Twenty Genetically Modified Foods Coming to Your Plate

Intro by Jack Adam Weber

Article by ecosalon.com

Intro – If the need to halt GMOs were not urgent enough, this article should scare the pants off you. Here we glimpse some of the potentials for the unabated and bizarre proliferation of GMOs. Some of these developments you will already know about (hopefully), but some will come as a surprise. As I see it we are now at a crossroads where we can still dismantle this dangerous and perverted manipulation of the very fabric of life, the sacred code of nature, which will undoubtedly affect each and every one of us in profound ways now and in the future.

Here we are reminded that the fight against GMOs and to save organics is not just a battle for what we knew yesterday, which is bad enough. It is a fight against the future of the GE movement and the unlikely and increasingly creepy, scary, and deranged turns it will likely take. Just today I read elsewhere that 35 species of fish, in addition to salmon, are slotted to be genetically engineered for various traits. I am not going to preview the highlights of what is below, but maybe you too will be left wondering, “What will they think of next?”

I hope we never have to find out. We have to stop this now before we and future generations have to be genetically engineered, RoundUp and 2,4-D Ready at the least perhaps, to withstand the onslaught of the weird stuff being channelled into our food supply and into our environment. If you haven’t already, perhaps after reading this article you will be more ready to take a real stand against GMOs by enacting the 11 Simple Steps to Eradicate GMOs and join our GMO Eradication Movement. Now put down that bowl of GMO corn chowder, buckle your seatbelts, clear you ears and clean off your eyeglasses for the list of 20 GMOs coming soon and already arrived to supermarket shelves near you.

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Good luck distinguishing these Frankenfoods from real, natural food as they flood our supermarkets.

Genetically altered to withstand heavy applications of toxic chemicals, resist disease or contain more nutrients, so-called “Frankenfoods” are appearing on supermarket shelves at a rapid rate. Currently, genetically modified (GM) corn and soy can be found in many processed foods, and the produce section may contain GM zucchini, corn on the cob and papaya. But beyond those that have already been approved for human consumption, many more GMOs are on the way – and they probably won’t be labeled. These 20 crops and animal products include both those that are already available (whether we like it or not) and some that are still in development, like cows that produce human breast milk.

Corn

If you eat any kind of processed food on a regular basis – tortilla chips, cereal, granola bars – chances are, you consume genetically modified corn. The Center for Food Safety estimates that over 70% of the processed foods in American grocery stores contain genetically modified corn or soy. Corn is altered to contain proteins that kill insects that eat them, so they effectively produce their own pesticides.

Rice

Rice plants are often modified to be resistant to herbicides and pests, to increase grain size and to generate nutrients that don’t exist in the grain naturally. Varieties include Bayer’s herbicide-resistant “LibertyLink” rice, vitamin A-infused “golden rice” and the bizarre Ventria Bioscience “Express Tec” rice, which has been altered to contain human proteins naturally found in breast milk. The latter is used globally in infant formula.

Tomatoes

Among the first foods to be genetically altered, GM tomatoes have been developed to be unnaturally high in anti-oxidants, to have more intense flavor and to stay fresh longer. While there are not currently any genetically modified tomatoes on store shelves, they’re being used extensively by scientists to study the function of genes that are naturally present in the plants.

Soybeans

The most common genetically engineered food of all is the soybean. Since 1996, scientists have been creating varieties of soybeans that are resistant to both pests and herbicides, and they wind up in places you’d least expect them, like candy bars. A new GM soybean with higher levels of healthy oils was approved by the USDA in 2010; chemical companies DuPont and Monsanto are both working on their own versions of the biotech bean.

Cotton

We don’t think of cotton as a food, and technically it isn’t – but we still end up eating it. Cotton isn’t classified as a food crop, so farmers can use any chemicals they want when growing it. That means cottonseed oil, which is present in products like mayonnaise and salad dressing, can be packed full of pesticides. Along with soy, corn and canola, cotton grown for oil extraction is one of the most frequently genetically modified crops in the world.

