"Genetically engineered foods containing genes derived from bacteria and viruses are now starting to appear in the shops, and foods with insect, fish, and animal genes will soon follow. These genetic changes are radically different from those resulting from traditional methods of breeding. Yet, the sale of these foods is being permitted without proper assessment of the risks and without adequately informing the public, even though many scientists say that genetically modified foods could cause serious damage to health and the environment.
Genes are the blueprints for every part of an organism. Genetic engineering is the process of articficially modifying these blueprints. By cutting and splicing DNA-genetic surgury-genetic engineers can transfer genes specific to one type of organism into any other organism on earth."
There are both known and unknown risks to genetic engineering. This new technology is untested and potentially hazardous to the environment and ours species. In order to protect ourselves, we need to take precautions to avoid genetically modified organisms. Currently, the United States has no labelling requirements and the only way to assure the avoidance is to eat 100% certified organic foods. In other countries such as the United Kingdom, there are labelling requirements for genetically modified ingredients. However, these laws are constantly under debate and I would not rely on them long term so, again, certified organic food is the best way to avoid.
Avoiding biotech completely will, unfortunately, impact your lifestyle. For example, you can not simply eat out at a restaurant or cafe... most milks contain genetically modified artificial growth hormones and, thus, no more random coffee stops. In essence, avoiding genetic engineering completely means consuming organic products only, avoiding conventional restaurants, spending more money on food (organic is usually double the price), packing your own food when flying, searching for natural restaurants before travelling etc. It's not an easy job and it does somewhat restrict you. However, it is possible to eat organic versions of what you are used to eating, it is possible to eat out... it just takes a little more planning and for the sake of your health, is absolutely worth it.
Again, this technology is untested... you don't want to be the guinea pig.
Click here for more background information on genetic engineering.
Letters from Manufacturers:
Here are some letters I have received from various companies when questioned as to their policy on genetically modified ingredients in their products. Please take note of these manufacturers as some of them have an extensive range, everything from health bars to baby formulas.
1. TGI Friday's
2. Abbott Laboratories
4. General Mills
9. Marks & Spencer
10. Domino's Pizza
Links & Information:
Please take the time to brouse the following websites which are full of interesting information and extensive links. You will find numerous scientific studies, calls for action (try Greenpeace for action alerts) and updates If you like, join in the online discussions on The Prince of Wales website and commend Prince Charles for his devotion to organic and movement against genetic engineering..
1. Companies, Brand Names and Foods
2. Campaign to Ban Genetically Engineered Foods
3. Latest News, Background Information & Contacts
5. Greenpeace USA
6. Friends of the Earth
7. The Prince of Wales
8 CAFE - Consumers Against Food Engineering
9. Don't Panic Eat Organic - an organic grower's homepage with many links
Links Specific to Location:
Italy Sweden France Switzerland The Netherlands Australia United Kingdom New Zealand Canada United States of America Austria Germany
BBC - GM crops 'may contaminate others
BBC - Farmers advised to destroy GM crops
BBC - Court action threatened over GM crops
Prince Charles speaks out against GM food
BBC - Prince warns of 'playing God'
BBC - Prince sparks GM food row
BBC - Charles urges sense of sacred
BBC - GM trial sites unveiled
BBC - Full list of GM crop sites
BBC - GM pollen found in honey
BBC - GM pollen warning
BBC - GM food: A political hot potato
BBC - Euro alert over GM seed
BBC - EU rejects strict GM food controls
BBC - France's GM veto ruled wrong
BBC - Harrods boss sues over GM error
BBC - Scotland Officials Ban GE Ingredients in School Lunches
CNN - Brazil's grain shortage may force open doors for Argentine GM corn
CNN - U.S. food industry targets biotech education
CNN - Protesters arrested in England after destroying genetically modified maize
CNN - Why McDonalds pulled Frankenfries from menu
CNN - Clinton administration announces new oversight of biotech foods
CNN - Government debates 'organic'
CNN - Biotech foods not 'organic' under new rules
CNN - As 'organic' goes mainstream, USDA moves in to regulate
CNN - Living the 'organic' food lifestyle
CNN - Italian government blocks marketing on 4 GM maize varieties
CNN - Experts debate safety of genetically engineered foods
Reuters - US Agrees on Limited Labels for GE Food Exports to the EU, U.S. to meet EU label rules on GMOs
The Nation - Overview of EU Fight Against Frankenfoods: 1996-99
Reuters - Mass Protests Against Frankenfoods in Italy
Greenpeace - Germany Bans Genetically Engineered Corn
- Analysts for Deutsche Bank--World's Largest--Predict That the Public
& Investors Will Reject
FOTE - Protests at the Montreal Biosafety Conference Call for GE Ban
FOTE - UK Supermarket Chains Ban Meat from Animals Fed GE Feed
The Guardian - Britain's Scientific Elite Continue to Try to Suppress Dr. Pusztai's Research on Dangers of GE Foods
Independent - Entire British Food Industry Bans GE "Frankenfoods"
Washington Post - British Medical Association Warns of Health Hazards of GE Foods
EU Supermarket Chains Unite to Buy GE-Free Foods: Beginning of the End
Frankenfoods in Europe?
Sunday Express - Prince Charles Squares off Against Tony Blair on GE Foods
New York Times - New York Times: The Gene Foods Debate Comes to the USA "What Took So Long?"
ABI - Update on US Lawsuit Against the FDA Regarding Labeling & Safety-Testing of GE Foods
Washington Post - Giant US Food Corporations & Biotech Industry Are Terrified of Mandatory Labels on GE Food
New York Times - US Biotech Industry Still Refuses to Label or Safety-Test Despite Increasing Consumer Concerns
Swiss Re - Insurance Industry Refuses to Insure "Unpredictable Risks" of Genetic Engineering
Feedstuffs - Mandatory Labels for GE Foods in Australia and New Zealand Next Year
Shareholders - Shareholders Challenge Kellogg Over Genetically Engineered Foods
APO - Consumer Pressure Forces Gerber Baby Foods to Eliminate GE Corn & Soybeans from US Products
PR Week - Kraft & Other US Food Giants Launch Propaganda Campaign to Promote GE Foods
Monsanto targets Genetic Campaigners