GMO Growth

This morning I experienced something very rare.

I couldn’t figure out what to eat for breakfast.

The thing is, I eat basically the same thing every morning for breakfast.

And I had all the ingredients in the house.

So it was weird.

But this morning, I balked.

Here’s my typical breakfast:

  • 1.5 ounces of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Scottish Oatmeal
  • 1 ounce of Fearn Soya Granules
  • 0.15 ounce salt
  • 6 ounces of Wegmans Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk
  • 4 ounces of filtered water…all cooked together into a porridge

Then topped with:

  • .5 ounce of Arrowhead Mills Organic Golden Flax Seeds (ground)
  • 1 ounce mixed nuts (cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts, and almonds)
  • 6 ounces of organic fresh fruit (usually banana plus raspberries or blueberries)
  • .35 ounce cinnamon sprinkled on top

Yum.

I love my breakfast.

But this morning, instead of pouring oats into the bowl on autopilot, I put my handmade and beautifully glazed ceramic breakfast bowl onto the digital food scale and then stood in the kitchen and stared into the air.

I was trying to figure out how I could reconfigure my breakfast to eliminate the soya granules.

What would I add instead?

I kept standing there.

Finally, I picked up the canister.

I inspected it.

Again.

Nothing.

No “non-GMO” emblem.

No label that indicated it was organic.

I read all the fine print.

Every. Last. Word.

It didn’t say, “Made from genetically modified soybeans thoroughly soaked in Roundup pesticide. All proceeds benefit Monsanto.”

Nope.

On the front it said, “LOW IN FAT; LOW IN SODIUM,” and “May reduce the risk of heart disease.”

On the back it had recipes for high-protein pancakes and vegan meatloaf.

I was wary.

And vaguely nauseous.

I remember this feeling.

I experienced this exact same thing over three years ago when I read The China Study.

I blogged about that mental shake-up a couple weeks ago in Plant-Based Praise.

Three years ago I did spring cleaning on my diet and carried meat and dairy out to the curb.

It’s happening again.

Right now.

I can’t eat genetically modified foods anymore.

Not after what I learned this week.

Believe it or not, prior to this week, I knew practically nothing about genetically modified foods.

It’s one controversy I simply hadn’t investigated deeply.

Not out of lack of interest, or because I thought it wasn’t important, but because I just….hadn’t.

The funny thing is, I didn’t even know that I didn’t know anything about it.

You see, I had an opinion.

My belief was that the scientific community was in agreement that genetically modified foods are producing no known harmful effects and that there are plenty of significantly-more-dire issues regarding our food supply that we should be rallying to address.

I was blind to the reality that my GMO schema had been formed from nearly nothing.

A few snippets in the media.

A conversation or two with a person whom I consider to be well-informed.

My opinion that GMOs are not an issue was comforting to me, since I already have plenty to be avoiding in my diet.

It was also in line with my generally optimistic and non-Chicken-Little view of life.

The sky is rarely falling.

So I never looked closely.

Until this week.

This week, John and Ocean Robbins are putting on the Food Revolution Summit.

Every year they do it.

And every year it’s amazing.

A few days ago I listened as John Robbins interviewed Jeffrey Smith, author of the bestselling book Seeds of Deception.

Mind.

Blown.

There’s one thing I’ve gotten from my education, and that’s an attunement to the nuances of good science.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not razor sharp about every issue every time, not by a far cry, but eleven years of higher education culminating in a Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a Post-Doc in Psychology followed by ten years as a college professor have given me an eye and an ear for research that is important, well-executed, and actionable.

And the research that Jeffrey Smith presented was all that and a bag of chips.

(Sorry for the bad pun 😉

In the subsequent days, I’ve been finding that a few things have been getting clearer.

A vague foreboding that I’ve felt for a long time now is coming out of the shadows and showing its true colors.

Maybe you’ve felt it, too.

