Butter, Salt & a Side of Poison: How to Protect your Family from Monsanto & Genetically Modified Foods. ~ Marylee Fairbanks

Via Marylee Fairbanks
on Apr 30, 2013
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Monsanto List

“Who wants popcorn?” My husband enters the room with two, blue bowls.

My son and I cheer. We lift up the blanket, pat the open spot on the cushion in between us and turn the movie on.

“Did you add some butter and salt?” Our son asks as he dips his hand in the bowl and stuffs it. Little white puffs poke out from in between his fingers.

“I sure did.”

But, we had no idea that we were serving him a side of poison.

I didn’t know my “Simply Salted” Orville Redenbacher popcorn was genetically modified. The packaging seemed so straight forward, with earthy colors and the word “Naturals” in big, brown capitals. I have been buying this tainted food for years and feeding it to my child.

I make an effort to be a responsible shopper. I read my bread labels and pass on anything enriched, I never buy products with fake sweeteners and I try to stick to organic fruits and vegetables. My son is a picky eater so I purchased products that are lower in sugar. I thought a graham cracker or Wheat Thin was a decent snack because these were treats my mother gave me.

I assumed, as most of us do, that the government is looking out for us. I was wrong.Our government protects the big, wealthy corporations, at the expense of our children’s health. Grocery stores across America are stocked with food that can make us ill.

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. Apparently, nature has gotten it all wrong because crops are  now grown with the objective of adding or eliminating certain characteristics.

For example, Monsanto developed a corn that is genetically modified with Bt Protein. When the insect feeds on this plant, their stomachs rupture.

Monsanto claims that by the time the food gets to our tables it is safe. But, an article published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences, in 2009, reported studies proving that when rats ate the GM corn, they suffered from organ failure.

GMOs were introduced in 1996. Since then chronic illnesses have jumped from 7 percent to 13 percent. Food allergies, autism, reproductive disorders, and digestive problems are all on the rise as well.

President Obama signed a bill, in April 2013, often referred to as The Monsanto Protection Act, granting Monsanto immunity from federal courts. It means that no one can stop them from planting GM crops even if they are deemed to be a danger to health or the environment.

Bayer created a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids. These and other harmful Monsanto insecticides, are not properly monitored by our protection agencies and have been linked to cancer and the honeybee death rates.

The label Colony Collapse Disorder implies somehow that it is a flaw in the bees themselves but this is as deceiving as Orville’s packaging. This year the honeybee death rate ranged from 40-90 percent across the United States.

Luckily for Monsanto, Harvard Microrobotics Lab has been working on its Micro Air Vehicles Project since 2009. They are making robotic bees to replace the real ones and it is said that Monsanto is using them to pollinate their crops.

The use of both Neonicotiniods and GM crops are banned in Europe, but in the United States they are not even monitored.

Monsanto has also formed a partnership with a drug company called Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.to create biopesticides. Alnylam also has advanced drugs for treatment of liver cancers and tumors. Monsanto produces the food that gives causes illness then partners up with the companies that cure it.


Last week, I emptied out my kitchen cabinets. I was shocked to see how many things in my cabinets were Genetically Modified.

We may feel powerless against the big corporations that run our government. But, we can take control of what we bring into our homes.

Here are a few things to do that will keep you and your family safer. Bring this list of GMO products when you are shopping and share it with everyone you can.  Stop supporting the companies that put profits ahead of the consumer’s well being.

Buy Organic

Certified organics are not allowed to contain any GMO. Fruits and vegetables have a number code on them organic always starts with the number nine.

Keep GMOs out of your home garden. There are lots of places online that you can order organic seeds and ask at your local nursery where they got their seeds.

Don’t be fooled by the deceiving catch phrases: whole grain, all natural, select harvest and real fruit.


Soy Lecithin is considered GMO, and sweeteners like aspartame, NutraSweet and Equal are derived from GM microorganisms. These ingredients are found in over 6000 products.

Eat less meat and make sure dairy products are free from antibiotics.

