Green Purr

Genetically Modified Foods

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I’ve been meaning to write a post on GM foods for ages. 

In Weekly Finds 5 – 2012 I posted a link about Genetically Modified (GM) Foods in South Africa.  I was sent an email with some information that proved certain common household food products contain genetically modified substances and weren’t labelled accordingly.  The list includes Nestle Infant Cereal, Pronutro, Impala maize meal and other common supermarket foods, which the majority of South Africans purchase to meet their daily food needs.

The email provided the contact details of various food producers and supermarket chains, as well as the Consumer Commissioner’s and encouraged people to write to them in order to rectify this situation.

I agree that not labelling GM foods is wrong, but more to the point:  I disagree with the whole concept of GM foods.  Especially now when there is scientific evidence that it harms humans (see links at bottom of page).

The problem is, its taken a very long time to have some sort of long term study done, so GM foods are in all sorts of food stuffs and in many places we purchase food from.  There has been an ongoing battle with Monsanto (and other GM seed producing companies) to provide the information necessary to conduct proper trials, hiding behind the “we’ll lose our competitive edge” story.  They deny any harmful effects of their products, but deny access to prove this.  Dodgy.

Independent studies monitoring the effects of the consumption of GM foods have shown that they are poisonous to rats, causing cancers and organ failure.  There are also studies showing that the “nutrients” in GM foods are simply not bio-available to humans.  Other results show smaller and fewer offspring, higher incidents of premature deaths, infertility and immunity problems.

From a South African perspective, a GM Maize variety has been approved for South African production and use.  It is highly controversial (a petition was set up on Avaaz to stop this from taking place).  From The Planting Season Team:  “2,4-D was one of two active ingredients in the infamous chemical weapon, ‘Agent Orange’, used to devastating effect during the Vietnam war. Exposure to 2,4-D has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells.  

Epidemiologists from the National Cancer Institute in the USA regard this link as the strongest association yet found between a pesticide and a disease.  Dozens of human and animal studies have shown 2,4-D to cause birth defects, neurological damage, and interference with reproductive function.

The use of 2,4-D in Sweden, Norway and Denmark is banned because of these well publicised links.”

Europe is mostly GMO free.  They don’t allow GMO crops or imports. There is no point in using the argument of food security if it decreases quality and length of life. 

Sources for this post and for further information you can view these links:

The GM Watch 

GM Fact Sheet for 2,4-D GM Maize

Life in Balance  – Unnerving developments in the GM movement of South Africa

Mail Online – Science and Tech

The Grocer – Monsanto Roundup weedkiller and GM maize implicated in ‘shocking’ new cancer study

Natural News

Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/seo/2010/12/23/wikileaks_cables_reveal_us_sought_to

WWF

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