If you’re young, you may not know what I’m talking about, but if you’re middle-aged or older, and you live in the United States, you’ve probably experienced this uneasy accumulation of associations.

Suddenly everyone is talking about how they’re gluten intolerant.

People are getting fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue left and right.

Leaky gut.

Irritable bowel.

Autism.

ADHD.

Rheumatoid arthritis.

Crohn’s, lupus, MS.

And all these kids suddenly have peanut allergies.

My daughter Alexis included.

When I was a kid, hardly anyone had a peanut allergy.

Not one single kid in my class.

Not one single kid at summer camp.

In fact, at the summer camp I went to (the amazing and fantabulous Camp Tawonga, just outside of Yosemite National Park), the always-available alternate meal, for every lunch and every dinner, was a make-it-yourself peanut butter and jelly sandwich station.

It was available, out in the open, with no signs, warnings, or disclaimers, to a dining hall of literally hundreds of kids.

I bet they don’t have that anymore.

Now, I know I’m not talking about hard data.

I don’t have a graph to show you.

(Though if I did, it would show rises in these conditions increasing lock-step with the rise in genetically modified foods since the 1990s. Which is proof of nothing, because correlation doesn’t prove causation. Still though, it’s an association.)

No, I’m not talking about data.

I’m talking about a growing awareness of a systemic and hard-to-pin-down infiltration.

These issues, generally speaking, were rare, and now, generally speaking, they’re all over the place.

One might argue that we’re just getting better at diagnosing conditions.

Okay, for ADHD and autism that could be part of the picture.

But peanut allergies?

When a kid goes into anaphylactic shock from eating a peanut, that’s hard to miss.

So what might make an educated scientist suspect more than a coincidental link between the rise in genetically modified foods and the rise in all these conditions?

Well, I’m still no expert on this, truly I’m not, but I’m happy to share a couple of snippets from the interview that made me sit up and take notice.

Much of the science I cover in the next section of this blog comes from John Robbins’ interview of Jeffrey Smith from the 4th annual Food Revolution Summit. I can’t provide a direct link to the MP3 or the transcript because it’s copyrighted material and not mine to share. But you can get your own copy here.

Two things stood out to me.

The intended consequences of genetically modified foods.

And the unintended consequences.

Let’s start with the intended consequences.

Genetically modified corn, for example.

One of the ways corn has been genetically engineered is to make it resistant to insects.

How did they accomplish this?

By creating corn that contains a protein that’s so toxic, it kills off the insects.

How could corn possibly kill insects?

Well, insects land on the corn and eat it, right?

This new, genetically modified corn, “Bt corn,” contains a toxic protein that enters the cells of the insect’s stomach and breaks them open.

The insect’s stomach lining disintegrates and all the undigested mess floods into the blood stream.

The insect dies.

The corn lives on.

Mission accomplished.

And we’re not talking about a little bit of corn.

These days, most of the corn in the United States, WAY, WAY MOST, is genetically modified Bt corn.

Check out these graphs.

(I do have graphs for you after all.)

And were’re not talking about creamed corn and corn on the cob, either.

No, Bt corn isn’t even edible, at least not until it’s processed and refined.

It’s in aspirin and jello and batteries and diapers and charcoal, in cookies and crackers and most of the products in the grocery store.

Literally, MOST.

It’s in all our factory-farmed meat and dairy, because it’s a key component of the feed that fattens up the livestock in huge feed lots in our fair land.

And, of course, it’s the basis for high fructose corn syrup, the main added sweetener that’s used these days. And we’ve all heard by now that 80% of products in the grocery store have added sweeteners in them.

In fact, corn comprises about 28% of the calories in the standard American diet, or roughly 554 calories per person, per day.

So we’re all being exposed to genetically modified Bt corn, and plenty of it.

Now they claim that this genetically modified corn is only toxic to the intestinal walls of insects, not humans.

But a recent study showed that the genetically modified protein does the same thing to human cells as it does to insect cells.

