Bet you didn't know that cheese on your pizza pie had human hormones in it; that the genes of fish were inserted into the tomato that made your sauce; and that with all their "messing" around, your crust probably has a gene related to human cancer and organisms from viruses in it.
What? You don't want to eat that pizza; you want real food - the good old fashioned kind, the way nature created it? You say you'll read labels and make you're own choice, thank you? Well, if these Frankenfoods aren't labeled, how can you? Manufacturers aren't required to test every ingredient, enzyme or organism used in manufacturing.
You say our trustworthy government wouldn't allow such a thing, nor would the FDA, but let's face it, money talks here in America. Those big corporations want to make money. They want their products to have a long shelf life, and they're worried about the fact that there will be about 4 billion mouths to feed in the 21st century. Did you know that despite the increasing warnings from scientists that current (yes, current) gene-splicing techniques are crude, inexact, and unpredictable and therefore dangerous. Pro-biotech governments and regulatory agencies, led by the U.S., maintain that Genetically Engineered foods and crops are "substantially equivalent" to conventional foods, and therefore require neither manufactory labeling nor pre-market safety testing.
Why We Need A Global Moratorium
The food industry sees no reason to discuss what should or shouldn't be put in food because they intend to put anything in food which is technically feasible and economically profitable. "To them profit equals morality and everything else is a nuisance factor to be handled by a PR department," says Don Fitz, Gateway Green Alliance. They don't want you to be able to make that choice because they would rather you didn't know about it in the first place.
At the beginning of this century the food industry simply covered up everything they did. When a man named Upton Sinclair exposed them, the Pure Food and Drug Act followed the same year. Now, the food industry has a much better public relations department. They are slick and smooth when it comes to Frankenfood. They rationalize and manipulate. The Senior Executive of McDonald's restaurant said once that he hoped one day Americans could go into McDonald's and order food specially engineered for their health needs.
Want some firefly genes?
If your chips have corn in them, they could have. Hope you're not allergic to Brazil nuts, that cupcake you're eating with soybean oil in it might cause a problem. About 55% of last year's crop of soybeans were genetically engineered. Other countries are fighting and they've made headway, but here in America it's as if we don't care that we're being made guinea pigs to all the experimenting. Finally, an outcry from the U.S. public has begun, but it hasn't been enough. Congress hasn't felt enough pressure, and until they do, they in turn won't put pressure on the FDA. The FDA has close ties to the food industry and won't do anything until they have to.
Under Clinton, in fact, the FDA has stuck to its laissez-faire policy and so has been even threatening other countries that require labeling of gene-altered foods. They say they'll withdraw from the proposed trade pact if they don't reconsider. Maybe you're not aware that 60% of packaged foods here in America today contain GE foods. How are you to know? Besides, what can you do about it? You can write a letter. Write one to Dan Glickman, the Secretary of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. Tell him to change his mind on saying yes to Frankenfoods.
So why don't Americans seem to be as concerned about Genetically Engineered foods as other countries? Thirty-four genetically altered products have been approved for consumer use and are being promoted by their manufacturers. Currently, in Europe, only nine products made it past regulatory agencies. Is it because Americans aren't as aware of what's going on, do we trust our government, big corporations and the FDA too much, or have we resolved that there isn't much we can do about it anyway and/or pass it off for someone else to do something about?
A Few Facts About Genetically Engineered & Altered Foods:
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that in 1999, genetically engineered crops occupied 25% of U.S. cropland: 35% of corn and 55% of soybeans.
- Non mandatory labeling exists currently. Should consumers be given the choice of whether they want to consume altered and GE foods or should the government and large corporations make it for us?
- No long-term studies have been done. No one can answer whether GE foods and crops are safe.
- Gene tinkering includes the creation of new and dangerous virus diseases by the process of genetic recombination.
From Professor Joe Cummins (professor Emeritus of Genetics) of University of Western Ontario wrote in his article:
"Cattle are being treated with genetically engineered hormones that cause the animals to suffer pain and have diseases of the teats leading to excessive use of antibiotics and spread of disease resistance. The hormone is being used even though there is evidence that drinking milk from treated cows will increase breast cancer in people. Cattle suffer from the 'shipping disease,' a nervous anxiety and anorexia when being shipped to market. A human hormone gene was found to cure that problem."
Genetic engineering is the process of "modifying" cell information. It's where the genes of one organism is transferred to another. Example: the genes from a fish were inserted into a tomato to create a more durable tomato. Europe is making a stand against genetically altered products while Americans seem to be a nation of willing guinea pigs for the corporations that control our food supply. Nestle UK has promised not to use bio-engineered ingredients in European products, but they make no promises for their North-American division.
Check labels for these commonly altered items: soy, corn oils, and flour, lecithin, canola, and soy protein isolates.
Natural Foods - GE Foods - Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
Keep in mind that these following products may be genetically altered, contain or originate from genetically engineered organisms because reading labels is no guarantee you can find which foods contain these GE ingredients, and not every enzyme or organism is listed. -candies, cookies, breads, cereals, corn syrups, oils, juices, detergents, dough conditioners, yeast, sugar, animal feed, vitamins and enzymes used in the processing of cheese. - www.safe-food.org/-consumer/shop.html
So, is your pizza poisoned?
It depends on how you look at it, but wouldn't you like to know what's in the ingredients so that you can decide for yourself? Granted, increased crop yields and resistance to pesky insects are worthy directions, but maybe they need to slow down, take time to check everything out for safety first, and let the public know what they're doing. If there is nothing to hide and everything is on the up and up, why are they resistant to labeling?
For an in-depth review of the GMO and Industrial Agriculture impact you can access the 9-part documentary GMOs Revealed.