The Politics Of Food - Penny Lane Blog at - 286378

Penny Lane

The Politics of Food 
Oct. 15, 2012 11:29 am 
Updated: Oct. 31, 2012 6:00 pm

In the past I have written about food safety, fast food and even the highly processed 'food' that packs the freezer cases of our supermarkets.  One subject that I have not really addressed is Genetically Modified food aka GMO's.   

It seems the majority of Americans and Canadians  support labeling of GMO products yet neither Canada or the USA require genetically modified products to be labeled.  

Did you know that all European countries, Japan and even India and China require GMO labeling?  Some countries actual have banned GMO imports. 

GMO seeds are genetically modified plants created by scientists in order to circumvent the laws of nature by way of gene splicing, often they create a whole new species combining genes that have nothing to do with either other.  Not only are they creating untested franken-plants, but the only known medium able to introduce newly created gene strands into a plant's cell, is a virus or bacteria.  So, this newly created plant using genes from any number of plants and/or animals is also being bombarded with viruses and bacteria.

GMO food started showing up on the shelves of our supermarkets in 1996  - the long term consequences of this genetic  tampering is yet to be seen.  I think we have the right to know if we are consuming genetically modified products.  Without required labeling we have absolutely no way of knowing unless we are buying organic. 

Put a label on it and let us decide for ourselves.  

GMOs are not the same as hybrid plants.  There is a misconception that hybrid plants like Better Boy and Early Girl tomatoes are genetically engineered.    Hybrids are developed much like what happens in our backyard gardens through cross pollination.  Plants left to their own devices will cross pollinate with similar plants.  If zucchini and pumpkins are planted close together you very well may end up with 'pumpkinies'.   Those are hybrids much like the Better Boy or Early girl.  The seeds we buy at the big box stores are not genetically modified, they are hybrids.  

Recently I read that scientists are working to create a tomato that will withstand extreme cold by genetically inserting the gene of arctic fish into a tomato.  Last time I checked arctic fish and tomatoes don't naturally cross breed. 


This November California voters have the chance to pass Prop 37 which will require GMO labeling of food sold in California.    If this passes California will be the ONLY state to require GMO labeling.  

The anti-Prop 37  campaign is well funded and the glossy color fliers are arriving in the mail warning us of the evils of Prop 37.  Of course they have done an excellent job of planting the seeds of doubt.  I did a little reading as it seemed odd that noodles from China are exempt while US noodles would require labeling, guess what?  China already requires GMO labeling!  

Take a close look at where the funding comes from and you will understand how much is at stake. 

Monsanto $7,100,500. - ConAgra $1.07 million, Coca-Cola $1.16 million, Nestle $1.17 million, Pepsi $1.72 million, Dow Agrosciences $2 million, Bayer Cropscience $2 million, BASF Plant Science $2 million, DuPont $4.9 million.

Stay tuned for the November 6th results.  

I have already cast my vote.  

As California goes, so does the rest of the nation.    

