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How to Avoid Eating Genetically Engineered Foods

How to avoid eating GMO food

Feb 1, 2006 / Personal Health
All Islands
Washington Post January 12, 2006- Dr. Mercola

Ever since genetically modified crops were first planted, their acreage has
been growing each year at double-digit rates.

It happened again last year, with acres planted increasing 11 percent, to
222 million acres. Small farmers in countries such as China, India, and
Brazil are making more use of GMO plants that allow them to grow more crops
while reducing pesticides use.

Rice is Next

Rice could be the next important food crop to go GMO; Iran is already using
gene-altered rice and China is poised to do so next. Rice comprises nearly
half the total calories eaten by the human race.

Widespread Use

Nearly a third of the agricultural land in the United States is planted in
gene-altered crops. In Argentina and Paraguay, more than half of the fields
are sown with GMO plants. In China, perhaps 2,000 scientists are developing
a wide variety of modified crops.

In Europe, where advocacy groups have long pointed out the environmental
risks of GMO crops, has been slower to adopt them. However, five European
countries are now growing at some biotech crops, and Spain uses them widely.

International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications

January 11, 2006

Washington Post January 12, 2006 -----------------------------

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

2006Even if the U.S. Department of Agriculture starts taking action on the
spread of genetically modified (GM) crops in the US, that won't stop their
proliferation in other nations.

2006America does currently lead the world in GM crop acreage with 123
million, but it's followed by Argentina (42 million) and Brazil (23
million). Soybeans topped the list of GM crops worldwide at 60 percent,
followed by maize (24 percent) and cotton (11 percent).

Although the above report claims the thrust of GM crop growth is an
altruistic one -- to alleviate hunger, poverty and malnutrition worldwide --
all that tinkering with Mother Nature comes at a heavy price:

The GMO crop combinations can harm your health.

Chances are very good you've eaten GM foods: At least seven out of 10 items
at your neighborhood grocery store contain them. That said, there's some
steps you can take that will help you steer clear of them:

Some steps you can take that will help you steer clear of them.

Reduce or Eliminate Processed Foods. Some 75 percent of processed foods
contain GM ingredients. There are many reasons why processed foods are not
optimal for your health -- for instance they often contain trans fat,
acrylamide and little nutritional value -- so avoiding them will not only
help you to cut back on the amount of GM foods you are consuming, but will
also boost your health.

Read produce and food labels. GM soybeans and corn make up the largest
portion of genetically modified crops. When looking at a product label, if
any ingredients such as corn flour and meal, dextrin, starch, soy sauce,
margarine, and tofu (to name a few) are listed, there's a good chance it has
come from GM corn or soy, unless it's listed as organic.

Buy organic produce. Buying organic is currently the best way to ensure that
your food has not been genetically modified. By definition, food that is
certified organic must be free from all GM organisms, produced without
artificial pesticides and fertilizers and from an animal reared without the
routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs.

Look at Produce Stickers. Those little stickers on fruit and vegetables
contain different PLU codes depending on whether the fruit was
conventionally grown, organically grown or genetically modified. The PLU
code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically
grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, and GM fruit has
five numbers prefaced by the number eight.


This GMO news service is underwritten by a generous grant from the Newman's
Own Foundation, edited by Thomas Wittman and is a production of the
Ecological Farming Association