The False Promise of GM Crops Never Realized
Most genetically modified crops have helped only farmers, making it easier for them to control weeds and insects. The promise of healthier, tastier foods, such as cancer-fighting tomatoes and rot-resistant fruits, has yet to materialize.
Technical Difficulties and Opposition
Creating products which are not allergenic has proven to be a tricky task. And resistance to the use of bioengineered food has caused many projects to be shelved. Companies hope that the coming "second generation" of GM foods will win greater public acceptance.
On top of technical difficulty and opposition, many small companies and academic researchers run afoul of patent rights held by larger companies.
Opponents of genetic engineering argue that conventional breeding has been more successful at producing crops with beneficial traits than genetic manipulation.
New York Times February 14, 2006 Registration Required
CNET News.com February 14, 2006
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
Perhaps, consumers are more concerned about the blight of genetically modified (GM) crops than I thought, based on the reactions of experts questioned in this excellent piece New York Times article.
Despite the best efforts of manufacturers to develop Frankenstein-like crop concoctions, many large corporations have been slow to warm to GM products, thanks to the opposition of consumer groups, along with business, technical and legal obstacles.
For example, a group of U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists created a "non-allergenic" soybean four years ago that was eventually shelved because baby food companies wouldn't use it to manufacture their own (already harmful) soy formula.
Those setbacks haven't stopped companies like Monsanto and DuPont from developing new products, however, including Vistive, a soybean oil now being used by Kellogg to remove trans fats from some of their products.
Even though the launch of new GM crops, foods and products may be slowing somewhat, don't forget roughly 75 percent of all the processed foods you see at your corner store contain some GM ingredients.
With that in mind, I urge you to read a detailed list of tips I posted last summer to protect your health and steer clear of GM products for good:
Reduce or Eliminate Processed Foods. There are many reasons why processed foods are not optimal for your health -- for instance they often contain trans fat, acrylamide and little nutritional value -- so avoiding them will not only help you to cut back on the amount of GM foods you are consuming, but will also boost your health.
Read produce and food labels. GM soybeans and corn make up the largest portion of genetically modified crops. When looking at a product label, if any ingredients such as corn flour and meal, dextrin, starch, soy sauce, margarine, and tofu (to name a few) are listed, there's a good chance it has come from GM corn or soy, unless it's listed as organic.
Buy organic produce. Buying organic is currently the best way to ensure that your food has not been genetically modified. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs.
• Look at Produce Stickers. Those little stickers on fruit and vegetables contain different PLU codes depending on whether the fruit was conventionally grown, organically grown or genetically modified. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.