Non-GMO Shopping Guide
Complied by: Claudia Laufer, R.Ac.
Over the past few decades, more and more genetically engineered foods have infiltrated our food market. Unless you buy organic or from companies that vouch to not use GMO ingredients in their products, chances are you are consuming genetically modified foods every day. Unlike most other countries of the world, where GMO ingredients must be labeled, the US government and its food safety agencies have successfully resisted labeling of these foods. Their argument is that these foods are not significantly different from regular foods – even though they do agree that they are different enough from regular foods to allow for Monsanto to patent them.
To understand just how dangerous GMO foods are, let me take a minute to explain what they are. Many people I talk to think we have been genetically modifying foods since the beginning of time, when we select seeds with favorable properties and cross-pollinate our food plants according to certain traits. But selecting two different plants based on favorable traits and then cross-pollinating them is not genetic modification, it’s genetic selection. The genes of all these plants are still 100% natural, with all plant DNA. Genetically modified foods are different. They are not a product of selective cross-pollination between two varieties of the same vegetable (i.e. corn or soy beans), they are a product of a laboratory that is designing new DNA based on certain traits. Let’s use corn as an example: Instead of cross-pollinating two corn varieties to create a new corn variety with seeds that will contain favorable traits from both parent plants, scientists pick DNA parts from various plant and non-plant organisms in addition to that of corn. Some of these are from viruses, bacteria, mosquitos and others non-plant species. So even though the end result still looks like corn, the DNA coding tells a different story.
Many people think that if the FDA approves a food for human consumption, it must be safe. After all, that’s what the FDA is here for. Wrong again. First of all, it is important to understand that Monsanto’s Vice President for Public Policy has been appointed as the chief advisor of the FDA – the very agency that is responsible for approving Monsanto’s GMO seeds! Also, the FDA requires no long-term, in-depth safety studies for these foods. Instead, it blindly trusts the studies that the very companies who want to get foods and food additives approved supply. Talking about conflict of interest! More reports and studies are surfacing daily, explaining how Monsanto, one of the major GMO corporations, has simply omitted all results that indicated potential dangers of genetically modified foods from their studies. Not only that, but they have gone through great length to make sure reporters who tried to bring this information to the public don’t get a chance to do so. Here is what Seeds of Deception, a website dedicated to informing the public about the dangers of GMOs and providing them with tools to avoid them, writes on their website (link included at the end of this guide):
“The FDA has claimed it was not aware of any information showing that GM crops were different ‘in any meaningful or uniform way,’ from non-GMO crops and therefore didn’t require testing. But 44,000 internal FDA documents made public by a lawsuit show that this was a complete lie. The overwhelming consensus among the FDA’s own scientists was that GM foods were quite different and could lead to unpredictable and hard-to-detect allergens, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems. It turns out that FDA scientists, who had urged superiors to require long-term studies, were ignored.”
Despite the efforts of Monsanto and the FDA to suppress information about GMOs, and despite their combined efforts to continue to allow these foods to be sold without appropriate labeling, the public is waking up. It seems every day there are new reports about GMO-related issues. A GMO variety of wheat that Monsanto grew in test fields in 16 states from 1996 until 2005, and which was never approved for human consumption, was recently found in regular wheat fields in Oregon. This has already prompted several countries to limit or ban wheat imports from the US. A recent study done in Russia showed that hamsters fed on GMO foods produced offspring with significantly lowered fertility and higher mortality rates. Farmers who fed their animals GMO corn found that infertility rates went through the roof. Once they switched their life stock back to conventional corn, infertility rates decreased. Some of the GMO varieties are engineered to produce their own pesticide, namely BT corn and BT soy – they are even registered as insecticides. And even though Monsanto vouched for their safety and declared the toxins created by the plants not to affect humans, England recently found the pesticide produced by these GMO plants in the blood of pregnant women and infants. Other studies link GMO foods to organ failure in animals, and there is clear evidence that GMO foods can cause liver and kidney toxicity. The only studies that indicate GMOs are safe are the ones that are sponsored by the GMO companies themselves. And Monsanto, one of the biggest GMO producers and developers in the US, doesn’t even serve GMO foods in their own cafeteria – they opt for organic foods instead.
When you look at how the human body works, it only makes sense that GMOs will cause health problems. Our body is designed to identify pathogenic DNA and to attack it via our immune system. When we introduce foods that at the very core level contains pathogenic DNA (viral & bacterial), it only logical that our immune system goes haywire, trying to figure out how to attack this unnatural DNA. Yes, the corn still looks like corn on the outside, but our body looks at the basic building blocks of food, and these basic building blocks have very little in common with the foods that grow naturally. Also, many of the GMO varieties are designed to withstand massive amounts of the herbicide Roundup. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup (which is also created and sold by Monsanto) is a known carcinogen, and is found in larger and larger quantities on our food due to the increased usage of this toxin in GMO farming. Levels of this herbicide on foods have increased so much that the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, has decided to raise the acceptable safety limits of these chemicals. Not only does the increased usage of harmful herbicides lead to increased amounts of these toxins in our food, but they also pollute the environment, effectively turning farm land into toxic dumps. They also create herbicide-resistant super weeds, which in turn require more herbicides. Considering all these fact, and considering that auto-immune related diseases are on the rise, along with infertility and cancer, it is very likely that GMO foods are contributing to this development.