Mesnage, R., Clair, E., Gress, S., Then, C., Székács, A. and Séralini, G.-E. (2013), Cytotoxicity on human cells of Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac Bt insecticidal toxins alone or with a glyphosate-based herbicide. J. Appl. Toxicol., 33: 695–699. doi: 10.1002/jat.2712.

No wonder so many people have leaky gut.

The toxin in the GMO corn was DESIGNED to split holes in intestinal cells.

That’s what it does.

But there’s more.

When the structural integrity of the intestinal wall is compromised, a whole cascade of other problems emerges.

Undigested food proteins leak out into the blood stream, and that causes a whole host of other issues.

Undigested food proteins were never intended to mingle directly with the blood stream.

The digestive system is separate from the circulatory system for a reason.

When the two mix, the immune system gets fired up, because suddenly there are all kinds of new “foreign invaders” in the blood that they’ve never seen before.

They rally a defense, and attack back.

That’s the job of the immune system, after all.

But unfortunately, the way the immune system works is that it attacks proteins that are EXACTLY LIKE the scary foreigners, and also proteins that are QUITE SIMILAR.

Many of those similar proteins are found naturally within the body.

Hence, the rise of autoimmune diseases.

Our immune system, fighting our own bodies.

Which diseases, exactly, are autoimmune diseases?

I was wondering myself. So I looked it up.

Autoimmune diseases include Celiac disease, Crohn’s Disease, Graves’ Disease, Gullain-Barre syndrome, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Inflammatory bowel disease, Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, Lupus, Meniere’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Raynaud’s, Reactive arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Thyroiditis including both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, and at least 78 others.

Ouch.

And those are the INTENDED consequences of genetically modified foods.

They designed the corn to do that.

At least to insects.

What about the UNINTENDED consequences?

Well, I think I used to misunderstand how GMO foods were made, so I didn’t fully appreciate the scope and range of the possible unintended consequences of genetically modifying our crops.

I thought they carefully sliced out a known gene, and carefully replaced it with a different, replacement gene, which they had thoroughly tested for safety and impact.

Yeah, uh….no.

That’s not how it works.

They take millions of cells, and shotgun-shoot millions of genes into them, and hope some of them stick.

And some of them do.

But the process creates a whole lot of mutations, too.

Mutations are spontaneous changes in the genome.

You know, like the ones that cause cancer.

Let’s go back to good old Bt corn for an example. We already talked about the effect of the gene that they INTENDED to put in there.

It creates holes in the walls of intestinal cells.

Great.

But what we haven’t mentioned so far is that the genetically modified Bt corn isn’t different by just that one gene.

No indeed.

In fact, there are 42 other genes that are now different in Bt corn, besides that one.

What do those 42 other genes do? What proteins do they code for? Have they been proven safe?

Who knows?

The FDA doesn’t require testing or exploration of those other gene modifications.

Could there be known allergens in there?

Sure.

Are there likely to be?

Who’s to say?

Unfortunately, our regulatory system is populated by people who serve the interests of the big corporations who are producing all of these genetically modified crops.

So the FDA isn’t likely to be investigating this anytime soon.

But the World Health Organization (WHO) is actually thinking about….world health.

Funny enough.

They issued a recommendation that all altered proteins be compared to a database of known allergenic proteins.

Seems reasonable enough, right?

Well, genetically modified corn and soy both fail the WHO’s standard. They contain genetically modified amino acid sequences that line up with known allergens.

In fact, the known allergen in genetically modified soy is strangely reminiscent of the protein that causes….

….peanut allergies.

Right.

And check this out.

The first genetically modified soybeans were produced in the United States in 1996.

And between 1997 and 2008, the number of children in the U.S. with peanut allergies has more than tripled.

This isn’t proof of anything.

Proof is going to be very hard to get, because science requires funding, and in our country, research is mostly funded by the government. The same government who has given the USDA the task of BOTH dictating our nutritional policies AND protecting the interests of factory farms.

