January 03, 2013

Genetically Modified Foods

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

This week we are going to discuss a relatively hot topic in health conscious circles. The debate over genetically modified foods (GMO’s) is contentious, to say the least.

Here in the good old USA, there are no standards by which companies must adhere when it comes to informing the consumer what a specific product actually contains. In California, Proposition 37 was defeated by big corporations. It would have required truth in labeling, ensuring that consumers were told of any genetically engineered ingredients contained in a product. General Mills donated over 1.1 million dollars to help defeat this common sense requirement.

Genetically modified corn and soy are the most common in the US, and both are linked to potentially serious health effects. I don’t particularly recommend eating any soy or corn products, even organic ones, because they are just not good for you anyway. GMO corn and soy are even worse. They've been found in numerous studies to contribute to reproductive disorders, hormone changes, pituitary changes and menstrual changes. A disturbing study from the Russian National Academy of Science by Irena Ermakova, reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed genetically modified soy died within 3 weeks. The non-genetically modified soy group showed only 10% death rates. The genetically modified fed baby rats were weaker, and could not reproduce at all. (I can think of one use for that, but I won’t go there!)

One very deceptive label you must know about when shopping for food is the ‘natural’ label. Natural means nothing. Almost anything can have the ‘natural’ label on it. There is a vast difference between ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ labeling.

Only foods labeled ‘organic USDA certified’ can be trusted to be without toxic pesticides, G.E. ingredients, carcinogenic fumigants or chemical solvents. Foods labeled “100% natural” can have all of these things.

Truth in labeling is a consumer right. We should know what is actually in the food we purchase. This is a major reason I buy as much locally grown produce and meat as possible. If you know where it comes from, you can know what’s in it simply by asking the seller. Don’t be fooled into buying food that is bad for you, advocate for GMO labeling with your purchasing power.