So how do you know whether you are eating GMOs or not? In the USA, you simply can’t, because we don’t require these ingredients to be labeled as GMO. In California, the 2012 ballot measure to make labeling of GMOs mandatory was defeated. But other states are starting to introduce labeling laws, despite the fact that Monsanto already declared they will sue every state trying to require such labeling. Labeling of GMO ingredients is mandatory in over 60 countries by now, and many have banned the import and growing of genetically modified plants and seeds altogether. Considering that about 80% of all food consumed in the US contains some form of GMOs, and considering the lack for any valid long-term studies on the effects of these foods on our environment and our health, consumers need to think twice about whether they really trust Monsanto in their claims that their foods are safe. Every day, laboratory-created unnatural DNA is infecting regular plants via cross-pollination. GMOs take such a large market share that companies trying to source non-GMO ingredients for their products were unsuccessful because the few non-GMO crops available were already spoken for by organic and Non-GMO Verified Project companies. Monsanto has put many farmers out of business by suing them because they found Monsanto-patented DNA in the farmers’ crops, and farmers who buy their seeds are not allowed to save their own seeds to replant the following year, driving up the cost of produce. The documentary “Future of Food” explains how Monsanto is trying to gain control over the entire foods supply.
Included you will find a comprehensive list of articles and videos explaining the dangers of GMOs, as well as helpful lists to guide you to a GMO free diet – these lists include a downloadable non-GMO shopping guide (even for your smartphone) as well as lists of all companies and seeds/plant varieties owned by Monsanto. We can’t afford to wait for our government to stop Monsanto. What we can do is to become educated and avoid putting any more money into Monsanto’s hands by choosing products that use real food ingredients. Local farmers’ markets are a great way to get fresh produce that is most likely not GMO. Talk to your farmers and ask them which varieties they grow. When you go shopping, ask the clerks or store owners whether they use genetically modified ingredients. Also, be aware of the companies that spent millions of dollars on defeating Prop. 37 in California; many of them own “healthy” and organic brands. The more we show the food industry that we don’t want genetically modified foods, the faster we will see the necessary changes.
Here are a list of links to articles and videos about GMOs:
Scientists from within Monsanto:
GMOs alter organ function:
Vanity Fair on GMOs:
GMOs and infertility:
Monsanto infiltrates positions of power world-wide:
Europe’s fight against GMOs:
Monsanto cafeteria doesn’t serve GMO foods:
GMO toxins found in human blood:
GMO foods linked to organ failure:
On the positive or activist side:
Organic Farmers suing Monsanto:
A petition to urge the current administration to cease ties with Monsanto:
Gene-blocking corn to stop spread of GMO corn:
This is a comprehensive list with ingredients commonly found in processed foods that are made of corn. Considering that the vast majority of corn grown in the US is genetically modified, try to avoid these ingredients whenever possible. Try to print out a list and carry it with you whenever you shop. Read the labels, and find products that either don’t contain any of the ingredients on the list, or opt for organic or Non-GMO Project Verified products.
List of Corn Allergens:
A non-GMO shopping guide, you can download it on your smartphone.
Companies using GMOs in their products (this is an incomplete list, these are just some of the big guys:
Aunt Jeminma, Quaker, Betty Crocker, General Mills, Bisquick, Duncan Hines, Hungry Jack, Jiffy, Ms. Butterworths, Pepperidge farms, Campbells, Aurora Foods, Kraft/Phillip Morris, Post cereals, Hershey’s Nestle, Carnation, Holsum, Interstate bakeries, Best Foods, Knorr, Kellogs, Nature Valley, Nabisco, Pillsbury, heinz, Hellmans, Hunts, KC Masterpiece, Frito-Lay/Pepsi, Delicious Brand cookies, Famous Amos, Keebler/Flowers Industries, Banquet, Green Giant, Healthy Choice, ConAgra, Kid Cuisine, Stouffers, Lean Cuisine, Marie Callendars, Ore-Ida, Smart Ones, Power Bar Brand, Chef Boyardee, Hormel, Loma Linda, Morningstar, Lipton, Unileven, Uncle Ben’s, Rice-a-roni, Pasta-roni, Tombstone Pizza, Totinos, Orville Redenbacher, Pop Secret, Pringles, Procter and Gable, Coca Cola, Minute Maid, Pepsi, Cadbury/Sweppes, Capri-Sun, Cool-Aid, Ocean Spray, V-8, Prego Pasta Sauce, Ragu Sauce.
Companies that contributed to defeat Prop. 37
Seed varieties owned by Monsanto (for those who grow their own, avoid these!):
Movies and Documentaries to watch:
Seeds of Death: Unveiling The Lies of GMO’s
The world’s leading Scientists, Physicians, Attorneys, Politicians and Environmental Activists expose the corruption and dangers surrounding the widespread use of Genetically Modified Organisms.
This documentary explains what GMOs are and why they are so dangerous to our health.
The Future of Food
This documentary explores the unethical business practices of Monsanto and the dangers of their GMO seeds.
The World According to Monsanto
Explains the struggles small organic farmers have to fight a misguided bureaucratic government system that is in full support of unhealthy, unsustainable industrial farms.
Downloadable Apps to scan products to identify unwanted ingredients:
Downloadable app for android and iphone: scan the barcode, and the app will show if the product contains any ingredients you don’t want. Customizable, covers GMO, corn and other allergens