Organic Consumers Association

Tell the FDA: GMOs Aren't Natural

Angry consumers who have learned about the dangers of genetic engineering are suing so-called “natural” brands that have been hiding GMOs in their favorite foods.  In an effort to stall the lawsuits, defense lawyers have convinced at least one judge that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), not the courts, should decide whether GMOs are “natural”.

It’s a clever strategy, given that the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods is none other than Monsanto’s former lawyer, Michael Taylor. Whose side do you think the FDA will take?

Please tell the FDA: GMOs aren’t natural!

The FDA says “natural” means “nothing artificial or synthetic … has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.”

Who would guess that food marketed as “natural” contains the engineered genes of insecticide-producing and/or herbicide-resistant bacteria?

Background

Here are the top 10 reasons the GMOs aren’t natural.

1.    Genetic engineering is an imprecise technology. It creates unpredictable changes in the DNA, proteins and biochemical composition of the resulting genetically modified organism (GMO), including unexpected toxic, allergenic and nutritional disturbances.

2.    GMOs are created by using a gene gun to shoot foreign genes into millions of unrelated cells, or by linking the foreign genes to bacteria that can infect the cells’ DNA. Most of the foreign genes won’t make it into the cells’ DNA. When the foreign genes successfully penetrate the cells’ DNA, it is impossible to predict where they will hit or what the unintended consequences will be for the cells’ original genes.

3.    Genetic engineers do not “check their work” to look for potential collateral damage, even though the genetic engineering process can be expected to rearrange, delete or change the function of important genes.

4.    The engineered DNA of GMOs produce new proteins that can be toxic or allergenic. GMO proteins that are relatively benign can still be foreign enough to the body that the human immune system will respond to them as foreign invaders. This can trigger allergic reactions, immune system disorders and digestive problems.

5.    The new genes introduced to the body by genetically engineered foods don’t get broken down during digestion; they can be taken up across the intestinal wall, transferred to the blood, and as one scientist explains, be “left in the blood, muscle and liver in large chunks so that they can be easily recognized.”

6.    The pesticide companies had two main goals when they began to genetically engineer plants. One, to invent novel organisms that could be patented, and two, to sell their insecticides and herbicides.

7.    Over 75 percent of genetically engineered crops have been engineered to resist an herbicide. Foods that contain the herbicide-resistant GMO trait also come with an extra helping of herbicides. Between 1996 and 2011, herbicide-resistant crop technology led to a 527-million pound increase in herbicide use in the U.S.

8.    The most widely grown genetically engineered crop is soy engineered to tolerate Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Roundup causes birth defects in frog and chicken embryos at doses far lower than those used in agricultural spraying. It is also implicated in hormone disruption, DNA damage, cancer and neurological disorders.

9.    Roundup has been detected in air, rain, groundwater, people’s urine and women’s blood.

10.    Bt corn crops are genetically engineered to produce a toxin from the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium that ruptures the intestines of insects, causing pests to die quickly after ingesting the GMO corn. The Bt toxin has been found in 93 percent of pregnant women and 80 percent of their babies.

Please tell the FDA: GMOs aren’t natural!