Introduction by Safe Baby Healthy Child Co-Founder Samantha Fox Olson
Here on Kauai (the most isolated land mass on all the planet) we recently pulled together as a people to change pass a bill (Bill 2491) demanding that buffer zones be placed around our kid’s schools and our oceans. Also that the GMO corporations must disclose the pesticides and the amounts that they are using as public knowledge. After lots of battle, the bill was passed! And Kauai will not stop there. We have a vision that this island be GMO-free. With that in my heart, I recently asked our plant based food expert, Karen Ranzi, M.A. to do a post for us on GMOs and our children. This is a topic for ALL parents to understand and to use our dollars as our vote each time we go to a grocery store. SAY NO TO GMO!
“Once released into the environment, unlike a BSE epidemic or chemical spill, genetic mistakes cannot be contained, recalled or cleaned up, but will be passed onto all future generations indefinitely.” –Dr. Michael Antoniou
Genetic engineering focuses on the manipulation of the genetic material (the DNA) in the cells of living organisms to block undesired traits or add desired ones. The result is often called a genetically modified organism, or GMO.
Common GMO Food Sources
It was estimated 35% of corn and 55% of soybeans grown in the United States during 1999 were genetically engineered. According to the USDA, “By 2006, 89% of the planted area of soybeans, 83% of cotton, and 61% of corn were genetically modified varieties.” According to the Center for Food Safety, “It has been estimated that upwards of 60 percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves – from soda to soup, crackers to condiments – contain genetically engineered ingredients.”
Another common GMO food source is dairy products from cows injected with the genetically modified hormone recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH).
GMO Is Compromising Our Soil
Rhio, hostess of NYTalkRadio.net, is also a major spokesperson on how genetically engineered foods are produced and how they negatively impact our health and the Earth. Rhio states, “Good, rich, organic soil is teaming with healthy bacteria, and when the soil is alive, the food is alive. Human interference, by artificially manipulating the very nature of Nature is altering the course of the biology of seeds and plants forever. The products of genetic manipulation, once released into the environment, cannot be retrieved because life forms (living organisms) continue on in their evolutionary path.”
The developing brains and nervous systems of developing babies and children are dependent on pure, fresh, wholesome foods. Chemicals and mixing genes from other animals and plants are capable of creating all sorts of problems in the evolving human body. There is no doubt we will all be adversely affected by companies altering the way Nature has provided our food.
Save Our Seed
Companies such as Monsanto (now Pharmacia), Dow Chemical, Du Pont, Novartis, Aventis and others have been buying up most of the seed companies worldwide. In Rhio’s article “Genetically Engineered Food Explained in Plain Language,” she presents crucial information of which we all need to be aware:
- “Nature, in all of her history, never crossed a fish gene with a tomato. Wouldn’t you think our scientists would pause to think about what it means to alter a plant so drastically as to insert a fish gene where it has never been before? Or a pig gene into a potato? How about a rat gene into broccolini? That’s not a pretty picture!”
- “Why do we need plants that are altered to withstand heavy doses of herbicides? When these plants are sprayed, everything around them dies, except the target plant. What right have we to kill the diversity of Nature – all the surrounding plants, insects and animal life?”
- “The corn syrup in processed foods is all genetically engineered. Coca Cola is one of the biggest purchasers of genetically engineered corn syrup.”
- “Farmers and eaters around the globe feel very strongly about this issue because for the sake of PROFIT, for the sake of milking a 20 year patent, the ecology of our planet and human and animal health are being placed at risk. And we, the people, are the guinea pigs in this giant and foolish experiment.”
Rhio discusses cross pollination, a natural occurrence, but when the pollen from plants grown at farms planted with GE seeds is blown by the wind onto the plants of neighboring farms, they become contaminated and develop GE traits. If an organic farm becomes contaminated, its crops are no longer organic. She feels it should be mandated that genetically engineered foods be grown in greenhouses so non-genetically engineered crops are not contaminated by cross pollination.
You can demand the clear labeling of genetically engineered produce by contacting congressmen and senators asking for bills to support labeling of GMOs.
“The perception that everything is totally straightforward and safe is utterly naive. I don’t think we fully understand the dimensions of what we’re getting into.” -Professor Philip James
By Karen Ranzi, M.A.