Why don’t we like GMOs?

Via elephant journal
on Jul 20, 2009
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non gmo project

Make like Whole Foods & Just Say No to GMOs.

Hurrah, hurrah: Whole Foods has formally pledged its two house brands, 365 and Whole Foods, as members of The Non GMO Project. Not sure if that means all products Whole Foods are GMO-free.

Why don’t we like GMOs (genetically-modified organisms)? Because they’re a big agribusiness scam whereby agricultural companies can profit by selling you a problem, and then selling you an exclusive fix to said problem. Because God, or Mother Earth, has experimented for thousands of years, and our blind-eyed tinkering may create problems we can’t imagine. Because once GMOs exist, they spread irrevocably—making possible problems into everlasting problems for a food-stream upon which we’re entirely dependent. Because Michael Pollan knows more than all of us put together—and he and everyone else who knows and cares about food, real food, has lined up against ’em.

Why else don’t we like GMOs? Please comment, below.

Via WFM:

“From the moment GMOs were approved for use in the U.S., we recognized the need for transparency, but there was no definitive standard by which to evaluate or label products,” said Margaret Wittenberg, Whole Foods Market global vice president of quality standards. “We searched high and low for years for a way to do this and now, thankfully, the Non-GMO Project has answered that challenge by creating a standard and a practical system by which manufacturers may measure their products. At last, shoppers concerned about foods made with genetically modified ingredients will be able to make informed choices.”

According to the FDA, as much as 75 percent of processed food in the United States may contain components from genetically modified crops. Despite the abundance of products with genetically modified ingredients, a Pew Initiative study on Food and Biotechnology shows that 59 percent of Americans are unfamiliar with the issue of genetically modified ingredients in food.

“In 30 other countries around the world, including Australia, Japan and all of the nations in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production of GMOs, due to environmental impact and concerns about GMO safety,” said Megan Thompson, executive director of the Non-GMO Project.

While Federal law requires organic producers to comply with certain non-GMO requirements identified in the USDA organic standards, there is no standard for labeling GMOs in non-organic products.


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12 Responses to “Why don’t we like GMOs?”

  1. ginger says:

    they should change their name to whole paycheck !!

  2. I agree with every single thing that Ginger said! I'll add that many of us (ex)-Whole Foods employees were asking for answers a long time ago as to where their corn/wheat etc. comes from. Nobody got an answer. They went a decade with no answers but continued to put more and more private label NON-ORGANIC products on the shelves (thus wiping out other loyal brands, I'll add). So what's my answer to this news? It's about time. Once again, they should have spearheaded this effort and taken the European approach of not messing with nature.

  3. Devon B: so whole foods say no to GMO? I shall boycott and eat only GMOs from now on! Who's with me?
    Yesterday at 8:43pm · Delete

    Tom F: even if you're not using GMOs, the fact is though selective usage we have unintentionally created "GMOs". even non-GMO foods are only "how they are" because of selective agricultural processes.

    a metaphor that explains this is the selective breeding of domesticated animals to produce certain traits. the english bulldogs are a prime example: there is nothing natural about the english bulldog and without man they would be able to survive, however the english bulldog breed was not created in any laboratory though external genetic modification, it naturally arose though selective breeding. the same thing has happened to the raw, non-GMO foods we know today. just because a is labeled as non-GMO, that doesn't mean it's any more natural. (continued below)
    Yesterday at 9:03pm · Delete

    Tom F: in reality, there is no way to escape eating "unnatural" foods. in the u.s., over 90% of our soy products are made using GMOs, and corn crops consist of over 85% GMO.

    this non-GMO thing is just another marketing campaign designed to sell products for a higher price tag. unless you plan to go out into the woods and scavenge for nuts and berries, you're not going to escape eating foods that are laboratory created GMOs or "naturally" producted GMOs.

    behind every big cause is a SOMEONE looking to make a profit. how much will whole foods raise the price of their products, simply because they now claim their products are non-GMO? and how many more people will start shopping at whole foods because they ahve been convinced that consuming non-GMO foods is somehow significantly better for their health?

    it's all about the $$$. remember that.
    Yesterday at 9:06pm · Delete

    Solomon B: There is a difference between selective breeding and creating/manipulating gene sets and inserting them into food products.