Canola Oil

Canola, a cultivar of rapeseed, produces one of the most commonly consumed food oils, and it’s one of America’s biggest cash crops. What you may not know is that canola stands for “Canadian oil, low acid,” referring to a variety of rapeseed developed in the 1970s. 80% of the acres of canola sown in the U.S. are genetically modified, and a 2010 study in North Dakota found that the modified genes of these plants have spread to 80% of wild natural rapeseed plants.

Sugar Beets

Despite the fact that an environmental impact study has yet to be completed, the USDA has announced that farmers may now plant Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets, which have been altered to withstand the company’s herbicide. This decision comes despite a 2010 court order that prohibited planting the GMO beets until the study was performed. Sugar beets provide about half of America’s sugar.

Salmon

Salmon may become the first genetically modified animal to be approved for direct human consumption. The FDA has decided that a variety of GM salmon that grow twice as fast as their natural, un-modified peers is both safe to eat and safe for the environment.

“We’re looking here at a scenario where the fish might wind up sooner or later in the ocean,” Brian Ellis, plant biotechnologist at the University of British Columbia Vancouver, told Discovery News. “I think if we go down this route, we have to be prepared to accept some potentially unknown consequences.”

Sugar Cane

Providing the other half of America’s precious sugar, sugar cane is set to debut on our shelves in genetically modified form sometime soon. Brazil’s state-owned agricultural research agency has been hard at work developing drought-resistant sugar cane that also bears increased yields for years now, and may have it certified for commercial use within five years. Australia is also working on its own version.

Papaya

After the Ringspot Virus nearly destroyed all of Hawaii’s papaya crops, a new variety was engineered to resist the disease, and it now represents the majority of the papayas grown in the United States.

“Papaya would be unique in the sense where the industry in Hawaii is dependent on biotech,” says Kevin Richards, director of regulatory relations for the American Farm Bureau. “What you have in Hawaii is a very contained, isolated agro-eco system, which is vulnerable to diseases.”

Potatoes

The first genetically modified food to be approved for cultivation in Europe in over a decade, Amflora potatoes are currently being grown in Sweden. High in starch content, the potatoes are actually meant for use in paper, glues and other commercial products rather than as food, but that doesn’t mean they won’t end up affecting the food chain. Nearby farmers worry about their rabbits, deer, and especially their bees.

Honey

Could genetically modified crops have something to do with the mysterious ailments that are killing honeybee colonies by the billions? Some researchers believe so. A zoologist in Germany found that genes used to modify rapeseed crops had transferred to bacteria living inside bees. GMOs are currently considered to be among the possible causes of Colony Collapse Disorder. And if the genes are causing changes within the bees, they’re also likely to cause changes to the honey that the bees produce.

Bananas

After banana crops in Uganda were affected by a bacterial disease that caused the plants to rot, scientists developed a genetically modified variety that could help alleviate the $500 million annual loss. The ban on GM crops was waived to make way for the GM version of Uganda’s staple food. A gene from sweet pepper was inserted into the bananas that make them resistant to the bacteria. Cultivated bananas have almost no genetic diversity, so supporters of this decision argue that introducing the GMO fruits will actually help bananas as a whole.

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Zucchini Squash

Zucchini are among the foods currently on store shelves that are often genetically modified. The main threats to zucchini harvests are viruses and fungal infections, and GM zucchini eliminate those problems.

Pork

Pigs are currently being genetically modified for the possibility of producing human organs as early as 2013, but that’s not their only use. Another variety may eventually end up on our plates. A project called “Enviropig” has inserted genes from mice and E.coli bacteria into pigs to make them process their food more efficiently, potentially reducing their environmental impact. The modification allows the pigs to digest chemicals called phosphates which are present in cereal grains; these chemicals normally just pass right through a pig’s system where they can end up in waterways.

Alfalfa

Genetic modification is making its way into the sprouts on your sandwiches and salads. The GMO industry demanded that the USDA allow unrestricted planting of genetically modified alfalfa, which makes up about 7 percent of U.S. crop fields. Alfalfa is a prolific pollinator, so it can easily spread to non-GMO alfalfa. USDA chief Tom Vilsack resisted the idea at first, but in January 2011, he gave in.