Oct. 15, 2012 11:47 am
Arctic fish breeding with tomatoes??? Um, yeah...I can totally see that as a natural possibility (can you just feel the sarcasm?). Thank you for this information, B'Nana. I have my vote-by-mail ballot at home and I will definitely be casting my vote in favor of Prop 37!
Oct. 15, 2012 11:51 am
Thanks Keri! and Yes we already have salmon crossed with eel - because eel grow much more quickly than salmon - farm raised then dyed red. Anything is possible. Our government allows this - all I ask is that I be allowed to know what I am purchasing.
Oct. 15, 2012 12:19 pm
Baking Nana,even though i don't live in the States, i agree with what you said.As Keri says fish with tomatoes?What next?
Oct. 15, 2012 12:22 pm
manella - Each country is handling GMO's differently but without a doubt they have established a strong hold in the US and Canada. I think the fox is guarding the hen house.
Oct. 15, 2012 12:37 pm
I agree BN..The Fox has been guarding the Hen House for a long time now. Cant wait for those fish-maters!
Oct. 15, 2012 12:43 pm
Thanks for stopping in Cliff. I don't know about you but I would like to avoid cold resistant arctic fish-maters. If this passes in California other states will follow suit, I am sure. What I would like to know is why the Federal government isn't requiring labeling. In just a mere 16 years GMO corn and soy have taken over the market. We need to wake up and speak with our wallets - without labeling that is virtually impossible.
Oct. 15, 2012 12:46 pm
At least in CA you managed to get it on the ballot. NYS? pfft! couldn't care less. When you buy fresh produce, look at the little label. If it is a 5 digit code it is a GMO. It also tells the country of origin. It is the processed and canned products that are such a mystery (so I do not buy them) but you can be sure most of the HFCS is made with GMO corn. This isn't going to improve either as long as the head of the FDA is a executive of Monsanto. The most recent affront to consumers has been brought by Florida tomato farmers who want Mexican and Canadian produced tomatoes on the vine restricted, because they cut into the sales of the pale, tasteless orbs they try to pass off as tomato. The more we know the better we will be able to make choices.
Oct. 15, 2012 12:47 pm
I believe you are right Baking Nana,labeling is very important,i would like to know excatly what goes in the food iam buying.
Oct. 15, 2012 12:56 pm
I have watched several documentary's about GMO's. . .if you weren't positive that this country is run by big business. . .educate yourself on GMO's. Good blog, B'Nana. I HOPE we get the labeling because the process will continue whether we know about it or not.
Oct. 15, 2012 12:58 pm
The FDA is in SUPPORT of big business, NOT the consumer.
Oct. 15, 2012 1:01 pm
BSM - you hit the nail on the head. When big Argri-Business holds the reins on the USDA, FDA and EPA nothing is going to change. I really appreciate the country of origin labeling, especially for fish and meat. The little 4 or 5 digit code on produce is fine but does not go far enough. Besides, most shoppers don't even know what they are. Label it clearly so we know what we are buying.
Oct. 15, 2012 1:17 pm
Oh blast, I can't find the article I am looking for so I can quote from it. I 100% agree that chemically modified foods should not be in our food chain. Introducing BT, Bacillus thuringiensis, to corn's genetic makeup is not going to help us in the long run. It ISN'T supposed to be there! Engineering a plant over time ( I believe that is the term my article used that I can't find)is something totally different! As you said it means making hybrids, they are the SAME species but slowly traits that didn't work well have been eased out while others added in. When you buy tomato plants and see VFN and VFNT on the label that is what it means. The tomatos that succumbed to the various viruses have been mated with the TOMATO that isn't bothered so that we have a more reliable crop. They aren't mated with beans or corn or anything else but tomatoes. Heirlooms can be susceptible to all kinds of viruses but IMHO we still need them. Some are fussy some are not but they are still important to insure our food sources do not fail. Clean air, clean water, and clean food are the 3 things we all need to exist! I know how I would vote if I lived in CA.
Oct. 15, 2012 1:18 pm
Sorry, Baking Nana. Didn't mean to be so long winded but I feel so deeply about this.
Oct. 15, 2012 1:20 pm
Lady Sparkle - Mandatory labeling is the ONLY way we will even begin to have a choice. I applaud the grassroots group that got this on the ballot. Not an easy task, for sure. Look at the money that is going towards defeating this. GMOs have been unknowingly foisted on us, at least we should have the right to know and choose.
Oct. 15, 2012 1:37 pm
Hi Cat. You and I have had this conversation before, I too have very strong feelings about genetically engineered food be it seeds or salmon. Heirloom seeds are important but hybrid plants have their place in providing a sustainable crop. I really think it is an important distinction between the two. Hybrids are more like natures survival of the fittest. If California manages to pass this labeling requirement it will be a step in the right direction.
Oct. 15, 2012 1:41 pm
I want me some GMO, All them there virus and bacteria sound Yummy.
Oct. 15, 2012 1:43 pm
BTW - I didn't even get into the issue of Terminator seed. This is really scary stuff. "Terminator technology refers to plants that have been genetically modified to render sterile seeds at harvest – it is also called Genetic Use Restriction Technology or GURTS. Terminator technology was developed by the multinational seed/agrochemical industry to prevent farmers from saving and re-planting harvested seed. Terminator has not yet been commercialized or field-tested but tests are currently being conducted in greenhouses in the United States & Canada."
Oct. 15, 2012 1:48 pm
Yes, but though they may not be able to use Terminator tech. . .they DO stipulate that farmers who by GMO seed CANNOT save seed. This has caused issue through cross pollination (of which there is no control. . .YET) Farmers have lost everything (their farms) by saving cross pollinated seed.
Oct. 15, 2012 1:50 pm
Oct. 15, 2012 1:54 pm
Lady Sparkle - the issue with cross pollination is huge. Personally, I think the farmers whose crops were contaminated by GMO crops should have had the right to sue not the other way around. It is unthinkable to me that this actually happens. It just makes my blood boil. What is that expression? "Don't mess with Mother Nature!"
Oct. 15, 2012 1:56 pm
King Sparta - I never really know how to respond to you. You have a different sense of least I hope you are joking.
Oct. 15, 2012 1:57 pm
Thanks, BN, for your research into this. I with I weren't so cynical, but some people will probably have to die before any real regulation is enacted. This is a riveting story.
Oct. 15, 2012 2:16 pm