So far, genetically modified crops are partially or totally banned in 26 countries, including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia. Significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.

So what’s up with our country?

Well, what’s up with it is that change isn’t likely to happen that way.

Our government isn’t likely to stand up to protect our interests, because that’s not the way the money flows.

The money flows from the corporations to the government.

And that’s scary.

But you know what’s heartening?

Trace the money back a little further.

Where does it flow before that?

It flows from us.

From us, into the coffers of the companies.

Yup, the power lies with us.

And because we have the power, I predict that within five years genetically modified crops will no longer be grown in the United States.

That’s a powerful statement.

But I believe we’re at a tipping point.

Public opinion has shifted.

In 2007, only 15% of Americans said they were trying to avoid buying GMOs.

Today, 52% of Americans say that they believe GMOs are unsafe.

The Cheerios box now proudly displays a “Non-GMO” label.

The tide has turned.

Companies can’t afford to give up market share.

What we buy matters.

So tonight I threw out the Fearn Soya Granules.

And the amazing whole wheat bread (for my kids) that I carefully selected for its high fiber content and minimal processing….but I just looked carefully and I don’t see a Non-GMO label anywhere.

So it’s now in the dumpster.

I’ve been buying organic foods now for quite a while.

And organic always means non-GMO.

But now I’m going to be even more careful.

Alexis will still be allergic to peanuts.

There’s nothing I can do about that.

But, one change at a time, we can steer this big stubborn barge in a new direction.

We can.

Together.

With love,

Susan

P.S. – Last week in my blog March for Babies I wrote about my twin daughters’ extreme prematurity. I just want to thank you for all the love you sent in, by email and in the comments…and I also want to thank you for donating to Team Thompson Twins for the upcoming March for Babies. Alexis and Zoe are super excited for their birthday party on Saturday. You’re still invited. Seriously. Genesee Valley Park in Rochester, New York. Saturday, May 2nd, 2015. Gather at 9 am, walk at 10 am. We’ve already exceeded the $2,000 goal, which makes me super happy. I’m very grateful for your tenderness and generosity. THANK YOU!!!

P.P.S. – Just about all of the science in this blog on GMOs comes from the Food Revolution Summit interview I referenced above. If you’re not tuning in to the Food Revolution Summit, there’s still time to register. It’s totally awesome. And, as of this writing, the daily broadcasts are still free. Check it out.

P.P.P.S – You’ll read in the comments down below that the FAQs section of the Fearn Soya Granules website says that they are actually non-GMO. Why they wouldn’t put this on their label is beyond me. Especially since the type of people who are likely to buy “soya granules” are pretty likely to be interested in that information! Anyway, I’m SO FRIGGIN’ HAPPY to get to KEEP my Fearn Soya Granules in my breakfast, in my cupboard, and on the “favorites” page of my website…and even more convinced that we need a law passed to require labeling of GMO foods, just so we all know what’s what.

 

 

Comments

  1. Beverly Alexander

    Take a look at the movie Genetic Roulette.

    Glad you saw the light!!!

    Reply ·
    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      Hi Beverly,

      Yes, I’m sure I’ll be watching that movie at some point. For sure.

      Lovelove,
      Susan

      Reply ·
  2. Lauren Ard

    Sorry, Susan, but I’m going to have to unsubscribe after this one. I enjoyed your posts at first because your system is more scientifically based that other diet mentors, but you’ve gone too far with this one, deceiving your readership into thinking that correlation is causation. In this entire post you only mention ONE scientific study, and that one study (which I found online and read for myself) contains marginally significant results of IN VITRO tests on human cells. Of course you skipped over that part, because if people knew that, for instance, beans are also toxic in vitro but beneficial to the human system in vivo, it would poke holes in your entire argument. Not all of us have science degrees, so your readership relies on your nutritional expertise to guide them, and you’ve just gotten them up in arms about a topic that hasn’t been scientifically proven, misrepresenting one single study as “evidence” for your cause. You’re welcome to believe what you believe, but please don’t frame it as scientific fact.

