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. Karen says:

    Sadly one day we might not even be able to get organic food. The wind, water, and even bees could eventually taint the organic crops with GMO crops. It's happening already. It's so discouraging that enough people in the U.S. aren't paying attention to this.

  2. chakras yoga says:

    I know Karen. I think people just don't know. Thats why I wanted to get the list out so they can start making a statement at the cash register.. please share it with people you love.

  3. Lindsey says:

    Thanks for this. It makes me sick that about every common grocery store brand is on your list. What brands should I go to for basics like pasta, rice, even ketchup? Are fruits and vegetables genetically modified too or do you list veggie and fruit juice brands because they use non-organic produce?

  4. Mike Barrett says:

    OK , Here's a good idea . Now that we have a list of all the G.M.O. foods that are bad for us , then lets have a list of products that we can eat and are not G.M.O. ! Just saying , (Keep It Simple Stupid ) .

  5. chakras yoga says:

    thanks Lindsey. its really terrifying. I get pasta made in Italy.. trader joes and whole foods are generally good. ALL fruits and veggies that are organic have a number 9 on the little sticker before all the other numbers. i always but that or local.

  6. chakras yoga says:

    OK mike. get to work on that list for me!

  7. Paula says:

    How about posting products and/or brand names that are safe and not GM? I use quite a bit of the products on your list, now what am I supposed to buy to feed my family?

  8. Heather says:

    That list is overwhelming. and it goes to show that most people will not be able to avoid these modified, health-hazardous foods. I can't afford organic, not by a long shot. The government, this doesn't fall solely on the president, doesn't care about the health and safety of it's constituents(us) at all. We're fodder for the medical industry and we have been for decades. At least I know the cure for cancer even if I have to move to Colorado or Washington to have access to it!

  9. Heather says:

    I agree that for every product on this list there should be a non GMO replacement. For me, the problem is since GMO products don't have to be labled (thanks to our government protecting Monsanto) I have no idea which ones are and are not GMO!!!

  10. violetcya says:

    Thank-you! I can't believe all these companies selling GMO food…that's nuts…..I'm very disappointed yet I have faith and hope that people will catch on and the governments will start doing what they are hired to do….look after the people of our lands and ban corporations that are trying to kill us only to make a buck.

  11. chakras yoga says:

    there are lots of alternatives. check out whole foods, trader joes and organic departments in stop and shop.

  12. chakras yoga says:

    organic is not GMO.. try to do that when you can

  13. chakras yoga says:

    only we can start to make a change.. the companies will change when no one buys their foods anymore

  14. Aisha says:

    I am sorry to contradict you but popcorn is not like other corn. It's a different kind of seed and it is not genetically modified…perhaps never genetically modified. http://www.effortlesseating.com/2012/06/popcorn-i
    Otherwise, thank you for the article. There is a great documentary called Genetic Roulette on this very topic.

  15. violetcya says:

    you are right….it's like a chain reaction…a domino effect…

  16. violetcya says:

    thanks for the info Aisha…I LOVE popcorn and was almost in tears when I read that it too was GMO..mind you that may have been orville reddner bockers'..

  17. Christy says:

    I saw somewhere “if it has a commercial for the product DON’T buy it.” Go to Local Farmer’s markets.

  18. chakras yoga says:

    Orville is owned by ConAgra they are heavily into GMO crops. I saw on several lists that Orvills was in fact GMO. This may be incorrect but why not be safe. Buy Newmans Own.. its organic

  19. chakras yoga says:

    Violet go with newmans..

  20. Janice says:

    What's scary is that there will never be enough people NOT buying the products on the list because the Government won't allow this to be a mainstream story on the news, therefor, people will keep unknowingly supporting Monsanto and out EVIL Gorvernment!

  21. Scott says:

    I call bullshit on Whole Foods and Trader Joes. They aren't any better than any other corporation, they just hide behind an " earthy" persona. If you really want to know what your eating I suggest you grow it yourself.

  22. violetcya says:

    okay..I will look for that….thank-you!!!

  23. B says:

    I wanted to say thank you, it is so hard to research and takes alot of time. Also to everyone complaing make a list of stuff I should buy , google that , there are some lists on top of that , is she suppose to wipe your @$$ too? Come on people have some appreciation and do you own research lazy.

  24. chakras yoga says:

    Yes.. that is what makes me so nuts. I thought i was a pretty good shopper.. then i found out all this stuff in my house is garbage! thats why we need to share the lists. spread the word. small changes can make a difference

  25. chakras yoga says:

    lol B.. you are welcome.. I think people just feel overwhelmed.. i know i do

  26. chakras yoga says:

    no whole foods is good.. there are plenty of alternatives out there.. grow your own stuff definitely! I just want people to realize what they are buying.. i mean honestly, i make my kid cupcakes all the time..now that i know betty crocker is crap i will simply buy my own flower and do it myself. that way i know what he is eating.

  27. catnipkiss says:

    thank you for this; I have been trying to eat real food and healthy food. For a while I thought eating Lean Cuisine would help me lose weight, but it didn't and I am re-learning how to eat and cook and not limit myself to food because it has calories. Now I try to avoid Fake Foods and I already feel better 🙂 – Alexa M.

  28. l. middlesworth says:

    its one of the largest gmo gambit!!