Hi Bibi. I know we were talking about this when we were in Seattle. I hope the voters here in California are smart enough to not fall for the spin the No on Prop 37 group is dishing out. There some pretty slick ads out there. I, like you, fear they many people will suffer, as will our food supply before real regulation is then, I hope it isn't too late.
Oct. 15, 2012 3:06 pm
BN I was being sarcastic bout the fish-maters. :)
Oct. 15, 2012 3:11 pm
I know you were, Cliff G. :) I just can't imagine what they are going to come up with next.
Oct. 15, 2012 4:18 pm
I don't know how to respond to this argument, Baking Nana. I do not like bioscience or chemistry messing with our food and secretly shoving it into our diet. On the flip side, it's this very research that is making it possible to feed millions of souls who would, otherwise, suffer hunger pain. I would be positivly for the labeling of all GMO food but cautiously negative about banning GMO without solid evidence as to any harm it causes.
Oct. 15, 2012 4:23 pm
Mike, we can feed the world with hydroponics (another political/$$$ driven controversy). . .genetically engineering seed to be pest resistant is causing super bugs. Third world countries don't WANT GMO seed because they can't save the seed for next season's crop.
Oct. 15, 2012 4:31 pm
Great blog Nana, I have for several years now been signing petitions on-line that call for GMO labeling. We as consumers have the absolute right to know what is in the food that we buy. I have even shared articles with my doctor on this subject. Hopefully something will come of this in California and then, maybe, the rest of the country. I would like to respond also to Mike Harvey on this subject. I have no problem with the science I just want to have the choice to either use it or not. Unfortunately, big business will not give us that choice because it means that their profits will be eroded. In my opinion only in the short term. Remember it was not so long ago that we could not buy organic food until, we stopped buying the fruits and veggies in the stores and started using farmers markets where we knew where our food came from and that no chemicals were used to produce them. Now it is big business. The big companies should be less short sighted and see that labeling may make them money not cost them. Sorry I am rambling but it is an issue for me. Thanks for posting on this subject.
Oct. 15, 2012 5:00 pm
Yes I was Kidding, I think it is a bit of politics and money. I feel if we put it in our body we should know what it is. but lets not stop with food, the FDA is also responsible for drugs, some good some not so good. the other issue is all these pills shown on TV like weight loss, Prostrate pills, Testosterone Pills. That the FDA says it is not responsible for but the politics, and money that changes hands I am sure to allow crooks to sell this pills as long as they have a disclaimer, and note the small print "These Results Are Not Typical". Billions of dollars are basically stolen from people who don't know better, or the chance of taking this pill full of saw dust will help them. The fleecing of American people is well in the USA. Note that in Mexico it is Illegal for these companies to sell there worthless pills. They allow companies to sell cancer sticks, why money. To finish Finely textured beef should be on hamburger labels to include the word "Slime". We now return control of your computer back to you.
Oct. 15, 2012 6:15 pm
campergramma - I do not understand why people don't revolt against inbred pesticides and to think, we don't even get a choice! Label it! Give us a chance to speak with our $$$.
Oct. 15, 2012 6:22 pm
Mike - If these products are safe then what is the harm in labeling them and letting consumers make their own decisions? I am not convinced they are safe. As for GMO crops feeding the world, they are also creating super weeds, that can't be killed - who knows what they are doing to the people and animals that eat them. So label these products and let us make a choice. Have you seen how many Organic products there are at Costco? Why? Because the demand is there. There is a way to feed this hungry world and it doesn't have to include corn that carries it's own pesticide. At least I can attempt to wash off sprayed pesticide, not so with GMOs.
Oct. 15, 2012 6:32 pm
pelicangal - you and I are standing on the same soap box. The opponents of Prop 37 say it will raise food prices, it will be hard for farmers to sell to different states. So, label them for all states - not just California. Most of the rise in food cost will result from law suits - who gets rich there? Indeed it would be better for producers if this was a Federal mandate - but the Federal Government is not going to do a thing. It is time for each State to stand up and say, "This is what we want! Give us a chance to choose!" BTW - if this passes it will not go into effect until 2014. I wonder how many lawsuits will be filed between now and then to block the implementation of this law? As of the end of Sept. the Yes on 37 campaign has raised $4 million. The No of 37 had raised $35 million. That is a lot of corn!
Oct. 15, 2012 6:33 pm
King Sparta I have been ranting about slime for so long that my friends are afraid to serve me ground beef. I know my sources and buy from reliable suppliers. I agree, we have a right to know.
Oct. 15, 2012 7:01 pm
Awesome blog! Thanks for bringing it up...this is important stuff here! There isn't enough information about what GMOs do to our bodies...but judging by the increase in health issues, I think it's no contest. We should not be force-fed the unknown when it may be a danger. I am absolutely Yes on 37! We deserve the right to know and the right to choose!
Oct. 15, 2012 7:20 pm
I absolutely agree with everything you've said! We SHOULD know what we have on the shelves of the grocery stores! I think a good example of knowing what's good for you lies in the fact that as you get to know good food, you spend very little time going up and down the aisles of the store----you mostly pick from the outer parts---dairy, meat, produce. In those areas particularly we absolutely MUST know what we are getting. MUST! Can't say that strongly enough. But do I sometimes venture into the aisles? Of course! (I'm a sugar lover, too......sadly). But let us know what we are buying.
Oct. 15, 2012 7:26 pm
Yes, we are so on the same page, Baking Nana! Those terminators are the ones that will "kill us all". They do not exist in nature! And what will they do to the organic farmer who does garden with heirlooms? To some preserving their past thru seeds and plants is important. When will we ever learn we are all on one planet looking at the same sun and the same moon?
Oct. 15, 2012 7:51 pm
Hi ~lissa~ Thanks for your input. We have no idea what these genetically engineered products are doing to us - long term, 16 years is not a long time and yet we are seeing a rise in various health issues. 16 years is my grandkids entire life - that is scary. Have their parents had a choice? No! Could they have avoided them? No! Can labeling help people make a choice, Yes! Unlike Europe, we are not going to eliminate GMOs but we deserve the right to choose. Another thing, as much as we all gripe about inferior products from China - they already require GMO labeling. How sad it that?
