Saturday, May 19, 2007

Genetically-engineered food

Since watching the Future of Food, I've been doing a lot more reading about GE foods. I had NO idea they were so wide-spread at this point. I recently read that up to 80% of our packaged food has at least 1 GE ingredient. If the food has corn syrup, corn starch, maltodextrin, maltose, dextrose, lectithin, or any canola oil in it (as well as many others), they are most likely from a GE source. Most of the corn, soy and canola grown commercially in this country is GE. The more I think about it the more overwhelming it gets. And most of the growth hormone used in meat and dairy is GE. I also found out that 80% of the cheese that is commerically made in this country uses GE rennet. So, an average slice of Kraft american cheese contains at least 3 GE ingredients, the growth hormone in the milk, the rennet and the soy lectithin used as a preservative. I'm really feeling unsure about eating anything!

We already eat all organic animal products and organic produce. But I will admit there are still some non-organic packaged things we eat. And I worry if even the organic things we are eating are safe. I know they don't purposefully use anything GE but those plants spread like crazy! GE plants are constantly getting into non-GE fields and contaminating them. Are the organic farmers sure they aren't growing GE corn, soy or canola? I mean the rice from the test fields got out and it wasn't discovered until another country rejected our rice imports because they were GE. The rice farmers were really pissed since they didn't plant GE rice. There are also test fields of GE wheat that could escape. I really don't want to be eating this stuff and I've just figured out I've been eating it for years without knowing.

We should all be outraged that GE ingredients are in so many of our foods and we don't know it. We should be beyond pissed that the government has decided we don't have a right to know what we are eating. I'm going to start writing to the FDA and my representatives about this. I'm going to find every online campaign I can. I'm not going to accept being kept in the dark anymore. At the very least our food should be labeled so we can make an informed choice.

Here is an interesting article about GE rice and when it got out:

I don't know how up to date this is but here is information about a right to know bill and how to contact your representatives to tell them you want them to support it: I'm going to sign the letter they have online but also write my own using some of their wording to send in individually. Individual letters hold more sway than a mass-signed letter. I'm also going to send a letter to the editor of my local newspaper.