Tonight I attended a program at Main Street downtown Amherst with my sister called “GMOs: What They Are & How to Avoid Them” that was co-sponsored by the library. It’s funny because sometimes I feel like I’m in my own little bubble, ranting about the environment, fracking, GMOs, etc., and it always surprises me when I hear about local events like this. As if someone outside of my own mind cares about the same issues I do!
Anyways, the speaker was a nutritionist who was so knowledgeable on food, gardening, chemicals and our bodies and I was so happy to see such a great turn-out – I’m guessing over 75 people were there, learning the facts, asking questions and wondering what we can do to change our situation. One thing I learned: while Monsanto and Syngenta are not required to label their GMO products by law, there are answers in our food’s barcode. A 5-digit barcode beginning with a “9” means that food is organic. A 5-digit barcode beginning with a “8” means that food contains GMOs. Any 4-digit barcode means that food is traditionally grown with conventional herbicides/pesticides.
The Premise of the Event:
“GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants (or animals) that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Just about all soybean, corn, cotton, rapeseed (canola), and sugar beets grown in the United States are now GM.
Despite claims to the contrary, Genetic Engineering (GE, the process of making GMOs), does not increase crop yield, nor reduce pesticide use. It does provide monopoly control to the genetic engineering company. The long term impact of genetic modification (GM) is not fully known. There is increasing evidence of links between GMO consumption and infertility, birth defects, organ malformation and dysfunction, a broad range of degenerative diseases. Physicians of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine advise against consuming GMOs.
Europe and China refuse imports of GM foodstuffs into their countries. The GMO industry is fighting hard to prevent public awareness of GMOs, where they’re found and what impact they have, in the US. Everyone concerned about his/her own health and that of their family needs to know how and why to avoid GMOs, and healthier options to choose.
Karen Lyke is a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN), with a doctorate in holistic nutrition from Hawthorn University. She has taught nutrition, also anatomy and physiology, to students of massage as well as acupuncture, and is currently a faculty member with Hawthorn University. She lives with her husband in near Toledo where she is an avid organic gardener.”