Oct. 15, 2012 8:01 pm
Marianne - you are so right - shopping the perimeter of the store is a great start! I rarely venture up and down the aisles like I used to do. But when I was a young mother - I did and I didn't think twice about it. If California manages to pass this labeling law we will see a change Nation wide. Our food supply is at stake, people need to KNOW what they are buying. I am not an activist - I am a mom and grandma that wants the right to choose. I buy organic when I can but not always. We deserve to know what our food is made of and where it comes from.
Oct. 15, 2012 8:07 pm
Cat - do you know which of my tomatoes did best this year? The volunteers - the ones I did not plant but sprouted from the remains of the compost pile. Survival of the fittest at it's best. Monsanto says that Terminator seeds are not commercially available - but notice they don't say they are under development. It is about time that we wake up. Labeling is just the tip of the iceberg.
Oct. 15, 2012 8:26 pm
I can't grow tomatoes to save my soul, but from my compost pile came the very best ones that I didn't know I would get!
Oct. 15, 2012 8:42 pm
Marianne - don't you just love those survivors? I call them pleasant surprises. Survival of the fittest!
Oct. 15, 2012 9:58 pm
Well BN, Those ads did get me a bit scart, I was holy prepared vote No, but if you have vetted this situation and you and others are Way more informed then me, I will vote Yes also! Thanks so much for the info!
Oct. 15, 2012 10:14 pm
Thank you Patty. There will be an onslaught of ads in the next few weeks - the stakes are high with this one, for sure. Please spread the word. We have a right to know what our food is made from.
Oct. 16, 2012 12:24 am
I first became aware of GMO's purely by accident- for one, health issues required some major dietary changes for my boyfriend and for another, I don't have a lot of money, and green thumb or not, I was determined to plant a successful garden this year to help with food costs. When I first ran across the GMO issue, I blew it off as yet another eggs-are-going-to-kill-you-oh-wait-eggs-are-a-super-health-food debacle. However the more research I did the more I realized what a huge and scary situation we as consumers find ourselves in. I became positively outraged as I clawed away more and more of the wool that has been thrown over my eyes. Placing one's trust in the FDA is misguided at best, I have learned. I agree that 16 years is not nearly enough time to determine the effects these modified, unnatural foods will have. I have read some studies that have shown the results of animal testing in which they were subjected to large quantities of genetically altered food- and that is downright terrifying! Yes, I realize one must take these sorts of experiments with a grain of salt...still, as you point out, I WANT A CHOICE! And I can not make an educated choice without being informed! In the past I have often been one to bury my head in the sand, preferring the "if it tastes good and is convenient, I don't want to know" mentality. But no more. I sure hope we are going to see some changes and soon. We most definitely have the right to know what we are eating. In the meantime, I have armed myself with what knowledge I can gather on the topic and shop as best I can. And that garden? I found with a little patience and some hard work, I CAN successfully grow my own food. And I loved every minute of much so, we are working on building a climate controlled greenhouse, so we can grow year round. Great blog BN- thank you :)
Oct. 16, 2012 12:25 am
Wow! I didn't realize how long that was until I posted it! Sorry BN! I guess it is a hot topic issue for me too!
Oct. 16, 2012 5:35 am
Type away Puck! Like you, I want a choice. It is going to be interesting to see what scare tactics will be used in the coming weeks to defeat this. Congratulations on your garden, I hope you get that green house.
Deb C 
Oct. 16, 2012 6:07 am
Great blog! It’s all about corporations’ profits. Air quality, food quality, water quality are expendable if they get in the way of profit. Unfortunately, there are a lot of uninformed people who buy into the corporations’ propaganda. Look at how they fight against global warming. There are a lot of people who don’t believe it exists despite scientists’ warnings. People will only care when it interferes with their television reception. I totally agree that farmers whose crops were contaminated by GMO crops should have had the right to sue. I’m disheartened that many people care more about money than they do a healthier world.
Oct. 16, 2012 6:45 am
I read your blog with great interest, BN. I hope Prop 37 passes there, and that many other states will follow suit. I've been shopping almost exclusively at my local natural foods market because they do their best to not stock GMO foods. Of course, with labeling not required, it's almost impossible to avoid completely. Glad you also pointed out the difference between GMO and hybridized plants. My backyard plants are free to cross if they so choose, but I do NOT want to eat an ear of corn that's been modified to withstand applications of Monsanto's Roundup! I must buy my edamame from my natural foods store who gets it imported from Asia because the US market is dominated by the GMO stuff. If you are a small farmer who grows non-GMO soybeans, Monsanto is going to put you out of business. And I'm not being paranoid....I've seen this happen in the area I grew up in. It's time for the FDA to start doing their job of ensuring food safety and stop allowing agri-business to call the shots! Ok, now I've really gotten on my soapbox this morning...can you tell this is a subject I feel very strongly about?? Thanks for allowing the rant, BN. : )
Oct. 16, 2012 6:49 am
Good morning Deb C. The scare tactic that seems to be working is the threat of increased food costs. In actuality it isn't the cost of the labeling itself but the cost of the law suits that will ensue if the products are not labeled correctly. In doing some research on GMOs it occurred to me that what I was reading sounded like a science fiction novel. The problem of course is that it isn't fiction.
Oct. 16, 2012 7:59 am
Oct. 16, 2012 8:00 am
An interesting Op/Ed piece by Michael Polen.
Oct. 16, 2012 8:35 am
B'Nana, thanks so much for posting the info. This is one of my soap boxes as well. Really wish we could get something on the ballot here in Louisiana, but we tend to be one of the last states to accept something quite this "progressive". I'm hoping and praying Cali votes yes- then at least other states will begin considering it.
Oct. 16, 2012 9:40 am
Hi Amanda. I am quite certain that 'they' are putting so much effort and $$$ into defeating this because it will spread. "Darned those California rebels!" This really should be National reform and not State by State. I will be glad to share my soap box with you!
Oct. 16, 2012 10:22 am