    Reply ·
    1. Dianna

      Susan, They may not have the information on their package, but on their website, they state that the Soya granules are Non-GMO. http://www.modernfearn.com/
      Maybe you can get those back out of the trash??

      Reply ·
      1. Dianna

        On the aforementioned website, http://www.modernfearn.com/
        you need to view the FAQ page to find the information about GMOs.

        Reply ·
        1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

          Diana,

          YOU JUST MADE MY DAY!!!!!

          I love, love, love, love my Fearn Soya Granules. They are the only product on the market of its kind. At least I believe so. And I’ve looked hard. (Not soy lecithin granules, and not reconstituted soy flour, but just pure flakes of toasted soybeans.)

          The trash has not gone out yet. And those canisters are sealed, whole, and totally clean.

          Bless you.

          xoxoxox
          Susan

          Reply ·
          1. Ellen Veith

            Susan ,

            Another option is Butler Foods Soy Curls- they could be ground in a blender, and they are crunchy and delicious, as well an non GMO – I prefer then as a meat replacement- but springing on my boring bowl od goodness is a grab idea too!

    2. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      Dear Lauren,

      I most sincerely hope that I have duped my readership into thinking only and precisely that I have decided, for the moment, that GMOs have enough potential to be harmful that I’m going to diligently avoid them. This is my blog, so I get to express my thoughts on things. That’s what a blog is about. I absolutely reserve the right to be 100% wrong on this GMO question, and to change my mind at any time. If and when that happens, I’ll blog about those thoughts too.

      About the in vitro vs. in vivo question, I’m wondering how you think scientific studies are conducted that conclude that things are or are not happening inside human cells. Which limbs of whole people do you imagine they put under a microscope slide?

      I absolutely invite you, and anyone else for that matter, to unsubscribe from my email list if you feel that will improve your quality of life. I’ve got to be a bit thick-skinned on this one, because I know I’ve opened a huge Pandora’s box with this GMO issue. And if Monsanto’s web search bots find my blog in their scrubbings of the internet, there will be far nastier comments than yours showing up underneath this blog post. Such is life. I’m a total newbie to this whole GMO debate, as I lay out very clearly here. I may be wrong in the stance I’ve taken. But for now, this is what I think. That’s all I’m saying.

      For what it’s worth, I hope you’ll stay, because the spark of truth emerges from the clash of differing opinions.

      With love and respect,
      Susan

      Reply ·
      1. Jenny

        Gluten/gliadin can increase zonulin which acts on the tight junctions between intestinal cells, causing them to open and be permeable to the blood stream. I’m not sure if it is one of these articles, but somewhere I read that a protein in oatmeal and in corn is similar enough to gliadin/gluten that they might cause symptoms for very sensitive people.

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12016-011-8291-x

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2886850/

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51823457_Leaky_Gut_and_Autoimmune_Diseases

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2898551/

        Reply ·
        1. Jenny

          Otherwise I had stopped eating Bt corn too because it seemed to be making my autoimmune Grave’s disease symptoms worse.

          A non-scientific meme was circulating a while back that was dramatic – Two ears of corn had been placed outdoors on spikes for squirrels to access. The ear of corn labeled GMO was untouched practically while the non-GMO ear of corn was practically eaten clean down to the cob.

          Good luck to you and your children. Thanks for sharing.

          Reply ·
    3. Shannon Winter

      Canada has done massive reseach to conclude that GMO products cause tumors….. It’s only in the USA that we turn a blind eye to these matters. Maybe because of how huge MONSANTO is. I challenge you Lauren to search futher in your investigation instead of using intimadation tatics to try and shut the information down that Susan put forth. It is up to us to make educated decisions on what we do with our bodies…. this one is a NO BRAINER. There is plenty of scientific fact about this problem. The same company that manufactures aspartame is the same company that manufactures Round up and other weed killers…… is the same company that is manufacturing our food?????? That should ring some bells for us right off the bat.

