Really great GMO statistics

Who grows Genetically Engineered Foods? Part 2: Kenda Swartz Pepper

By Kenda Swartz Pepper | Published: February 5, 2010

The U.S. accounts for about two-thirds of all the GM crops planted throughout the universe, which as far as I know is just the earth but may include other planets given the surreptitiousness of this industry.  Since the mid 1990’s the U.S. has increasingly planted more GM crops than any other planet or country.  As of 2008 the US was growing about 62.5 million hectares or approximately 154 million acres of GM crops. Keeping in mind that one hectare equals 2.471 acres.

According to the ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications), as of 2008 there were 25 countries planting ‘biotech’ crops.  Since the onset of GM crops, the total accumulated acreage as of 2008 was 2 billion.  What may be of great interest is that the 1st billion accumulated acreage occurred during the first ten years of commercial GM crops whereas the second billion occurred in only the last three years.  That is some rapid growth.

The identified 25 countries growing GM crops in 2008 are listed on a table as shown in a briefing by ISAAA entitled Highlights of the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops.  I encourage you to check it out.

The ISAAA table details how the top eight countries each grew more than 1 million hectares; in decreasing order of acreage in the millions (I’ve estimated the equivalent acreage based on 2.471 hectares per acre) they were; USA (154 million acres), Argentina (52 million acres), Brazil (39 million acres), India (18.8 million acres), Canada (18.8 million acres), China (39.4 million acres), Paraguay (6.7 million acres), and South Africa (4.5 million acres).

According to the ISAAA, in 2008, seven of the 27 countries in the EU officially planted Bt maize for commercial purposes.  These countries are:  Spain, Czech Republic, Portugal, Germany, Poland and Slovakia.

Of the 55 countries that have granted approvals for biotech crops, Japan tops the list followed by USA, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Australia, Philippines, New Zealand, the European Union and China.

According to Environment and Energy Publishing,

China, Brazil and Argentina are investing heavily in the field, inserting new traits in rice, tobacco, and sugar cane and cassava (a tropical, starchy stable native to South America).

India as of 2008 was ranked fourth in total GM crop area, with 7.6 million hectares devoted to cotton.

In 2008 China had 3.8 million hectares in GM crops weighing in at 6th.  The main GM crop in China is cotton yet China also plants tomato, poplar, sweet pepper and papaya.

One potentially devastating trend in Monsanto’s favor: Demand for grain is likely to grow as countries like China begin to adopt a meat-heavy Western diet. China has just approved planting of GM rice for their food supply.

What Foods are Genetically Modified?

The following list of crops and foods that are being genetically modified (mostly) comes from the site Disabled World. Disabled World also adds that it is virtually impossible to know all the foods that contain GM ingredients, because there is no regulation for labeling.

