Attention Shoppers: Why should you care about GMOs in your food?

Did you know?  90% of Voters in Connecticut favor GMO Labeling – article

As close as we got to being the first state to require this, the effort failed this past week.  While it was a good, great effort, it really needs to be a federal mandate. Why should you care about GMOs in your food? 

After reading reluctant activist, Robyn O’Brien’s (no relation) book, The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It, I did more research, and attended the CT NOFA conference earlier this year.  I went from being 50% vigilant to 80% – 95% vigilant about reading food labels.  Believe it or not, what follows is a small compilation of research from The Institute for Responsible Technology and the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America.

Before your next trip to buy the latest and greatest gadget/fashion trend/big ticket item, consider using that money for a healthier grocery budget.  Change one item on your shopping list toward the goal of investing in your long term healthcare.  How much is your health worth?

~Aimee, TFF


Make informed choices about what your family is eating.

One of the most common concerns about the prevalence of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in North America is whether they are safe for our children and families to be eating.

Are GMOs safe? 
Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In nearly 50 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. Europe has greater rejection of GMOs due to a more balanced reporting by their press on the health and environmental dangers.

In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM (Photo credit: live w mcs)

Consider the Health Dangers:

What are the potential dangers of eating GM foods?  There are a number of dangers that broadly fall into the categories of potential toxins, allergens, carcinogens, new diseases, antibiotic resistant diseases, and nutritional problems.

View all 65 health risks of GM foods, excerpted from Jeffrey Smith’s comprehensive book Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

Hasn’t research shown GM foods to be safe?

No. The only feeding study done with humans showed that GMOs survived inside the stomach of the people eating GMO food. No follow-up studies were done.

Various feeding studies in animals have resulted in potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy or increased density of the liver, odd shaped cell nuclei and other unexplained anomalies, false pregnancies and higher death rates.

Recent health studies provide growing evidence of harm from GMOs:

GM Corn Damages Liver and Kidneys

Meat Raised on GM Feed is Different

Roundup Could Cause Birth Defects

Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility

Are my kids eating genetically engineered food?

Stop! Genetically modified organism(s) - GMO.
Stop! Genetically modified organism(s) – GMO. (Photo credit: in search for a new country of residence)

The sad truth is many of the foods that are most popular with children contain GMOs. Cereals, snack bars, snack boxes, cookies, processed lunch meats, and crackers all contain large amounts of high risk food ingredients. In North America, over 80% of our food contains GMOs.  If you are not buying foods that are Non-GMO Project Verified, most likely GMOs are present at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

What if I only buy organic?

Shopping organic is a great step towards ensuring that your family eats the healthiest foods possible. The challenge is that although GMOs are an excluded method under the National Organic Program, organic certification does not require GMO testing. Choosing products that are Certified Organic AND Non-GMO Project Verified is the best way to make sure you are getting the safest, healthiest, highest-quality food for your family.

What are the most common GMOs?

The most common GMOs are in the U.S. are from commercialized soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), corn (88%), sugar beets (95%), Hawaiian papaya (over 50%), alfalfa, and zucchini  and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres).

Many of these items appear as added ingredients in a large amount of the foods we eat. For instance, your family may not eat tofu or drink soy milk, but soy is most likely present in a large percentage of the foods in your pantry (soy protein, soy lecithin)

What are other sources of GMOs?

Products derived from the above, including oils from all four (soy, cotton, canola, corn), GMOs may be hidden in common processed food ingredients such as: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Cornstarch, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.


  • meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed (and the majority of the GM corn and soy is used for feed);
  • dairy products from cows injected with rbGH (a GM hormone);
  • food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents, including the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet) and rennet used to make hard cheeses; and
  • honey and bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen.

What about GM hormones in milk?

Milk from rBGH-treated cows contains an increased amount of the hormone IGF-1, which is one of the highest risk factors associated with breast and prostate cancer, but no one is tracking this in relation to cancer rates.

I am overwhelmed by the prospect of changing our diet, where should I begin?

Take a step by step approach. For instance, many parents find it is useful to begin with looking at what their family is eating for breakfast.

There are many resources available to help you find non-GMO choices:

Social media can also be a great tool to find out about newly verified products and other people working to keep GMOs out of their home.

Do Americans want non-GMO foods and supplements?
Polls consistently show that a significant majority of North Americans would like to be able to tell if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs (a 2008 CBS News Poll found that 87% of consumers wanted GMOs labeled). And, according to a recent CBS/New York Times poll, 53% of consumers said they would not buy food that has been genetically modified.

Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the informed choice they deserve.

The Non-GMO Project’s seal for verified products will, for the first time, give the public an opportunity to make an informed choice when it comes to GMOs.

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