Meat and Eggs

The importance of that GMO alfalfa decision? It has a huge domino effect on the entire food chain. Alfalfa is not just grown for edible sprouts, of course – it’s mainly animal feed. Livestock have been fed genetically modified grains like corn and soy since 1996, when these crops were first introduced, and adding alfalfa to the mix will substantially increase the amount of GMOs that animals like cows, chickens and pigs take in. Of course, just like all of the other effects of GMOs, how all of this will pan out for the livestock and for us is not yet clear.

And direct genetic modification of food animals is in the works, too. Aside from the previously mentioned pigs, animals that are in “laboratory stage” include cows and goats that can produce milk containing drugs like antibiotics, and chickens that produce drugs in their egg whites. Under current FDA rules, GMO meat and dairy won’t need to have special labels on store shelves, making it extremely difficult to tell what is modified and what isn’t.

Milk

Aside from the contamination that may occur when dairy livestock consume genetically modified feed, GMOs can end up in your milk in other ways, too. The United States is currently the only nation in the world that allows milk containing the genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to be sold for human consumption. Milk from cows treated with these artificial hormones has been found to contain lower nutritional value, higher pus content (yes, you read that correctly) and increased levels of the cancer-causing hormone IGF-1.

And then there are the cows that are being genetically engineered to produce human breast milk. Scientists in China have bred a herd of 300 dairy cows with milk that resembles the balance of fats and nutrients that are best for human babies. The researchers believe that this modified cow milk is a possible substitute for human milk, and could be sold on store shelves in the future.

Aspartame

How can an artificial substance be genetically modified? Aspartame may seem like an odd addition to this list, but the fact is, Monsanto makes it using genetically modified bacteria. The bacteria produce the amino acid phenylalanine, which, when combined with aspartic acid, creates the faux sweetener.

 


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  • Fernando

    WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THIS? “Vitamins A,B2,B6,B12,C,D,E,K may be from GMO”

    • Yes, it is true.

    • jessica carr

      Take whole food vitamins instead. You can find them at health food stores, they are mineral based from plants and animals without extra chemicals that the body has trouble breaking down. 🙂

  • Thanks for a reasonably even-handed approach on the topic. It does lean a little to the negative, not noting how much insecticide, tilling, fuel, labor etc are saved by these crops. Also, thanks for noting that papaya saved an industry. Also-also, there are currently no transgenic tomatoes, potatoes or zucchini– just big ag crops.

    And by the way, man has manipulated plants genetically for 20,000 years– so that “sacred code” has been corrupted by human activity for a long time. The result is improved crops. Transgenics just add speed and precision to the conventional breeding process.

    • Francis McGregor

      So, Kevin, which of the chemical companies do you work for? Monsanto? Dow?
      What we need is for independent studies to really tell us the facts about GMO’s. The chemical companies won’t allow this. Why?
      As far as 20,000 years of manipulated plants, how many of these plants were being inserted with out-of-species genes? The answer is, until a few years ago, NONE!

      • Kevin Folta

        Hi Francis. This is the response typically given when I provide real scientific information that someone does not like to hear. I don’t trumpet our disinformation and hysteria, so I must work for big ag.

        Nothing further from the truth. I work for YOU!!! Yes, I’m a public scientist, never got a dime from those companies.

        There are hundreds of independent studies. Most of all, no evidence of harm from independent labs that is reproducible. Anyone can do independent studies. The seeds are freely available.

        No natural “out-of-species” genes? I think you need to do some homework. Look up Agrobacterium tumefacies and Elysia chlorotica. Many examples in plants. Let me know if you have any questions and I’d be happy to answer them for you.

    • Hi Kevin, selective breeding by humans over the millennia is considered a natural and sustainable innovation by human beings. It is very different than genetic engineering in which genes from different species are inserted by unnatural means into a species which would never happen in nature, and in fact, for which nature has made adaptions for it not to happen. So, the sacred code of life is in tact apart from GE foods.