    The fact that A and B are both not equal to C does not make A and B equal to each other.
    Yesterday at 9:08pm · Delete

    Tom F: for the record, i'm still happy with my whole foods brand non-GMO soylent green. mmmmmm, tasty.
    Yesterday at 9:14pm · Delete

    Tom F: @solomon, yes there is a difference – doing it in a lab is faster and more cost effective. doing it the old fashioned way is more expensive, and the costs are passed on to the consumer.

    for hundreds of years, farmers selectively cross-pollinated plants, without laboratories or chemical processes, to produce specific traits: resistance to pests, better tolerance to weather, larger crop yield, etc.

    is this not genetic modification? the whole process is based on the idea of taking certain genetic traits from one strain and combining it with genetic traits from another, and then repeating the process when you find a combination produced desirable results.

    whether you like it or not, just about everything we eat (even foods labeled as non-GMO) are, in fact, created though genetic manipulation, whether it be in a lab or though selective reproduction.

    if you want to pay an extra 20% because you think that there is going to be some sort of noticeable difference, be my guest. 🙂
    Yesterday at 9:41pm · Delete

  4. Deborah K: Yes, but at least in that case (cross-pollination) they are not mixing species (say, fish genes in a tomato) and potentially creating out-of-control mutations or things we can't digest.
    Yesterday at 9:52pm · Delete

    Tom F: @deborah

    i'm sorry, but if you're ignorant on a subject it's likely best not to make outlandish statements like that – suggesting that one would put fish genes in your tomato? that's now even close to how it works.

    it's not even physically possible to put "animal genes into plant genes" – the genetic code is too incompatible.

    while it is possible to extract traits from lesser-complex non-plant life forms (bacteria), it is in no way possible to splice a carrot with a giraffe to make bigger carrots.

    take a minute and read this:

    "Now, onto the bigger issue – there are no commercial biotech products owned or produced by Monsanto that have animal DNA. I’m not sure how this rumor got started but it’s just not true."
    Yesterday at 10:01pm · Delete

    Devon B: Please don't call someone ignorant when the only link you give us is a monsanto funded blog, re: propaganda . I don't pretend to know all the facts, but I certainly know enough about monsantos business practices to not take anything they say at face value.
    14 hours ago · Delete

    Devon B: http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=23302
    monsanto didn't mention this in their blog.
    13 hours ago · Delete

    Tom F: Monsanto blog or not, there aren't any animal DNA with plant DNA splicing. i just linked to that specific article because it clearly explains this in simple terms, and it's getting the information straight from the horse's mouth – a company who creates GMO products.

    there's nothing wrong with being ignorant. being ignorant is not an insult. it simply means that you lack knowledge of a specific subject. i was just suggesting that one should not make such outlandish statements until they first take the time to educate themselves on that topic.

    speaking from ignorance is one of the primary reasons why silly rumors get started, and how people become misinformed on important issues.
    7 hours ago · Delete

    Autumn: So Tom — What are you selling? Your ego?
    7 hours ago · Delete

    Tom F: apparently you're missing the point of my argument.

    what i was trying to address was how virtually all foods we consume are somehow genetically shaped/tailored/modified, one way or another – whether it be in a lab or on the farm.

    even if you do buy only non-GMO groceries from whole foods, those products are only a portion of your diet. unless you sit at home eating exclusively non-GMO products (whole foods would just love that!). you're going to be consuming GMOs when you do go out to a restaurant or dine at a friend's place.

    let's say you make non-GMO's 10% of your diet? are the effects noticeable? likely not. you're better off worrying about the types of specific ingredients that make up the foods you consume, not their genetic origin.
    7 hours ago · Delete

  5. Tom F: the same way we had the "natural" trend. then the "organic" trend, now advertising is looking to use the "non-GMO" trend as tool to sell products for higher prices.

    whole foods wants you to believe that non-GMO's are better for you, because they stand to make a large profit selling you products stamped "non-GMO". you think "corporate sponsored blogs, re: propaganda" goes only one way? is whole foods not a corporation? your wallet is a battleground, and whether you like it or not, you're being pitched to from all sides.

    everything you come in contact with is ultimately designed to sell you something. hell, even elephant journal is tailored to promote a specific lifestyle, once which will involves the use/consumption of its advertisers.

    don't be quick to jump on any bandwagon simply because it appears to be the alternative. chances are, corporate interests are funding both sides of the issue (because they stand to profit the most that way!)

    7 hours ago · Delete

    Autumn: Selling ego again? "Apparently I must have missed your point?" You're super smooth with the compliments, I must say.

    If you want people to be receptive to your thoughts, opinions and knowledge (and I am not coming from ignorance on this one but from first hand lessons) you may first want to provide a space for them that is comfortable. Calling someone ignorant (and then making excuses for yourself) doesn't do this. Write that one down.

    I know all about what you are saying. I'm in this industry, know Whole Foods, know John Mackey, know the Non-GMO Project and am registered with them, grow and produce non-GMO foods that sell off WFM shelves from seeds that have been naturally and selective bred, BUT, I wouldn't want to talk with you about it. I would rather talk about it with Devon and Deborah. Can you guess why? There is humour and they are humble, the two things that after doing educational trainings for the last four years make everyone enjoy the time taken the most.
    7 hours ago · Delete

    Tom F: i'm just saying non-GMO is just another industry. industry is created to generate profit. corporate interests run campaigns and start organizations to convince and perpetuate ideas that their products should be produced over another.

    i'm sure you're part of the non-GMO product and you have the best intentions, but at the end of the day you're still selling a product and it's in your best interest to make the argument for your product.

    i'm not interested in making people comfortable. 😉
    6 hours ago · Delete

    Autumn: I can't argue with any of that! (and our products ARE the best!!)

