WELLNESS-At the moment there are 64 countries around the world requiring Genetically Modified Foods to be labeled.
These countries include 28 nations in the European Union, Japan, Brazil, Australia, China, and Russia, to name only a few. If you do a little digging you will find myriad reasons why people want labeling, but the reason that stands out the most is -- people feel they have the right to know what they are consuming.
Those against the labeling of GMO foods state that it will cost too much to label foods with the special GMO label, especially for smaller companies. They also refer to studies on animals that were fed non-GMO for many years prior to 1996, followed by a period of two years during which those same animals were fed GMO foods. The study points out that there have been no changes in those animals and therefore GMO foods must be safe.
Big agriculture companies like Monsanto and others claim that genetically altering foods is totally safe and the fact that it makes them drought resistant and resistant to pesticides is only going to make it easier to feed our growing population.
The naysayers of GMO say that big agriculture companies are not considering the long-term effects of GMO foods. They point out that there have been many drugs that have been approved by the FDA, only to be found dangerous to our health years later. Drugs like Accutane and Fen-phen were made legal by the FDA for years and only later showed signs of adverse health effects. Even drugs like Darvocet were legal for 55 years before being pulled from the shelves after being proven to be toxic to the heart.
The Institute for Responsible Technology points out 65 health risks related to consuming GMO foods. Included in those risks are things like cancer growth, bleeding lesions, abnormal cell growth, flu-like symptoms, and digestive inflammation, to name a few.
We all know that for every action there is a reaction, and to think or say that introducing changes into a particular food’s DNA and genetically modifying it will have no effect on our bodies is naïve at best. The very fact that we don’t understand the full extent of what this means -- or what it may or may not do to our bodies now or in the future -- is reason enough to label it.
Without a doubt, the people that approved the drugs for market that later proved to be dangerous to our health also thought the drugs were harmless and even beneficial to our health. We deserve a choice as to whether or not we want to consume genetically modified foods. We should not fall behind all the other developed nations around the world. We should label our foods.
(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)
Vol 13 Issue 64
Pub: Aug 7, 2015