      Also, GE papaya did not save an industry. It saved the appearance of an industry. I grow organic papaya here in Hawaii and it gets the ringspot virus, but it is just a cosmetic difference on my crops. Humans’ aesthetic perversion for appearance trumps sanity and natural order in gross ways.

      Transgenic potatoes are grown in Europe.

      And GE crops do not save on tilling, fuel, or insecticide…

      • Kevin Folta

        Well Jack, I’m sorry but you are incorrect. YOU consider it natural and sustainable. How is human crossing a plant species from one continent with a plant on an island 2000 miles away natural? It would never happen by nature. Wild introgressions, forced polyploidy, chemically-induced mutations, many others, all man-made and acceptable to you. So much for that “sacred code of life”.

        Transgenic potatoes are grown in Europe, but not in EU countries.

        PRV will eventually kill a plant. It makes blemished fruits that can provide ingress for fungi and bacterial pathogens. GE does support an industry, including non-GE papaya. Non-GE surrounded by GE for virus protection.

        For your last point I’ll be glad to direct you to multiple sources that evidence clear savings in tilling and fuel, and many references to tremendous savings in insecticides. The spray planes that go back and forth dumping insecticide don’t go to the Bt fields!

        I’m glad to help with any points above and will gladly provide information and evidence to any of them. Real evidence from scientists in peer-reviewed journals.

    • [email protected]

      Kevin hybridization is not anything like genetic engineering. Hybrids have to come from similar plants. Bananas and Yellow peppers are not genetically similar. There is no way a hybrid milk could be made–I don’t think a human would ever be willing to breed with a cow, that would in fact be cruelty, and just plain wrong. How can eggs that produce antibiotics in the egg white be a good thing? How much of what antibiotic would you be willing to eat?
      GMO crops have not decreased the use of insecticide, tilling, fuel, or labor. They have increased Monsanto’s sales of Round-Up tremendously, and resistant weeds are cropping up everywhere!

      • Kevin Folta

        Hybridization is the ultimate in genetic engineering. You are transferring 40,000 genes, transposons, regulatory sequences, in some cases whole genomes between plants that would never cross without human intervention. You have no idea what allergens, toxins, etc are produced in that hybrid. It never existed before human intervention. But that’s just fine.

        If a scientist adds one gene that is understood, that is verboten.

        I don’t know of any effort to make “eggs that produce antibiotics”.

        GMO crops have absolutely decreased tilling and fuel use. No doubt on insecticide use. I’ll provide sources, the best being the National Academy of Science’s book on GMO Impacts on US Agriculture. If you google it you can read it for free online.

        Monsanto made money off of roundup until it went off patent and now glyphosate can be purchased anywhere.

        Resistant weeds are a problem. I would not say “cropping up everywhere” but they do account for problems on about 0.5% of farmed space. That’s important. 20 species or so now are resistant to glyphosate. However, this is not a GMO specific problem. Weeds become resistant to any herbicide we have used in conventional agriculture.

        The solution is more sophisticated strategies and stacking of resistance in crops. Then no problem with resistant weeds.

        Thanks for your thoughts.

        • Kris

          Kevin the seeds are readily available to study BUT just try to publish something negative about them … anything …. you cant tell me they are perfect CAN YOU …. ?

  • My concern is that if all this is going on in the States, what’s happening here in Canada. All this GMO garbage needs to stop. In the news many countries are banning GMO products & crops. These are 2nd & 3rd worlds, what’s wrong with us here in North America, why are we allowing it to exist here in the first place?

  • The only way people will wake up about the dergans is by having another big outbreak. One that the media isn’t paid not to report on- that is.There’s just too much money in it for Monsanto for anyone to stop them. You’ll be eating plenty of animals that never existed in nature soon. Get your fork. The latest wicked little batch combines goat, and spider genes to make a new super salmon(not kidding). Hmm I’ve never tasted spider before but its never too late to try with Monstano’s new gene/DNA recipe!As an added bonus the FDA says its illegal to label GMO salmon, because it might confuse you. I know in my heart they are doing it for us because they love us!Enjoy your fascism!