar, 58 pounds of corn syrup, 38 pounds of soybean oil and 29 pounds of corn-based products, for a total of 193 pounds,” says EWG.
With more new GMOs on the way, consumption patterns expected to increase dramatically
These figures are only estimates, of course, as some Americans are health savvy enough to avoid many of the common GMO ingredients and additives used in conventional foods, while others chug down excess amounts of corn syrup-laden sodas and soy-glutted condiments and sauces like it is nobody’s business. But the fact of the matter is that Americans as a whole are being used as human guinea pigs in a massive biotechnology experiment with uncharted ramifications.
And the really bad news is that, unless GMO labeling laws like Proposition 37 in California are passed in the very near future, the biotechnology industry will continue to secretly release evermore GMOsinto the food supply. In the next few decades, in fact, Americans will very likely be subjected to a whole host of new, undisclosed GMOs if mandatory GMO labeling does not become a national standard.
“EWG considered only three genetically engineered crops (for its study), but more than 30 others are currently being tested in field trials, including apples, barley, bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, chili peppers, coffee, cranberries, cucumber, flax, grapefruit, kiwi, lentils, lettuce, melons, mustard, oats, olives, onions, peanuts, pears, peas, persimmons, pineapple, radishes, strawberries, sugar cane, sunflower, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, walnuts and watercress,” adds EWG.
“While it is unclear how long it may take for these new genetically engineered crops to reach the market, this long list makes it likely that people could be eating two or three times their weight in GE food annually within the next decade.”
To learn more about California’s efforts to become the first U.S. state to mandate GMO labeling at the retail level, visit: http://www.carighttoknow.org/
Also, be sure to check out the hard-hitting new documentary Genetic Roulette by award-winning author, filmmaker, and Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), Jeffrey Smith: http://geneticroulettemovie.com/
Oct 18, 2012
Industries are all about making more money, at any cost. If they can develop something now that will save money and produce more down the road, they will—often tossing ethical concerns to the side. Need proof? Just look at Big Pharma’s sales of harmful drugs, their cycle of side effects and treatments, or even how they want to make genetically modified plants to produce pharmaceutical drugs. Need more proof? Look at Monsanto and environmentally destructive herbicides. The latest movement towards increased production at a lesser cost comes in the form of genetically modified trees.
Further Altering Nature, Now with Genetically Modified Trees!
Genetically modified trees are being developed in the U.S. and around the world. A new paper, circulated at outside of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Convention on Biological Diversity cautions that GM tree research is being done without much oversight and with limited information.
As reported on the Science and Development Network, the industries pushing this research are those that can serve to make money off of the GMO trees. They are testing their genetic alterations in the lab with poplars, pines, acacias, and eucalyptus trees just to name a few.
So far, the U.S. has the most patents with 53% and Brazil follows close behind. In all, 21 countries are working on the GMO trees. So, what are they trying to do? From an industrial standpoint, they are looking to “perfect” the trees—make them more useful and more valuable, not recognizing the value of trees goes far beyond their ability to make nice paper or fancy hardwood floors.
They are working on developing wood with less lignin, for instance, which will make it easier to process. They are also working to develop trees that are more pest-resistant, obviously ignoring the issues of GMO crops and their damage to the delicate natural balance.
Isis Alvarez, of the Global Forest Coalition, cautions that these researchers are being hasty in their projects. She says they are pushing the industry to “escalate without any consideration to the environmental or social impacts, and with little or no oversight or monitoring from governments”.
One has to wonder if they’ve thought ahead, to what would happen, for instance, if the trees were completely pest resistant. What would happen to the pests who no longer had wood for homes and food? When they died off, what would happen to the birds who depend on them for their own food—and so on. Likely, the corporations which are no doubt behind the research are concerned with one thing and one thing only—their bottom line.
This post originally appeared at Natural News