      Reply ·
      1. Shannon Winter

        PS *intimidation tactics
        writing first thing in the morning isn’t always easy….. my brain moves slower than my typing…lol

        Reply ·
        1. Joseph Fleischman

          No Shannon. No apologies please. We all do typos. Your comment was fabulous.
          Joseph

          Reply ·
      2. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

        Thanks for this, Shannon. I didn’t know that about Canada. I have so much to learn in this arena. I’ve had cotton in my ears for too long.

        xo
        S

        Reply ·
    4. Joseph Fleischman

      Did you read the same blog post that I did lauren? Susan very clearly stated that causation is no’t shown by what she said. You’re either not very smart or a shill for the food industry. I think you’re the latter.
      Joseph

      Reply ·
    5. Megan Alicia Ireland

      So you work for Monsanto? I think her message is important and more obviously true than your debate. Where are your studies proving the safety of it?
      Meg

      Reply ·
    6. Ana

      Lauren,
      Exactly
      Why would you ever put anything in your body that has not been tested properly?
      GMO is a process, not a product. Do you have any idea what companies are adding to the seed that becomes the plant that we eat? Some of the things they are adding are not okay with me whether they have tested it or not. Don’t you think we should all know?
      Most importantly the process and the end result should be tested before anyone says they are ok.

      Reply ·
  3. Anna Huthmaker

    Great, great, GREAT blog!!! You said, “have given me an eye and an ear for research that is important, well-executed, and actionable.” Important. Well-executed. Actionable.
    I often wonder if people realize how much ‘research’ does not fall into those parameters?

    And the ‘soaked in Roundup’ part? Before I discovered BLE, I was a constant visitor to McDonalds. Then one day I learned that the potatoes that they require to make their french fries have to be put in a warehouse for SIX DAYS to de-gas before they are safe for human consumption. They put such a high level of pesticides on them that they actually have to sit for six days to NOT BE POISON. I have not touched McD’s since.

    Thank you for inspiring me to do some more research into GMO’s and the foods that i am eating!!!
    Again, great blog!!!

    Reply ·
    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      Yaayyy!!! Thanks, Anna.

      Didn’t know that about McD’s. But I saw their fries sit for a heckuva long time without growing any mold in the “Bonus feature” at the end of the Super Size Me DVD. If you haven’t seen that, it’s priceless.

      Reason number twelve thousand and eight not to eat at McDonald’s.

      xoxox
      Susan

      Reply ·
  4. Linden Morris Delrio

    Powerful, susscinct! I’m a believer!

    Reply ·
    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      Succinct?!?! Really?!?! Oh good!

      I never seem to come in within the 1400-1600 “ideal blog length” I saw somewhere…in fact, I fail abysmally at writing a blog of “ideal length.”

      So I just fall back on that old writer’s adage that “you can never be too long, only too boring.”

      xoxox
      Susan

      Reply ·
      1. Lynda Hahn

        You’re Never ever boring Susan.
        You could never be classified as that.
        Great blog. Thank you for opening my eyes….again!

        Reply ·
        1. kirsten

          Really, really appreciate your blog. Love your vulnerability. Thank you always for sharing.

          Reply ·
      2. Allyn

        Susan,

        Another issue that I found extremely compelling (but that needs verification) is that part of the genetic modification done to many food crops is to make them resistant not only to insects, but also to Round-Up, so the foods can be liberally sprayed to reduce weeds and increase productivity. OK, sort of logical, but it means the crops themselves get higher and higher exposures to the herbicide. The, to me, even more worrying part, is that when the weeds themselves become eventually more resistant to Round-Up, Monsanto’s solution is to develop more powerful herbicides, while concurrently modifying the food crops to be resistant to those new stronger weed killers. So where might it stop? As I said, I haven’t verified this, but I don’t think these reports are merely scare tactics.