This is a great scientific research article on GMO. I support the labeling of GMO foods so that people can make informed decisions. However, we should ultimately rely on sound science to decide for ourselves whether GMOs are good or bad. I find the 3rd paragraph on page 209 particularly interesting. []
Oct. 16, 2012 11:04 am
Thanks for the link, merlion. I will check it out.
Oct. 16, 2012 11:13 am
Oooh, I should be working in the garden but I had to stop in and read the comments. I grow organic for my own reasons and I do things the hard way some days but when I hear a farmer saying that he has to use more herbicides every year to kill off his fields before he plants the Monsanto seed, I have to wonder what does that do overall to the ground, to him, to us? One year the corporate farm across from me sprayed before planting in the Spring when the wind was blowing my way. All the plantains (it is considered a weed) crisped to a brown in my pasture and I found dead robins, the first birds of Spring.
Oct. 16, 2012 11:42 am
Oh Cat, that is terrible. The pesticides, herbicides, super seeds - it is a slippery slope, isn't it? Birds, fish and yes - people are impacted. The over use of herbicides has created super weeds - nature will adapt to deal with these things.
Oct. 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Let us know if the prop passed, Baking Nana. I am very interested to hear the outcome. Wisconsin, unfortunately, is not very progressive, but hopefully California will lead the way for this one!
Oct. 16, 2012 12:51 pm
I downloaded the link that merlion provided and I am better educated- somewhat. I did not thoroughly read the report, but the information is concise in spite of it being a science based publication. Near the end of the document, it was noted that providers of GMO foods pulled their supplies from the retail shelves when GMO labeling was required. No particular reason is given so the act is wide open for any interpretation. I will study the document soon. Perhaps, you would re-introduce this discussion at some later date? ... Like Cat, I do not use any pesticides or chemical based soil enhancers or weed control. Instead, a working knowledge of the plants and soil and not being afraid of sweat and dirt, will cause you to grow a bountiful crop of healthy produce.
Oct. 16, 2012 12:54 pm
I forgot to mention in either of my comments, that some growers are adding "Non GMO produce" somewhere on their package. I have seen it near the net weight or near the description of contents. You have to look for it.
Oct. 16, 2012 1:17 pm
BN: Thanks for the education. I promptly checked my withering tomato plants in the front yard. Thankfully, they haven't sprouted dorsal fins or scales! Considering the old adage, "You are what you eat," seems to me we have the right to know.
Oct. 16, 2012 4:28 pm
This is another website worth looking into... []
Oct. 17, 2012 9:39 am
wisweetp - I will let you know what happens for sure. Of course if it passes the battle will continue.
Oct. 17, 2012 9:40 am
Mike Harvey - I too have more reading to do. Thanks merlion for the other link - I will check it out.
Oct. 17, 2012 9:41 am
bikerfamily - Glad your tomatoes aren't swimming away. :) We are indeed what we eat, I would like to at least have a choice.
Oct. 17, 2012 9:42 am
Thank you campergramma. If you get a chance Dr. Oz has a show on today, Oct 17th regarding GMOs. I have it set to record.
Oct. 17, 2012 12:45 pm
This is very interesting and brings to mind a two word warning: soylent green. Keep fighting the good fight, Penny.
Oct. 17, 2012 4:30 pm
Wow, janet7th! Those words have been haunting me lately, too! I can understand how this blog made you thing of it.
Oct. 17, 2012 5:37 pm
I had not yet read your blog, and was able to catch a few minutes of Dr Oz before work this afternoon - and caught bits and pieces of this very discussion. The arguements were interesting, cost being one of them. Cost of labeling - separate labels for CA and other states that would not require labeling if Prop 37 passes. So food prices would be impacted. Huh? Why not just label EVERYTHING? Less complicated . . . Or does that make too much sense? Yikes!
Oct. 17, 2012 5:38 pm
[How funny! As I clicked "post," I saw your comment about Dr Oz (=]
Oct. 17, 2012 6:19 pm
Janet and Mike - I can't help thinking of Soylent Green, not to mention George Orwell's 1984 - seemed impossible - now it is reality.
Oct. 17, 2012 6:24 pm
Barb - I have yet to watch the Dr. Oz show - I recorded it though. Gosh - "they" would not want to label food for other states, GMO, would they....that might open up a can of worms. It is a shame that the Federal Government is not addressing this on a National level instead of each State enacting their own regulations. I am not waiting for that to happen - I am voting YES and hoping for the best.
Oct. 17, 2012 8:40 pm
I said that wrong, but I think you got my point (= Why not just label EVERYTHING, instead of having separate labeling for CA if 37 passes - which supposedly will drive up the cost of our food . . .
Oct. 17, 2012 9:13 pm
That would make too much sense Barb.
Oct. 17, 2012 10:12 pm
~nods head emphatically~ (=
Oct. 17, 2012 10:34 pm
I am not in favor of buying organic groceries much of the time - because if you are going to peel your produce, [in general] you will remove the pesticides. However, there are certain items where it makes sense [i.e berries]. One of the comments that Dr Oz made today is that if you are concerned about whether or not your food is genetically modified, to buy organic - because organics are NOT modified, and they are regulated by the FDA.
Oct. 18, 2012 7:03 am
Good morning Barb. Buying organic is an answer but out of reach for a lot of people. Example: My friend raises chickens & sells eggs. The chickens are free range but she can't afford to buy the non GMO feed at $50 + a bag - therefore she can't call her eggs organic and she certainly cannot afford the organic certification. Most of the processed organic products are actually owned by the same companies that manufacture the GMO stuff.
Oct. 18, 2012 8:12 am
Thank you so much for bringing up this topic, Baking Nana! I read Seeds of Deception a few years ago and was absolutely horrified. If you are on the fence about this issue, just read the book. As to being able to peel away pesticides, unfortunately that is not true in most if not all cases. The soil itself, along with the seeds, is often treated before planting. The seeds then get a second dose and of course the plants are sprayed as they mature. You can't rinse or peel off the pesticides that have been absorbed by the plant as it grows. You would not smoke nor drink when pregnant these days; we know whatever the mother takes in ends up in the fetus. It's the same problem...produce like potatoes that are not organically grown, is "nurtured" by pesticides at every stage. Do any of us really think it's not worth the extra money to keep those poisons out of our and our kids' bodies? Again, thank you for bringing up this so very important topic.
Oct. 18, 2012 9:51 am
