|Baumann: Consumers have right to know|
|Written by Deb Baumann|
|Tuesday, 26 July 2011|
|Earlier this year, Canadian scientists researching utero-placental toxicities reported that blood from 93 percent of pregnant women, and blood from 80 percent of their umbilical-cords, contained a pesticide from Monsanto’s Bt MON810 (the most common genetically modified corn). |
Human blood containing toxins from GMO crops?
That was not supposed to happen.
When MON810 was released into the US food supply over a decade ago, government approval was based on Monsanto’s own word that the toxin in the corn would pass harmlessly through the human body during digestion.
No independent research or testing was done, to verify Monsanto's claim. No long-term animal trials were done, to determine effects on multiple generations. And, no human trials were done.
“Yes, every cell of our corn contains a deadly pesticide. But don't worry! We assure you the toxin will just pass right through human digestive tracts. Take our word on that.”
And, bowing to pressure for deregulation, that's what the USDA and FDA did. They approved MON810, and other genetically modified crops, over objections from their own scientists.
Other countries chose to follow what is known as The Precautionary Principle. Based on real science (as opposed to Corporate-bought-science), they seek to understand long-term affects on health and the environment, before popping the lid off Pandoras Box.
Based on testing done elsewhere (since independent testing is not done here in the USA), many countries have outright banned Mon810. Thailand (producer of a third of all rice consumed in the world) has banned GMO rice. The list of GMO products banned in other countries is very long – products which unwitting and unwilling US consumers have been eating for years.
Corporate ag has been very successful at hiding the truth from Americans.
A 2006 study found that only 26 percent of American consumers believed they had ever eaten genetically modified food, while a 2010 survey reported that only 28 percent of respondents knew such foods were sold in stores. (Los Angeles Times 6-2-2011, “Debate rages over labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients”).
The truth is, most Americans consume GMOs daily. Not because they want to. But because they are not allowed to know.
In almost every developed nation in the world except the United States, labeling of GMO foods is mandatory. In England, consumers are allowed to choose. In France they have that choice. In countries of the former Soviet Union, consumers have that choice. In China, they have that choice.
But not in the USA.
Japan preferred a “wait and see” moratorium, so they could see what happened to the first generation born and raised on GMOs in the USA.
And what has happened to the US population in the 15 to 20 years since GMOs were introduced to our food supply?
Chronic disease rates and severe food allergy rates doubled – from 6 percent to 13 percent.
How much of that doubling of our chronic disease (mostly GI tract) and food allergy rates can be directly attributed to consumption of GMOs?
In the absence of labeling, how could we begin to answer that question?
The absence of labeling would seem to be working rather to the advantage of Big Ag and Corporate Food, don't you think? Certainly hard to identify need for product recalls, when we have no way of knowing which products are making us sick.
Twenty years after it was introduced with the unsubstantiated promise that it would “pass through the human digestive tract,” we now know that Monsanto's claim that its GMO Bt toxin would be expelled by our digestive tracts was wrong. Instead, it remains in our blood.