Never Buy:

Aunt Jemima

Aurora Foods

Balance Bar


Best Foods

Betty Crocker

Birds Eye


Boca Burger


Calumet Baking Powder


Capri Sun




Chef Boyardee




Con Agra

Country Time


Crystal Light


Del Monte

Dinty Moore



Duncan Hines

Eggo Waffles

Famous Amos



Frito Lay


Gardenburger (unless organic)


General Mills

Ghirardelli Chocolate

Graham Crackers

Green Giant

Hansen Beverage Company

Hawaiian Punch

Healthy Choice

Healthy Request






Honey  Maid



Hungry Jack


Interstate Bakeries


Kc Masterpiece



Kids Cuisine


Kraft: ALL condiments and dressings


Land O’ Lakes

Lay’s Ruffles

Lean Cuisine


Life Saver


Loma Lindia

Marie Callender’s


Minute Maid

Morningstar Farms (unless organic line)

Ms. Butterworths


Nature Valley

Near East



Nilla Wafers

Nutter Butter

Ocean Spray

Old El Paso



Orville Redenbacher




Pepperidge Farm


Peter Pan

Phillip Morris


Pinnacle Foods

Pop Secret


Power Bar




Procter and Gamble

Progresso Soups





Rosetto Frozen Pasta

Simply Home


Smart Ones

Smucker’s: unless labeled “Simply 100% Fruit”

Snack Wells





Sunny Delight



Teddy Grahams

The Country’s Best Yoghurt


Tombstone Pizza





Uncle Ben’s




Wheat Thins

Baby foods: Beech-nut, Enfamil, Good start, Nestle, Similac, Isomil

Bonus: Non-GMO Shopping Guide.
Read more: Why don’t we like GMOs?
And more: 5 Myths about Genetically Engineered Foods. {Infographic}

And a bonus app for your phone called Buycott.


Like elephant food on Facebook.


Ed: Kate Bartolotta


About Marylee Fairbanks

Marylee Fairbanks is a columnist for Gaiam, elephant journal, My Life Yoga, and Bliss.com, Her essays explore Motherhood and yoga, but mainly focus on her experiences with her young son and the many ways he helps her grow. She is a registered yoga teacher and founder of Chakras Yoga and The 24 Things. She teaches Chakras Balancing workshops and yoga classes. Prior to having her son, she performed in Broadway musicals across the country. Marylee lives in Massachusetts with her husband, son, and dogs. Find her on her website and follow her on twitter.


151 Responses to “Butter, Salt & a Side of Poison: How to Protect your Family from Monsanto & Genetically Modified Foods. ~ Marylee Fairbanks”

  1. "It is said that Monsanto is using them (robot bees) to pollinate their crops". Really? Now Monsanto grows crops do they? And lecithin is"said" to be GMO… Well, when things are"said", it certainly saves some research for facts'doesn't it? That being"said", if someone is eating Bisquick with Aunt Jemima and washing it down with Sunny D, GMO ingredients are the least of their worries…

  2. Anne says:

    There's nothing wrong with GMO foods. It's just like natural evolution, only faster and better controlled. All those people yelling against GMO mostly don't have a clue what it's all about. They don't understand genetics and they don't understand that 'natural' an 'organic' does not mean 'the best way' or 'the healthiest'. Sure, the patent claims of Monsanto sucks, but there not a single grain of evidence that GMO foods are bad for you. Please, let's look at the facts and stop spreading lies.

    • chakras yoga says:

      Anne. Its not lies. You need to do some research.

      • Lasal says:

        Organic farms use copper as a natural fertilizer, that's worse for humans than a synthetic one.

    • srephanie riedel says:

      You are WAY off Anne. I agree, you should wake up and learn a little more about GMO. And how do you explain other countries with similar population size, no GMO, and yet drastically lower rates of diseases and illnesses that she is associating with GMO foods.

  3. Niki Widmayer says:

    Glad to hear everyone is finally waking up!