Wow, Soylent Green was the first thing I thought of. I also wondered what kind of feed my 4 girls are getting, they are getting healthy scraps but where does my corn come from? I know their eggs are better because they don't upset my stomach like storebought. KAT's statement is why I work so hard in the garden. I believe what goes in the soil the plant absorbs and so on. I even watch using the horses manure for compost if they have had shots. Let's hope things do get changed and organic food becames the norm and more affordable to ALL!
Oct. 18, 2012 11:17 am
Hi KATSINTHEKITCHEN - It was reading Animal Vegetable Miracle that was so inspiring for me. You make a valid point, if people can afford the best, newest, latest gadgets (IPhones etc...) they could certainly choose to purchase organic - it is a matter of priorities much of the time. Of course that is not true in all cases. Many people I talk to really don't understand GMOs. Another thing - look how many people are going Gluten Free to help combat health issues - wheat is not currently genetically modified, but corn is. I think, but have no proof what so ever, that the increase of health issues - even in children may very well be tied to GMO's - especially corn. Like I said, just my opinion but eating Round Up resistant / pesticide laden anything just can't be good.
Oct. 18, 2012 11:23 am
Cat Hill - my friend was so discouraged over the price of non GMO chicken feed. In order to get non GMO feed means buying organic feed and at $50 a bag, she just can't do it. Her hens do free range and get lots of good stuff to eat but she has lots of hens. No wonder organic eggs are so darned expensive. BTW - she does have to most amazing organic garden and grows a lot of food just for her hens. GMOs are not going to go away but darn it, we have a right to know what our food is made of.
Oct. 18, 2012 11:36 am
More interesting reading...
Oct. 18, 2012 11:44 am
The more I read, the more angry I get. The link above is very enlightening and easy to understand.
Oct. 18, 2012 12:49 pm
Many scientists have spent many years of their lives to create agricultural produce that can withstand diseases that result in massive crop failures. Their intent is to create a reliable food source for the world's increasing population, as well as making commerial agriculture a sustainable practice. Take the recent drought for example, the low yields have resulted in higher food prices. People in developed countries are able to buy one less iPhone to manage their budget, but what about people from third world countries? As it is, they are already spending 75% of their income on food - not bacon, but staples. We can argue about the effects of GM foods on our bodies while people from these poor countries die of hunger and malnutrition. If the argument is that Monsanto is making money off of these GMOs with scant regard for the welfare of people, then it would likewise be fair to say that Jeffrey Smith is making money off of his international bestsellers with scant regard for the welfare of the poorest people alive. I will gladly eat a properly labelled drought-resistant corn if that means that the farmers in Ethiopia do not have to sell their animals to pay for food for their families when their crop dies from a drought. Afterall, they weren't the ones causing climate change, but are the ones who would actually pay with their lives for it.
Oct. 18, 2012 1:07 pm
merlion - I think you are assuming that GMO crops actually increase yeild. From what I have read that is not the case. "Supporters of GE crops say that without them we won't be able to feed the world, but Pat Trask disagrees. He's a South Dakota farmer who explains, "That's flat contrary to independent studies showing that GE crops don't increase yields, they just increase pesticides." Also - "GE contamination hurts conventional farmers too. A prime example occurred in 2000, when genes from Aventis’ StarLink GE corn showed up unexpectedly in the nation’s food supply and U.S. export markets. While StarLink corn only represented 1% of planted corn acreage, it ultimately contaminated at least 25% of the harvest that year.[2] Traces of StarLink corn also showed up in taco shells, even though the variety wasn’t approved for human consumption."
Oct. 18, 2012 1:14 pm
In addition, I have trouble believing that the poor and starving people of the world could even afford Monsanto's GM seed as it is very expensive and tightly controlled. Sounds like a noble cause though. I am not against anyone making money, we all strive to make a living and to be compensated for our efforts - but allow the consumers the choice. If GMOs are indeed harmless, put a label on the package and let us make our own choices.
Oct. 18, 2012 3:00 pm
I did make that assumption... but I guess for every study that supports GMOs there would be 1 that disproves it and vice-versa. I'm not sure if there ever will be a final verdict on this... Kinda reminds me of the immunization debates... In any case, I think that people (including myself) should do research on both sides and decide for themselves. This is what is out there for yields on drought-resistant corn : [], []
Oct. 18, 2012 3:38 pm
Thanks merlion. I will read your links. Please understand that I really DO appreciate your input. There are many facets of this issue - many which we have not even touched on.
Oct. 18, 2012 4:26 pm
Thank YOU! I agree with you too that there are so many implications to this that we cannot even begin to fathom. I suppose we can only take one step at a time and labeling is just one of those steps.
Oct. 18, 2012 6:03 pm
Thank you, merlion - I know you care, are reading and are informed - there is so much to consider. What bothers we most is that we, as a whole, should have taken this first step together, 20 years ago. Labeling seems like a logically first step - seems simple, but it is not. Truth in advertising?
Oct. 19, 2012 6:25 am
@Baking Nana - salmon crossed with eel? I've never heard of this - how can one tell if the salmon you are purchasing is salmon crossed with eel? Thanks!
Oct. 19, 2012 6:43 am
jmart - if you purchase wild caught salmon you are fine. Farm raised salmon, even if it is not the variety that is crossed with eel, wild salmon get their color from eating krill, farm raised salmon are fed a red dyed diet to achieve that salmon color.
Oct. 19, 2012 6:49 am
jmart - google AquAdvantage salmon. It is currently not on the market pending FDA approval.
Oct. 19, 2012 11:03 am
I would like to add that the current proposed legislation in my state of California is to label GMOs, not ban them. We have every right to know what we are feeding ourselves and our children and grandchildren. When I buy certain produce items I make sure there is a 9 at the beginning of the code on the sticker or the price label. That indicates it is organic (which by law cannot be or contain GMO ingredients) and I am confident in what I'm choosing to spend my money on. I want and deserve, as do we all, the same identification when it comes to GMO food. Put a G in front of the code and then I will know whether I want to buy the organic corn or the corn on sale. No one should have a problem with that regardless of your stance on GMO foods in general.
Oct. 19, 2012 11:22 am