        Reply ·
  5. Natalie

    I have been trying to tell my friends about our food today and it’s effects. And here you have presented it so simply that anyone can understand what is happening.
    I will definitely be forwarding this on.

    Thank you again for doing what you are.
    Natalie

    Reply ·
    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      You’re welcome, Natalie!
      Thanks for forwarding.

      🙂
      Susan

      Reply ·
  6. Aida Elba

    I absolutely loved this blog. It only confirms once again what I’ve been thinking for a long time. These two books about this subject are very good as well.

    Monsanto vs. the World: The Monsanto Protection Act, GMOs and Our Genetically Modified Future
    by Louv, Jason

    Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public by Steven Druker

    Thanks for your words Susan, you continue being an inspiration to so many people.

    Love,

    Aida Elba

    Reply ·
    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      OMG. Monsanto vs. The World.

      Now that’s a heavyweight fight I’d like to see in Vegas.

      😉

      S

      Reply ·
  7. Christine

    Susan, you are right. The only way to convince food manufacturers that GMO’s are not a desirable part of our diet is to cease to buy the products they sell that are not non-GMO. When they lose market share they will realize that we are not a fad that is going to pass. The movement to non-GMO is rising. Even though they have tried to pass laws demanding the label indicate if the product has GMO’s, the food manufacturers fight passage every chance they get. I have tried to wean out all GMO products and thankfully organics are becoming more and more popular so that you can find a wider selection even in traditional grocery stores.

    Reply ·
    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      Christine,

      Isn’t it amazing to watch the scope and breadth of organic options grow and grow, slowly but surely, with each passing year?

      I love, LOVE voting with my dollars. Every time I buy some food I realize I’m sending a signal. The signal says, “Please make more food just like this.”

      And they will.

      xoxox
      Susan

      Reply ·
    2. Joseph Fleischman

      Christine, organic doesn’t mean non-GMO.
      Joseph

      Reply ·
      1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

        Just to be clear, because this is an important point for all of us as we muddle through the grocery store aisles : ORGANIC most definitely DOES mean NON-GMO. It’s one of the criteria for a food to be considered “organic.”

        Susan

        Reply ·
  8. Peter von York

    Hi Susan. Thanks for putting this topic on my radar. As alarming as was your blog post, even more chilling was your comment:

    “And if Monsanto’s web search bots find my blog in their scrubbings of the internet, there will be far nastier comments than yours showing up underneath this blog post.”

    This is what we’re dealing with: an corporate entity that will go to any lengths possible to manipulate the discourse and the outcomes. You know you’re in trouble as a country when China (China!) shows more concern over food safety.

    Reply ·
    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      Hey Peter,

      I really didn’t take it lightly. Putting that stuff in about Monsanto.

      Say I write a book. And it makes bestseller lists.

      Suddenly I’m a target and a few well-positioned “scientists” from XYZ State University, well paid by fill-in-the-blank big agri-business corporation, can do me real harm and cause much psychological distress by manipulating the media to print stuff about me, my background, my stated opinions, mistakes I may have made in my statements…I may end up with a lot to lose and the frank truth is that I don’t think there’s a way to spread the message I have to spread and not make some very, very big corporations very, very intent on silencing me. And they won’t be able to silence me, so the next best thing will be to discredit and humiliate me, so that my reputation is shot and no one listens when I talk.

      It’s a chilling thought indeed.

      But….
      ….Oh well!

      It will be what it will be. And I’m just going to trust and take it one day at a time. The Universe has always been good to me and protected me so far, so I’ll just keep on keeping in with my non-Chicken-Little stance on things.

