Our friends a The Center For Food Safety have released an updated Shopper’s Guide to Avoiding Genetically Engineered Foods. The guide is helpful because currently United States has no labeling requirements for foods and consumers have no way of knowing if the foods they eat contain or are likely made of genetically engineered ingredients – despite warnings from doctors and scientists that these foods may not be safe in the diet or the environment.
The most widely grown genetically engineered crops, accounting for nearly 99% of the genetically engineered crop acreage in North America, are corn, soy, canola and cotton. Unfortunately, most of what we consume contains one or more of these genetically engineered ingredients. If you are concerned, check the ingredients label – if it contains anyone of the following, then, more likely than not, the food product contains genetically engineered ingredients:
- Corn derived: corn oil, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, corn meal
- Soy derived: soy protein, soy lecithin, soy oil, soy sauce, soy isolate
- Canola derived: canola oil
- Cotton derived: cottonseed oil
As industry pushes its way onto our tables it should not be surprising that more genetically engineered products and/or ingredients will be added to the list in the future. Already, genetically modified wheat and rice have both been approved for commercialization (Monsanto’s GM RoundUp Ready wheat is the closest to commercialization), although right now neither have been planted commercially in the US due to farmer and citizen rejection. And if you like papaya, beware – up to 50% of the papaya grown in Hawaii is genetically modified.
The guide also provides tips on shopping organic and is user friendly as it identifies food brands free of GM and those that are not.
Speak with your money and bon appetit!