  29. Sharon Humphreys says:

    95% of what you've listed comes in a package…Maybe 100%…for shelf life and shipping. A good rule of thumb is: if it's in packaging it's bad for you. It's better to buy organic (perishable) and in bulk and do the labour intensive thing of cooking. Or NOT eat rather than be a filtration system for toxic hazmat/bio-hazard…

  30. chakras yoga says:

    Yea i agree catnip. there is a way around it but i think learning all this was the kick in the butt i needed to get up and make a real change. But, it ws the fact that even the popcorn and little Graham Crackers that were bad that also made me so mad. I never gave my boy much from a can.. but to think even a can of campbells tomato soup is bad.. it just makes me nuts

  31. chakras yoga says:

    right on Sharon. Most of the stuff I never eat anyhow but there were a few little things.. cake mixes, popcorn etc.. that took me by surprise

  32. Trying ToHelp says:

    The thing is… Instead of looking at brand names and specifics.. Look at what these companies are making: Processed, mass-produced junk food and soda. Yes, it looks overwhelming, and a lot of this information is. It may seem ridiculous to bring this list to a store and start crossing off items from your grocery list based on the brands, but it's not a bad place to start. Eliminate junk snack foods, overly processed foods, and look for GMO labels. Remember to read the ingredients! Counting carbs and calories isn't enough anymore

  33. chakras yoga says:

    its true but there are so many people who buy this without thinking because it was safe when we were young and we didn't think understand much about GMOs. I often cook fresh foods, most of the time in fact, and with milks, eggs cheese and fruits and veggies i go organic. but i would also grab a box of Grahams or cake mix without thinking about it twice. it was sort of our treats where I failed miserably.
    If people have this list int he store they might think twice. That is what I am hoping for

  34. DakotaNJ says:

    Thank you so much for your time and effort. To those that say its overwhelming, yes it is. However remove or replace one thing at a time or more if your comfortable. I have been doing it and I FEEL GREAT!

  35. Michelle says:

    Hi Marylee,
    Thanks so much for your article. I was wondering if you might consider posting on Change.org and ask President Obama to reconsider what he just signed. I think that it takes about 100k signatures. I believe you could get that easily. Namaste'

  36. Jen says:

    If you have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's around, try their brand products. Both stores claim to source non-GMO ingredients for their store brand products and Whole Foods even has a lot of their products verified by the Non-GMO Project. A lot of their products are the same price or even cheaper than most grocery stores. Still need boxed Mac & Cheese? Whole Foods 365 brand is $0.99 a box. You can buy non-organic milk, butter and cheese for very similar prices as grocery stores and they don't contain the GMO growth hormone. You don't have to think Organic or Frankenfood, there are alternatives that are still affordable and much safer.

  37. chakras yoga says:

    right on Dakota! thanks for reading

  38. chakras yoga says:

    THANK you Jen.. very helpful.. appreciate your advice

  39. chakras yoga says:

    thanks Michelle.. I will check it out..

  40. Roger says:

    I guess all that's safe to eat is cardboard.

  41. Just read about del monte's newly US approved GMO pineapple… crazy.

  42. Actually, Roger. There was a study I heard of once (via Sally Fallon) where rats where given cereal and another group was given the cardboard box. Apparently the first rat that died from eating the cereal box happened on the day the last rat died from eating the cereal. Mhm.

  43. chakras yoga says:

    Yes AND Hawaii the the GMO capitol of the world.. Almost all Papaya that comes from Hawaii is GMO.. its horrible

  44. DMC says:

    Thank you for sharing. I do hope to see a list of safe products

  45. You forgot facts says:

    I love how the president gets blamed for this. "President Obama signed a bill, in April 2013, often referred to as The Monsanto Protection Act, granting Monsanto immunity from federal courts." Nothing about how it passed through both the House and the Senate before it even hit his desk. Nothing about how this was to avoid a government shutdown by signing HR933, which included this as part of the bill. Also ignored is that the Senate is majority Republican. But hey, blame the black guy, right? Nothing about John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, or even the Republican AUTHOR of the bill, Rep. Harold Rogers from Kentucky.

    Just blame the black guy.

    You're welcome to actually read the legislation before you author an article about how bad it is. If you do so you'll see that this piece of it was a small portion of a bill that saved a massive shut down, and was the only fix that congress gave the president at the time.
    As far as the whole GMO premise, I agree with you – but the fact is that crops are an economic resource for the world, not just food for families. So while yes, it would be wise to eat healthier, in the end we risk famine on a world wide scale if we do not use them. Do some research. You have to take the good with the bad. Here's the actual bill: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr933enr/pd

  46. meleroy says:

    "but the fact is that crops are an economic resource for the world, not just food for families. So while yes, it would be wise to eat healthier, in the end we risk famine on a world wide scale if we do not use them. Do some research. You have to take the good with the bad."
    No, the argument that GMO crops are feeding the world is rediculous. GMO crops are poisoning the world and I will not take the bad with the bad. Read "Organic Manifesto" by Maria Rodale. She explains how the government actually pays farmers not to farm because there is so much surplus food. And it is possible to produce just as much or more crops organically then chemically because the soil is enriched and more productive in the long run. The farmers, families and the world are being tricked by chemical companies into thinking that these chemicals and GMOs are needed to feed the world or "we risk famine on a world wide scale if we don't use them." I don't believe it and I don't buy it.

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