      🙂
      Susan

      Reply ·
      1. Joseph Fleischman

        You can’t worry about it Susan. You can’t let that stop you. But I’m glad that you’re aware that they’ll do that. In the end, you’ll know who you are. And the public is becoming more aware, just as you said.
        Joseph

        Reply ·
  9. Joseph Fleischman

    No Susan! Organic doesn’t mean non-GMO. It used to, but the food industry lobbied hard to have it removed. The food industry has always been successful in getting what it wants. And they’ve invested a lot of money in patent protected GMO products. BTW, the bt corn is blown by the wind into other, non-GMO corn fields, and they take over. I think you’re becoming a radical. Go Susan!!!
    Joseph en route to Albuquerque

    Reply ·
  10. Wendy

    You have woken me up to a lot of things, this issue now. I’m going to pay a lot more attention. You’ve convinced me that I need to.

    Reply ·
  11. Carol B

    Susan, I tried to leave a comment the other day but my internet dropped the line as I posted and it was lost in the ether and I had to catch a plane. Finally on terra ferma now and perhaps a bit late to the discussion but nonetheless I wanted to support your blog – to let you know that I’m really pleased that you are on board with the arguments against GMOs and that you are using your blog to spread that knowledge amongst your followers.
    To Lauren’s post I would say that there is plenty of research to suggest that GMOs have negative health issues on farm animals. Many farmers are now reverting to non-GMO feed. Farmers are the most pragmatic of businesses. Their profit margins are narrow and they do what works for them. When they were offered GMO feed they took it. They found that their animals were developing a whole host of conditions that they hadn’t seen before. It was costing them money in lost production and vet fees. So they reverted to non-GMO feed and found their animals recovered from the negative impact of their GMO feed. There’s a movement starting. Often you need to dig to find this information because the same corporations that fund the research, also fund the journals that publish the research. If the results are not industry friendly they won’t get published and unfortunately it’s as simple as that. I have been in the front line myself on many issues, in particular related to alternative medicine – the accusation that there’s no research and then a block on funding and/or publishing the results of the very research they complain doesn’t exist.
    Lauren in the case of GMOs – given how radical the process is – the creation of organisms that would never be found in nature – what should have been scientifically applied is the Precautionary Principle. That evidence of no harm should have been the corporation’s remit and GMO food NOT introduced until that evidence was collected. This never happened. The research that does exist supporting the fact that GMOs are safe was funded by the biotech companies themselves and none of the animal studies they did lasted for longer than 90 days. Scientists that called this out were silenced and their reputations destroyed. There have been NO, that’s zero, zilch, nada studies on the potential impact on human health – the US population is currently one enormous public health experiment. The blatantly erroneous ‘fact’ that there is no difference between GMO and non-GMO food has been incorporated into the school curricula and young children are taught that they are just ‘mixed up fruit and vegetables’. The level of insidious insertion into our daily lives is astounding.
    Susan I am thrilled you have ‘seen the light’.
    Lauren I hope you keep an open mind and do some more research, for your own health’s sake.

    Reply ·
  12. Marie

    I guess I don’t really understand the fear of GMOs when it’s coming from already health-conscious people. Practically speaking, if I just eat a whole foods plant based diet, and never pay any mind to selecting for or against GM foods, I would only possibly encounter them if I were to buy corn or zucchini. Honestly I probably only eat zucchini a few times in the summer and corn only occasionally as well. So I don’t worry about it too much, and if I did, I can easily buy organic. There are no tofu options in any of my local grocery stores that *aren’t* non-GMO certified or organic. The majority of these crops – canola, soy, corn, sugar beets, alfalfa – is going towards either animal feed or processed food. To be clear, I fully understand opposition based on ecological ramifications and general ethical concerns regarding certain corporations. As a proponent of the precautionary principle, I would agree that these things are best avoided until they are better understood. But the fear on a personal level when it comes to food, for people who are already eating whole food plant based just doesn’t resonate with me. Regarding the bread you threw away, did it actually contain any plants that are known to be genetically modified? If it was a whole wheat bread without oils, beet sugar or corn syrup, then it most likely was non-GMO.

    As a side note, if you’re really concerned about the various Bt proteins, you will have to look into all of your organic food sources, since it is used as a topical spray in organic farming.

    Reply ·
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