  4. JTG says:

    You can't go into Whole Foods expecting everything to be GMO-free – at least not until 2018. They pretty much say so themselves:

  5. Diana says:

    "Control the resources and you control the nation, control the food and you control the people."
    Corporations have, by large degrees seized our food production and distribution in the US, as well as government policy.
    Big pharma has done the same with medicine.
    If you have a coop or natural food store near you that sells bulk, you can still have low cost organic food at a very reasonable price and avoid giving money to corporations that sell us these unhealthy packaged goods. We have to remember how food was prepared before we started relying on packaged goods and prepare food from scratch. The shift may seem like a hassle, but its well worth it, and once you get the hang of it, it takes less time. In my house, the slow cooker ( big crockpot) is nearly always going. I look to traditional methods to get my nourishment: bone broths , ferments, bulk goods from my coop.
    The real danger is the erosion of access to organic foods if we continue to see small organic farmers displaced through policies that continue to squeeze them, and genetic drift from GMO crops. The erosion of the ecological stability of the environment is now becoming catastrophic.
    The disinformation machine through a media that is owned by several corporations is thorough, and we must look long and hard to find the truth.

    • trevor says:

      Sherry, what scares me is that people like you disregard a peer reviewed study in a scientific journal, then slap it in the face by believing an article written in Forbes magazine. With that, youre part of the problem, and i’d bet if you did some research, you’d find a connection between Forbes and Monsanto.

  6. Sherry says:

    Here is an article stating the corn/rat article has actually been retracted by the magazine from lack of scientific proof

  7. Lisa says:

    I've switched to eating almost 100% organic food because it's the only way to avoid GMOs. If something isn't labeled organic, it's because it contains GMOs. I'm able to afford organic food because I don't purchase any junk food.

  8. Julian says:

    A good source for information is the Cornucopia Institute (.org). There are too many corporations that cheat on the organic label. Also, as smaller producers get bought up by the big players, recipes can get changed and many of them are putting their lobbying money against GMO labeling. This includes organic brands such as Lara Bar, Muir Glen, Naked Juice, and many others.

    I’ve recently developed the idea that we are being used as guinea pigs as the ag/chemical companies develop crops that will be able to grow in space stations and such. That makes more sense too with this talk of robotic pollination. (http://www.idigitaltimes.com/articles/17940/20130530/robotic-bee-robobee-pollination-spying-robot-flying.htm)

  9. Ross Grayson says:

    "GMOs were introduced in 1996. Since then chronic illnesses have jumped form 7 percent to 13 percent. Food allergies, autism, reproductive disorders, and digestive problems are all on the rise as well."

    Correlation is not causation. Science matters. Unsubstantiated new age angst is as damaging to our society as is evangeliban disavowal of evolution and climate change…

  10. Susan says:

    Anne must be working for one of those companies.
    Thanks for this article.

    Love Making my own popcorn with coconut oil & drizzling real grass-fed butter & sea salt. My precious children deserve the best of everything! They depend on me to feed them!

  11. Ken says:

    FYI, Soy Lecithin can be purchased from Swanson Vitamins (.com) that is NOT GMO. It has it genealogy and they can trace where it comes from. I have some and it's a great product. (No, I don't work for nor affiliated with Swanson).

  12. Organic Specialist says:

    Interestingly enough Bt (the very thing mentioned in this article in the GM corn) is approved for use in organic production. I have yet to hear anyone complain about the amount of Bt sprayed on greens in organic production. Bacillus thuringiensis is a soil borne, gram positive bacteria, that means it is everywhere. It lives in the soil after all. By the logic in this article, if your kid inhales dust you are letting him/her inhale poison.

    Also, any seed that you buy, organic or conventional will NOT be genetically modified. Why? Simply put-there are licensing fees that are paid for genetically modified seed. So unless Home Depot is now asking that you sign an contract for proper use of the seed AND you are paying the additional fee to cover research costs, you are just fine.

    Another point that might be worth listing. If any of you are worried about GMOs and are diabetic, you might want to get off of your insulin now. It has been cultured from genetically modified bacteria since 1978. Though, I don't know of any companies still harvesting insulin from the pancreases of slaughtered lambs. But hey, at least it will be organic right?