I couldn't agree more Kat. In general the fresh produce is easy to figure out it is the processed foods where the GMOs are hiding. Why in the world should we not be able to choose for ourselves? Label It!
Oct. 19, 2012 12:30 pm
R U KIDDING ME!? Farm raised salmon are fed red dye to make them pink. I thought farm raised weren't good because of the pesticides and fertlizers found in their waters. A friend of mine said they found red dye to be one of the causes for their child's violent mood swings. Poor kid had to got thru all kinds of tests before they figured that out. During the tests these people were told red dye caused all kinds of problems for various people. Wow! Thanks for sharing that with me. I did not know that. The eel thing I did know about.
Oct. 19, 2012 1:17 pm
Farm raised salmon live in disgusting water. They aren't the only farm raised fish to suffer this fate but salmon are either fed red dyed food or injected with red dye. I don't know about the rest of the country but in CA it has to say farm raised and if dye has been added. Oddly, I don't think they have to disclose the dye if they are fed the red dyed food.
Oct. 19, 2012 1:19 pm
Oct. 19, 2012 1:53 pm
Very good information - thanks everyone!
Oct. 19, 2012 3:23 pm
jmart - you are welcome. Stop in again sometime. :)
Oct. 19, 2012 3:41 pm
I think big agra is getting very nervous what with all this "eat local" and "farm-to-table" buzz but the reality is that processed and farm-factoried food is very unhealthy for the consumer, the animals and the planet itself. Of course we cannot all grow and raise our own food but there has to be some kind of happy medium, and this is why organics and farmer's markets and food labeling have been so instrumental in getting people to become aware of the food and nutrients, or lack thereof, they are taking in at every meal. It's all connected and when the big companies band together to stop sensible legislation the only plausible explanation is that they do not want us to know. How pervasive IS GMO food? Nearly all corn and soybeans are GMO but beyond that, I have no idea. And that's why this legislation is so important. I truly hope it passes and encourage my fellow Californians to vote yes on prop 37. I don't wish to use AR as a political forum but this is really about our daily food and what is more important, I say again, than what we feed ourselves and those in our care?
Oct. 19, 2012 8:44 pm
Kat - despite the name of this blog, this really is not about politics - this is about our food supply. The same company that assured us that Agent Orange was safe is now asking us to believe that their GMO's are safe AND they feel compelled to keep it what products contain GMOs a secret. Knowledge is power - 'they' would prefer an ignorant consumer base. We deserve to know & not guess. Label it and let us choose!
Oct. 19, 2012 9:58 pm
Baking Nana, you are totally correct and I support you and applaud you for bringing this issue to light and making people aware. What a wonderful resource we have here on AR and I am so glad to be a part of it. Let's hope the legislation passes in spite of the big guns against it. I suspect it will, and then all the predictive threats of dire consequences will vanish when everyone realizes that all that happened in the end is that the consumer finally had the information he/she needed to make a choice based on fact and not speculation. I remember how hard they kicked when the issue of labeling trans fat content was legislated. In the end, they all took a nice big tax write-off for having to re-formulate and/or re-label their products and the consumer finally had at least a glimmer of information regarding partially-hydrogenated oils in their daily diets. OK; I'm off my soapbox. Thank you again for a wonderful topic!
Oct. 20, 2012 6:58 am
Climbing back on my soap box - the latest ads on radio, TV and mailers indicate that the FDA is against Prop 37 & labeling where the truth is the FDA has not issued a statement regarding Prop 37. A statement from the FDA: "The FDA has not made such statements with respect to Prop 37," wrote FDA spokeswoman Morgan Liscinsky in an email. "We cannot speculate on Prop 37 and have no comments at this time." Yet the NO of 37 folks are using the FDA's official seal in their ads. Unlike you Kat, I am not sure this will pass or not. Sigh.....
Oct. 20, 2012 8:50 am
BN-I have enjoyed your blog very mind blowing. I was reading about Franken-wheat -wheat is altered to make a hardier wheat. I know I can't grow my own wheat. However, what are the alternatives? Maybe this is why so many people are have gluten issues.
Oct. 20, 2012 9:16 am
If the Republicans win the election, they have announced they will begin to "De-regulate" which doesn't sound at all good for us consumers.
Oct. 20, 2012 9:39 am
Hi Lela - Interesting reading there. I was reading, just this morning about dwarf wheat. GMO wheat to not currently on the market but this hybrid dwarf wheat is. What I was actually thinking is - many people are going gluten free and therefore eating a lot more corn products, 90% of which are genetically modified. I wonder what the impact of that will be. Hmmmm..... lots of food for thought.
Oct. 20, 2012 9:42 am
Judy Lew - believe me it doesn't matter if the republicans or the democrates win. Deregulation has already begun. This from 2011
Oct. 20, 2012 9:45 am
BTW - in 2007 candidate Obama promised that labeling of GMO products would be one of the first things he would enact. Like many other things, I think he found out, once he was in office, it isn't as simple as it would seem.
Oct. 20, 2012 10:18 am
Candidate Obama broke all his promises. He had a full Democratic House and Senate for Two years. It WOULD have been easy, but his promises were all empty and never intended to be honored, e.g., Close Gitmo, End the War (70% of all soldiers killed in Afghanistan and 66% of all money spent since 2001 on the war have been under Obama. As a Consumer, I will vote for a change and will Vote for someone who allows me to use my own good judgment, good sense, and respect others to do the same without expecting the Government or vacuous politicians to "warn" or "take care of" me. Our Grandparents didn't need the Government to tell them what or how to eat. Neither do we.
Oct. 20, 2012 10:45 am
kady - As I have said before, this isn't a partisan problem. Believe me when I say that big agribusiness gives equally to both parties. It is very easy for a candidate to make big promises until they are in office. I would like to think all of our representatives would be looking out for the safety and welfare of the entire country. We are all 'eaters' - but big money rules. I don't want government to 'take care of me' - I do expect more transparency when it comes to the food supply. Our grandparents weren't being sold GMO products and not being told about it. I am not asking for a ban on GMO - I can buy organic if I want - I am asking that products containing GMOs be labeled as such. Allow us the choice. Knowledge is power.
Oct. 20, 2012 12:21 pm
Pass that law in California, so it can filter its way to the rest of the country. People should get to decide what they are eating!
