Eight foods you should almost never, ever eat

February 24, 2012

Food, Genetically modified, Health

Corn and soy are two of the most common food ingredients, especially in processed foods, and over 90 percent of both of these crops in the U.S. are now from genetically modified (GM) seeds.

Most soybean, corn, cotton and canola crops in the U.S. are genetically altered. Some experts argue that these crops could pose serious health and environmental risks, but the scientific evidence is currently incomplete — deliberately so.

Agricultural corporations such as Monsanto and Syngenta have restricted independent research on their crops. They have refused to provide independent scientists with seeds, or else have set restrictive conditions that severely limit research. This is legal because under U.S. law, genetically engineered crops are patentable.

The Los Angeles Times reports: “Agricultural companies defend their stonewalling by saying that unrestricted research could make them vulnerable to lawsuits if an experiment somehow leads to harm, or that it could give competitors unfair insight into their products. But it is likely that the companies fear something else as well — an experiment could reveal that a genetically engineered product is hazardous or does not perform as promised.”

Even if you do not want to eat genetically engineered foods, you most likely already are doing so. Corn and soy are two of the most common food ingredients, especially in processed foods, and over 90 percent of both of these crops in the U.S. are now from genetically modified (GM) seeds.

Organic food companies and consumer groups are stepping up their efforts to get the government to exercise more oversight of engineered foods. Critics of current policy argue that the GM seeds are often contaminating the nearby non-GM crops.

ABC News reports: “The U.S. government has insisted there is not enough difference between the genetically modified seeds its agencies have approved and natural seeds to cause concern. But Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, more so than his predecessors in previous administrations, has acknowledged the debate over the issue and a growing chorus of consumers concerned about what they are eating.”

You can avoid GM foods that are not found in processed foods, if you know what to look for. Currently, eight GM food crops are on the market: soy, sugar from sugar beets, corn, Hawaiian papaya, cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils), some varieties of zucchini, canola (canola oil) and crookneck squash.

This means you should avoid products with corn, soy, canola and any of their derivatives listed as an ingredient, unless it is labeled “USDA 100% organic.”

 

Sources: Los Angeles Times February 13, 2011, ABC News February 28, 2011 and www.mercola.com May 05, 2011.

Reprinted from AZNetNews, Volume 30, Number 3, June/July 2011.

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