  13. Sara says:

    Popcorn is ok. Jeffery Smith, the leader in the fight against GMO food, says that popcorn is not a GMO because it is a different strain of corn than the more widely planted variety that is genetically modified. Now, you might not want to eat microwaved popcorn for other reasons, like the oil they use or what microwaving does to the oil…

  14. Courtney says:

    Pretty much everything on this list is crap/junk food/processed food/convenience food which people shouldn’t be consuming if they are eating a healthy diet any way. If you can’t eat it in its original form and it’s not organic, then don’t eat it. And don’t depend on the government to keep you healthy. That is your own responsibility. Keep to the outer aisles of the grocery store and there is less of an issue.

  15. realist says:

    Until politicians and their families start getting sick and dying and they become convinced GMOs may have played a role, nothing much will happen on this front.

  16. Keith says:

    I had no idea correlation equaled causation…. thanks so very much for perpetuating various myths regarding our food chain. What about autism being caused by the MMR vaccine… you forgot to add that in somewhere.

  17. Heather says:

    I don't know where to begin. Corn, maize, is C4 crop to begin with…..meaning it uses 4 Carbon molecules to grow……..it isn't genetically altered…..it came that way "naturally", like elephant grass and millet……I would love it if everyone on the GMO bandwagon would do some research………real research. Never any citations as to where the claims are coming from…..nothing. Do you have any idea what GMO means? Do you understand that human beings have been genetically altering crops since we learned agriculture? Feeding poison? How melodramatic, really? Do you live in a City? Believe me, the air you breathe is going to kill you long before a GMO food product.Consider this: Our population is going to double on the planet by 2050. Fact. If we do not change our harvest yields dramatically these people will starve. Fact. By modifying plants to use more carbon dioxide ( yummy, like oxygen to ourselves), of which there will be at least double, and to use between 50-300 percent less water than our current "natural" crops, we can feed these people. What gives you the right in your ignorant little rant to deny the rest of the planet a life similar to yours? Sitting in front of the TV watching a movie………cry me a river…..you've never been truly hungry for a day. GMO is reality, and unless you A) are a geneticist or know one, or B) have a better idea as to how we provide for our fellow man, I suggest you do something to save the oceans which is of real value, and without, we all also starve.

  18. Kate Inglis says:

    Here's your theme song, courtesy Old Man Luedecke (http://oldmanluedecke.ca). The more people that stomp along, the better. This is important stuff. Monsanto Jones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA0HCUs95Ds

  19. Nancy says:

    One handy site to check foods and HBAs is Organic Consumers Association (OCA) OCA.org, I think. They keep it well updated. You can support their work if so inclined.

  20. Shauna says:

    You might want to read this article too – this is a well documented factual article…..

  21. MV Coffman says:

    All the research I have done points to 2 things: 1) 90% of the corn in the U.S. is genetically modified, 2) corn grown to be popcorn is a different strain of corn and has not at this point been genetically modified. One reason is that there is no money in genetically modifying popcorn, unlike corn grown for other purposes. Here are some sources:

    So, you might want to avoid Orville Redenbacher for other reasons (e.g. the chemical laden "butter flavor" and linings of the microwave bags). You also will want to be careful about what oils are used to pop the popcorn (e.g. canola, corn, or soybean oil), which are often GM. But avoiding popcorn itself to avoid GMO's isn't necessary. In this fight against GMO's, it's so very important to get the facts right, otherwise we are branded as uninformed sensationalists. Also, be relieved that you haven't been feeding your child a GM snack every time you give him popcorn!

  22. Wanda Patsche says:

    I am just sadly amazed at this article. Buy antibiotic free meat? ALL meat is antibiotic free. I am a farmer and we cannot sell our pigs if they have any antibiotic residue. Illegal. BT protein derives from a natural bacteria found in our soils. In fact, organic farmers use it to protect their crops. It is only a pesticide when it is ingested by targeted larvae. Please get your facts straight. This article just plain scary with all the misinformation.

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