Health Front: How to Select More Non-GMO Foods


About 70 percent or more of the foods in your supermarket directly or indirectly contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients, and the majority of people in California want foods labeled when they are genetically modified.

However, when the California proposition to label GMOs on all food packages was voted on in a recent election, it garnered only 47 percent of the votes cast. The possible reasons why a law to recognize and label GMO ingredients did not pass come down to a few factors.

First, not even 40 percent of the voting public cared to vote. Second, over 50 percent of those that voted came to vote with a strong visceral reaction to any government regulation.

Many voters are so angry that they might even associate clean air and water with government tyranny, often voting just to be spiteful.  Also, a very well-funded media campaign by GMO companies outspent the pro-labeling groups by a margin of 3 to 1.

If you want to make a commitment to avoid GMO foods, you’re in good company. Nationwide, doctors are recommending that their patients avoid genetically modified foods. Some foods are labeled GMO free or organic, but most will not be.

The eight biggest GM food crops are Corn, Soybeans, Sugar beets, Fructose, Canola, Hawaiian Papaya, Dairy and Baby formula. Packaged products and processed foods are more likely to contain GMOs.

Dairy and eggs often contain GMOs. Unless it’s labeled organic or rBST-free, everything in the dairy case, including milk, cheese and yogurt, probably contains milk from cows injected with rBST, a GM hormone used to make cows give more milk.

It’s also likely that the cows and chickens were fed GM corn, soy and canola. Almost all meat in the grocer’s meat case comes from animals fed with GM crops.

Vegetable oil made from corn, soy and canola oils are usually GMO products, unless labeled otherwise. Most commercial breads, cookies and crackers are made with corn syrup and soy-based ingredients.

The foods that don’t contain GMO ingredients are widely available in Western California. Local, natural vegetables and fruit are GMO free.

Salads with an olive oil dressing are most often free of GMOs. Wheat, rice and beans are not yet genetically modified. The processed pasta or rice heat and serve meals do carry GMOs. Summer squash and zucchini that appear in a store’s produce are GMOs. It is always best to only buy produce from our local natural farms.

Unfortunately, corn and corn syrup products are the most difficult to avoid. Sweet corn, tortillas, corn chips, corn sugar and corn oil are GMOs, unless they are marked not.

Finding farmers that grow corn that is not GM is getting more difficult. Animal products that come from natural and grass fed livestock are easier to find in Humboldt County.

Dairy products from these cattle and sheep are made without GMOs and may be labeled that they are rBGH free (Bovine growth hormone free).

If you are thinking about avoiding GMO products, and would like to obtain a downloadable list or guide to use while shopping, they are downloadable from the Institute for Responsible Technology website.

You can sign up and download the “Non-GMO Shopping Guide” onto your smart phone by contacting .

There are risks and potential dangers from GMOs. Children have faster developing bodies and are more susceptible to allergies, antibiotic resistant diseases and nutritional problems.

They are more likely to be influenced by genetically modified food and chemicals. That is why independent scientists use young adolescent mice in their GM feeding studies. Genetically modified bovine growth hormone is one of the highest risk factors associated with breast and prostate cancer.

The Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association called for more studies to determine if more exposure to growth hormone chemicals in meat and dairy products induces premature growth in children.

The British Medical Association wants a moratorium on GM foods. It is not easy to know what is in our foods and what is safe to feed the children unless we study the food product beyond the bright packaging.

Obtaining a list or shopping guide makes the effort to know what quality food and nutrition to feed the family a whole lot easier.

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January 10th, 2014

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