In the wake of several alarming U.S. Department of Agriculture rulings giving green light status to genetically modified crops, the Organic Consumers Association’s Millions Against Monsanto Truth-in-Labeling Campaign is getting busy. The OCA is asking members to stick "Oh No! Is It GMO?" labels on non-organic foods likely to contain GMOs as well as non-organic meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised in Confined Animal Feeding Operations, where they are force-fed GM grains.
Two weeks ago, the USDA approved Monsanto's new "Roundup Ready" alfalfa, which will massively increase the use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide and contaminate organic dairy, alfalfa sprouts and honey. Last week, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that GM sugar beets would be planted this spring in defiance of a federal court ban issued to protect organic sugar beet seeds and related crops such as kale and table beets from contamination.
Participating in the OCA’s campaign is easy. First, download the Non-GMO Shopping guide and "Oh No! Is It GMO?" Stickers PDF. Print the stickers on Avery #5160 address labels, take them to your local grocery store and label the products you suspect to be contaminated with GMOs. Take a picture of the product with the new "truth label" and send it to your grocers. If this "guerrilla stickering" is a little too radical for you, label the GMO products already in your cupboard (sadly, they’re bound to be there) and send photos to the grocer you got it from.
According to The Non-GMO Shopping Guide, GMOs are made by are made by forcing genes from one species, such as bacteria, viruses, animals, or humans, into the DNA of a food crop or animal to introduce a new trait. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine reported that “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.
The Non-GMO Shopping Guide offers the following tips for keeping these unknown entities out of your family’s food.
Buy organic. Certified organic products cannot intentionally include any GMO ingredients.
Look for Non-GMO Project Seals that independently verify that the product is in compliance with North America’s only third-party standard for GMO avoidance, including testing of at-risk ingredients.
Avoid at-risk ingredients. Avoid products made with ingredients that might be derived from GMOs: corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, most Hawaiian papaya and a small amount of zucchini and yellow squash. If a non-organic product made in North America lists “sugar” (not “pure cane sugar”), it is almost certainly a combination of sugar from both sugar cane and GM sugar beets. Dairy products may be from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone. Look for labels stating that it contains no rBGH, rBST or artificial hormones. (Check out the iPhone application, ShopNoGMO free at the iTunes store.)
Visit NonGMOShoppingGuide.com to download a complete list of non-GMO products available from each brand.
Despite a court order, Roundup Ready GE beets will be planted this spring. iStock photo