    6 hours ago · Delete

    Tom F works for me. 🙂
    5 hours ago · Delete

  6. Devon B "and it's getting the information straight from the horse's mouth – a company who creates GMO products."

    " at the end of the day you're still selling a product and it's in your best interest to make the argument for your product."
    45 minutes ago · Delete

    Devon B: I can't realize you didn't realize you were insulting her. Are you really that ignorant? Well, anyone that would not what talk about the very real and important distinctions between selective breeding and modern biotechnology …………….
    ah waste of my time. Enjoy your GMO's, but i demand the right to sane food.
    40 minutes ago · Delete

    Devon B. hmmm
    I can't believe you…..etc.
    40 minutes ago · Delete

    Tom F: clearly you missed the point, as these statements do not conflict.

    there is nothing wrong with using a link to the monsanto blog to confirm that there are no mixing of animal DNA with plant DNA (which was suggested by deborah).

    if i were to say that coca-cola contains high-fructose corn syrup, that is a fact, and it would be perfectly logical to link to the coca-cola website since they are the producers of the product.

    if i were to say that high-fructose corn syrup is better (or worse) for you than sugar, that is an opinion, because there are those who would argue otherwise, and both sides have lots of research and data to prove their stance.

    can you not see the difference in these types statements?

    i wasn't linking to the monsanto site to say that GMO is better or worse than non-GMO, i was linking to it to confirm that animal DNA is not mixed with plant DNA.

    nice try anyway, devon.
    32 minutes ago · Delete

    Tom F: ignorance is not an insult.

    hell, there are lots of subjects that i have absolutely no knowledge about, and that would make me ignorant on those subjects.

    all i was suggesting was that one should refrain from participating in a conversation (or making outlandish statements) if they are ignorant to the particulars of the topic at hand.

    "Ignorance is the dominion of absurdity."

    if you think that ignorance is an insult, you clearly have insecurities with your own intellectuality.
    16 minutes ago · Delete

    Tom F: look, i could care less whether i'm eating GMO or non-GMO as long as i enjoy what i'm eating and it doesn't make me sick. 🙂

    i'm not going to be brainwashed one way or the other based on whoever has the more effective (or more expensive) advertising/marketing/propaganda campaign.

    i would rather be skeptical of both sides, and purchase food based on what i can afford and what i enjoy.

    if you want to waste time and energy seeking out one type of food product based on what someone else has labeled it and how you feel about that labeling, then pay an inflated price, more power to you.

    bon appetite. 😉
    12 minutes ago · Delete

    Autumn: Tom, you make a lot more sense when you come out and let us know that you, at this present time, have no problem eating GMO's. Really it does!! Enjoy them.
    5 minutes ago · Delete

  7. Waylon Lewis: Tom, as always love your arguments, and despite what sweet Autumn says, you do have a way of getting meaningful, if intense, conversations going.

    One thing I hate and fear about GMOs is that they're contagious, and irrevocably so, as you say yourself they're everywhere unless you're foraging in a forest, and even our wildlands are showing GMO influence.

    All those compostable corn cups we greenies love? GMO corn, going in our compost.

  8. Concerned says:

    Also, just because our diets have become dominated by GM products does not detract from the fact that there are still questions about the impact of these seeds (and products) on human and animal health and the environment. The rapid speed at which GM foods are entering the market place (directly or indirectly) when many scientists around the world and consumer group advocates are ringing the alarm bells is sobering, to say the least. I say it is an unfortunate situation that we have to pay extra for organic, or nongmo foods, simply to avoid the foods filled with impurities (chemical or biological). Interestingly, the increased price is actually a by-product of the state of the nation's agribusiness…but these are all complicated and interconnected issues that are not easily summed up in a single paragraph.

  9. I see genetically modified food and I see chemicals and I see a rise in allergies everywhere I look. Every new parent I know tells me about their child's soy/milk/nut/wheat/corn/whatever allergy and carries and epi-pen. Ridiculous. Something is wrong and I am thinking that science changing the DNA of food to resist higher pesticide levels just can't be right.

  10. Kat says:

    I will pay extra for non-GMO foods until our government stops subsidizing farmers of GMO’s & hormone and antibiotic-laden feed animals. I buy mostly organic foods & returned to being a vegetarian after years of multiple serious medical issues while eating the normal American diet. The few times I visit doctors ( for check-ups, bloodwork) I’m told that I am healthier than they are. So I will continue buying organic & if that is not available, look for non-GMO labelling as a minimum.

  11. […] it’s slowly getting better, soy isan overwhelmingly genetically modified (GMO) crop: over 90% of the soy grown in the US is genetically modified. GMOs are bad news, and […]

  12. Jack says:

    Appreciated reading all these comments…I just posted a new article with some shocking recent discoveries about GMO's and a sign-up page for "Millions Against Monsanto."..see here:

    Let's keep up the info and passion for real foods!