Oct. 20, 2012 12:40 pm
I sure hope it passes Elissa. This is really a grassroots effort. Yes on 37 has raised about $4 million - No on 37 has raised over $34 million. It is up to the people to spread the word and demand labeling. I will report back and do another blog after the election. Thanks for stopping in.
Oct. 21, 2012 2:37 pm
In the video, political comedian, Bill Maher discusses GMOs and Proposition 37 with Gary Hirshberg of Just Label it, on "Real Time with Bill Maher."
Oct. 21, 2012 2:37 pm
Oct. 21, 2012 3:02 pm
This is a huge issue for me and I can only hope that the people decide in their best interest in favor of labeling GMO's. While my family lives in Florida, I really hope that the labeling trickles to the rest of the country. Here in Florida we are working on our own legislation, which is also a true grassroots effort. People can call the measure "anti science" all they want. I don't really care, I don't people messing with MY food, so I NEED to know what I am buying. Since voting will our wallet is all we can really do at this time, we have switched to ALL organic produce and processed foods, and pretty much have gotten rid of most of our processed foods in the process. We still buy stuff like organic tortillas, etc. When I found out about GMO's and what was going on in our food system, oh man, it was like cold turkey, throwing out most things in the pantry and fridge, and even going vegetarian. I was so clueless back then (and it was really just a year ago) and I can definitely see that there are A LOT of people out there as ignorant as I was. I truly hope the label gets people questioning this stuff as I did and not buy it. Sigh, I feel so helpless sometimes!
Oct. 21, 2012 3:03 pm
p.s. tell your .net developers to put in line breaks or paragraphs in these comment strings! My comment looks all run together.
Oct. 21, 2012 3:18 pm
Thanks for your comments Alison - first, I agree about the formatting here on AllRecipes - believe me they have heard about it - still I prefer to blog here than on blogger etc... so I will continue.
Oct. 21, 2012 3:24 pm
Now, onto your comments - I, like you, didn't see GMO food sneaking up on us - why would we? They weren't label and seemed the 'norm' - my friends are probably sick of me - so be it. I will keep preaching and trying to educate in the nicest way possible. Don't even get me started on the "Farm Bill" subsidizing commodity crops such as corn - it is what keep sodas and twinkies et al.. so cheap. Sigh... this is a huge subject, isn't it?
Oct. 21, 2012 6:34 pm
BTW - did you know that GMO seeds are registered with the EPA along with pesticides? Interesing info here -
Oct. 22, 2012 6:51 am
Here is a link to a great video - a must watch.
Oct. 22, 2012 9:25 pm
Sorry but I agree with Mike,I am all for labeling IF it is done for information and NOT to exclude something. I want to make my own choices and beleive that everyone should have that oppurtunity. I am involved in agriculture and too often I see regulation that is imposed on farmers without knowledge of what is the impact down the line. GMO's are not all about pesticides and franken food, these are the extremes that I agree should NOT be happening and there are large multinational corps driving this train. HOWEVER, there have advances brought on by GMO's that have helped 3rd world hunger and nutritional deficit problems. As with anything taking a side on the extreme of any issue leaves no room for the cases of benefit. Give us labeling rules that benefit and educate the consumer...
Oct. 23, 2012 3:46 am
Oh gosh, don't be sorry Diana. I, like you want labeling. I am not asking for a ban of GMOs I just want to know what I am actually purchasing and consuming. You are right, big argibusiness is driving this train and I doubt if they have the welfare of the average farmer or the consumer in mind. Prop 37 is asking for labeling, period.
Oct. 27, 2012 8:08 am
I know you have repeated that this is NOT about politics.....but actually it is. Folks who are concerned about this need to go after the legislators who are bought by the corporations who are looking out for their bottom line....and NOT ours. Here is a list of the candidates in congress and the senate and the monies that Monsanto has spent for their favors. I suggest that you look up your reps on this list and if they are taking bucks.....write them, call them. Even better vote them OUT! Spread the word that we will NOT tolerate our right to know what is in our food supply
Oct. 27, 2012 10:19 am
As the voters decide whether GMO labeling is a valid demand from consumers, consider other health risks that we as Americans are not informed of, nor protected from. My husband taught in Onalaska WA for 30 years. (we NEVER lived there). Several years back that tiny school district (highschool graduates 50 to 75 kids a year) had a cluster of brain tumors in children in that tiny little town. It was common for my husband to have at least one child with brain cancer in his classroom. Eventually the Center for Disease Control was brought in at the insistence of some residents who were concerned. Unfortunately, their were so many chemicals dumped in the town mill pond that they could not enter a distinct link to this cluster of cancers. At that point, Onalaska had the the highest rate of childhood brain cancers per capita in the world. My husband and I were both born and raised in Olympia WA. Olympia was alot smaller then, but each highschool in our town (at that time 5 H.S.) graduated several hundred students. NOT ONE child that we went to school with throughout our 12 years of school had brain cancer, in fact, not ANY cancers. I am NOT trying to be alarmist, but we need to remember the very real dangers of chemicals in our society by simply watching Erin Brokovich. (It is a true and proven story folks) Go back and read books on Love Canal and the battle they fought with our government and the chemical dumpers who destroyed their community and their health. These same kind of battles are ongoing and the price is an unsafe environment for all of us. Check out a long but easy read that is very informative from a gentleman who has dared fight for help from the government to get to the bottom of their cancer rates in Baker Montana. Believe me, it is way more clear than the that the CDC and the chemical companies put out. Please see below.
Oct. 27, 2012 10:20 am
Oct. 27, 2012 10:27 am
BTW if you think this has nothing to do with GMO.....think again. Monsanto has been sued by many in these environmental disasters for duping their "safe" products on crops or for "safe" disposal.
Oct. 27, 2012 10:27 am
meant dumping...... :)
Oct. 27, 2012 11:10 am
BTW Many rural and formerly rural areas (and their residents) pay the price for the practices involving "safe" farming practices or the disposal of environmental waste.
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Baking Nana

Member Since
Aug. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive!
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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