Whether genetically modified (GM) foods are safe or harmful is still controversial. There is plenty of evidence on both sides and I recommend you do some research yourself to make your own opinions. However after lots of my own research I came to the conclusion I want no part in these products or the companies that sell them. Monsanto co the company that manufactures and owns the patents on these super seeds is what some organic professionals call The big EVIL. Monsanto has been involved in countless lawsuits against organic family farmers whose crops have unfortunately been cross contaminated with monsantos patented superstrains. GMO seeds have a super charged ability to travel far distances and to then cross breed with organic strains. Monsanto can then claim in a court of law that you are growing and selling patented products and sue you.This quick cross breeding is wiping out our natural organic and heirloom varieties of produce.
Heres a little background info on Monsantos Roundup Herbicide http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundup_(herbicide)
We could face potentially disastrous economic consequences and major threats to our domestic and global food supply. By the time scientists confirm whether this can harm animals, or even humans, it may be too late,” said David Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now! “Because GMO seeds encourage the widespread use of Roundup, and these crops are then routinely fed to cattle, hogs, and other livestock all across our country, these recent discoveries raise major concerns about our current food supply. If the Department of Agriculture fails to issue a moratorium on further planting of the recently approved Roundup Ready® GMO alfalfa and sugar beets until we have independent research determining safety for animals and humans, the consequences could be devastating for all sectors of agriculture. In Dr. Huber’s words, this is an ’emergency’.”
Despite Dr. Huber’s warnings, the USDA recently approved two additional Roundup Ready® crops developed by Monsanto – GMO alfalfa, a major forage crop for cattle and other livestock, and GMO sugar beets. Huber warns that if cautionary measures are not taken soon, there could be far-reaching economic, health and food supply issues as the problems are increasing in intensity and becoming more widespread.
Reports from multiple veterinarians, farmers and agricultural consultants in Midwestern states confirm infertility rates in dairy herds of over 20% failing to conceive and up to 45% stillbirths in herds fed crops from fields treated with Roundup. The planting of Roundup Ready® alfalfa increases the potential of animal and human exposure, raising the possibility that it could cause even worse reproductive problems in mammals consuming this feed and the resulting animal products. These new findings about Roundup’s toxicity to soil, animals, and possibly humans are supported by a growing body of scientific evidence from around the world, including several published studies showing that Roundup is an endocrine disrupter and even small amounts can disturb human and rat pregnancies. (http://fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2011/may/1/monsanto-sowing-seeds-disease-and-infertility/)
Most foods we eat may contain ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs)–everything from baby formula and food to our dairy to even our meat. If you live in Europe, avoiding GM foods is easier since laws require labeling. However in the US and Canada food manufacturers are not required to label if their food is genetically modified or not. (wikihow.com)
I’ve contacted Health Canada with a letter of concern as to why Canada, who has required nutritional labeling on all pre packaged foods since 2007 doesn’t require GMO labeling. As a concerned Canadian consumer I feel we deserve the right to know what is in our foods from start to finish. We already require labeling on Organic products lets take it one step further and demand that GMO foods be labeled.
In response to my letter of concern Health Canada replied.
Thank you for contacting Health Canada.
Health Canada’s mandate is to ensure that all novel foods, including those derived from biotechnology (e.g. GM foods), are safe prior to entering the Canadian food supply. The Department rigorously assesses the safety of all biotechnology-derived foods to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Manufacturers or importers are required to submit information to the Department regarding the product in question so that a determination can be made with respect to the product’s safety prior to sale. The safety assessment undertaken is conducted according to Health Canada’s Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Novel Foods Derived from Plants and Microorganisms, which includes those foods developed from genetic modification. The Guidelines are available athttp://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/gmf-agm/pol/index-eng.php.
The Guidelines are based upon scientific principles developed through expert international consultations over the last 10 years with agencies such as the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Non-governmental organizations participated in the development of the international standards and endorsed their adoption. The approach to the safety assessment of biotechnology-derived foods taken by Canada is currently applied by regulatory agencies around the world in countries such as the European Union member states, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the United States.
The safety assessment of a GM food as conducted by Health Canada is a rigorous process that involves a scientific review of how the food was developed, comparison of the compositional and nutritional information with non-modified counterparts, and the potential for the food to be toxic or to contain a toxin or allergen. Scientists with expertise in molecular biology, microbiology, toxicology, chemistry, and nutrition conduct a thorough analysis of the data and of the protocols used to ensure the validity of the results. If in any area of assessment evaluators determine that the data is not sufficient, additional information and/or testing will be requested in order to fully demonstrate the safety of the product. Only when all the scientists evaluating the GM food product agree that there are no safety concerns, will the food be permitted in the Canadian marketplace.
When a GM plant (and the foods derived from it) is approved for sale in the Canadian marketplace, it has been determined, through the scientific data presented to Health Canada, to be as safe as the equivalent non-GM plant from which it was derived. Once a GM plant has been approved for sale it can be used in the same manner as its non-GM counterpart. If you would like to know more about the safety assessment of GM and novel foods, please visit the Novel Foods section page on the Health Canada website at:.http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/gmf-agm/index-eng.php
Health Canada | Santé Canada
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0K9
Telephone | Téléphone 613-957-2991 / Toll free | Sans frais 1 866-225-0709
Facsimile | Télécopieur 613-941-5366 / Teletypewriter | Téléimprimeur 1 800-267-1245
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada
Health Canada feels that these products are safe…but with just ten years of testing!!! Is it really worth the risk? Our land, our people and our future generations need to be protected. I would love to see Canada refuse to import or plant these genetic science experiments, however with monsanto’s millions and government ties that seems like a near impossible task. I started by replying
Thank you very much for your reply. However after several months of research I no longer feel comfortable consuming these products or supporting the companies using them.
“The tests done by the companies are far from conclusive as to the safety of GM crops, either for the environment or for human health. The danger lies in the potential for new viruses and bacteria to be created, and the disruption of genes in animal and human cells. We are biologically creating something that the body’s immune system begins to attack, leading to auto-immune disorders. Nutritionists are discovering that food sensitivities are increasingly coming from traditionally benign foods that could have their source in GM ingredients.”
As most foods in Canada require nutritional labeling and organic products are labeled in accordance with strict regulations it seems only natural that GMO foods would have a labeling requirement as well. As a Canadian consumer it is important to me to buy local organic produce as it supports our farmers and preserves our agricultural lands for future generations. The demand for organic heirloom produce and products is only increasing and is now the fastest growing food industry. Please consider all Canadians wants and needs and label GMO products.