  • Rapeseed- Resistance to certain pesticides and improved rapeseed cultivars to be free of erucic acid and glucosinolates. Gluconsinolates, which were found in rapeseed meal leftover from pressing, are toxic and had prevented the use of the meal in animal feed. In Canada, where “double-zero” rapeseed was developed, the crop was renamed “canola” (Canadian oil) to differentiate it from non-edible rapeseed.
  • HoneyHoney can be produced from GM crops. Some Canadian honey comes from bees collecting nectar from GM canola plants. This has shut down exports of Canadian honey to Europe.
  • Cotton – Resistant to certain pesticides – considered a food because the oil can be consumed.
  • Wheat – an article last year from the Organic Consumer’s Association discusses genetically modified wheat and the potential problems it could cause with foreign markets.  One farmer is speaking out and against GM Wheat with a big ‘Won’t do it’, but he is not with the majority.
  • Rice – Genetically modified to contain high amounts of Vitamin A. Rice containing human (yes, some GM Food contains human parts – definitely not vegetarian rice) genes is to be grown in the US. Rather than end up on dinner plates, the rice will make human proteins useful for treating infant diarrhea in the developing world.
  • Soybean – Genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides – Soy foods including, soy beverages, tofu, soy oil, soy flour, and lecithin. Other products may include breads, pastries, snack foods, baked products, fried products, edible oil products and special purpose foods.
  • Sugar cane – Developed to be resistant to certain pesticides. A large percentage of sweeteners used in processed food actually come from corn, not sugar cane or beets.
  • Tomatoes – Made for a longer shelf life and to prevent rotting.
  • Corn – Has been designed to resist certain pesticides.  Products and ingredients   include:  Corn oil, sugar, syrup, corn flour, meal, corn starch, gluten, and sweeteners such as fructose, dextrose, and glucose. May include snack foods, baked goods, fried foods, edible oil products, confectionery, special purpose foods, and soft drinks.
  • Sweet corn – genetically modified to produces its own insecticide. Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said that  thousands of tons of genetically engineered sweetcorn have made their way into the human food supply chain, even though the produce has been approved only for use in animal feed. Recently Monsanto claims that about half of the USA’s sweetcorn acreage has been planted with genetically modified seed this year.
  • Canola – Canola oil. May include edible oil products, fried foods, and baked products, snack foods.
  • Potatoes- (Atlantic, Russett Burbank, Russet Norkatah, and Shepody) – May include snack foods, processed potato products and other processed foods containing potatoes.
  • Flax – More and more food products contain flax oil and seed because of their excellent nutritional properties. No genetically modified flax is currently grown. An herbicide-resistant GM flax was introduced in 2001, but was soon taken off the market because European importers refused to buy it.  There was a recent discovery in Canada that Canadian flax has been contaminated with a genetically modified flax.  Now farmers are concerned about finding a market for their flax.
  • Papaya- The first virus resistant papayas were commercially grown in Hawaii in 1999. Transgenic papayas now cover about one thousand hectares, or three quarters of the total Hawaiian papaya crop. Monsanto donated technology to Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, for developing a papaya resistant to the ringspot virus in India.
  • Squash – (yellow crookneck) – Some zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are also GM but they are not popular with farmers.
  • Cotton seed oil - Cottonseed oil and linters. Products may include blended vegetable oils, fried foods, baked foods, snack foods, edible oil products, and small goods casings.
  • Tobacco -The company Vector has a GMO tobacco being sold under the brand of Quest® cigarettes in the U.S. It is engineered to produce low or no nicotine.
  • Meat – Meat and dairy products usually come from animals that have eaten GM feed.
  • Peas – Genetically modified (GM) peas created immune responses in mice, suggesting that they may also create serious allergic reactions in people. The peas had been inserted with a gene from kidney beans, which creates a protein that acts as a pesticide.
  • Vegetable Oil- Most generic vegetable oils and margarines used in restaurants and in processed foods in North America are made from soy, corn, canola, or cottonseed. Unless these oils specifically say “NonGMO” or “Organic,” it is probably genetically modified.
  • Sugarbeets – May include any processed foods containing sugar – including your favorite chocolate bar!
  • Dairy Products- About 22 percent of cows in the U.S. are injected with recombinant (genetically modified) bovine growth hormone (rbGH).
  • Vitamins- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is often made from corn, vitamin E is usually made from soy. Vitamins A, B2, B6, and B12 may be derived from GMOs as well as vitamin D and vitamin K may have “carriers” derived from GM corn sources, such as starch, glucose, and maltodextrin.

Suite 101 offers some additional details about foods in which the consumer may encounter GMO’s:

GMOs are used most frequently as raw ingredients in processed foods and as feed for livestock which become food, such as grain-fed cattle. Consumers who eat the end products of these industrial food systems — prepared foods, some restaurant foods, and many meat products — therefore consume GMOs, though the food products are not typically labeled.

Packaged foods with corn syrup or soybean oil likely contain the fruits of Monsanto’s (in addition to other agrochemical companies) gene-modified agriculture.  Approximately seventy percent (70%) of processed foods found in US supermarkets have genetically modified ingredients. This is equal to about 30,000 products.  If you’re open to disappointment and potential shock, check out the list of foods and products from Seeds of Deception that may have Genetically Modified Ingredients.

The non-GMO shopping guide offers a complete list of ingredients that are derived from risk crops including but not limited to (you can check out the guide for more):  amino acids, aspartame, ascorbic acid, lactic acid, maltodextrins, molasses, xantham gum and yeast (think beer and bread) products.

Europe Takes a Stand While the U.S. Sits Idly By

In 2000, Friends of the Earth surveyed leading food supply companies and top food manufacturers and discovered that these companies were aware of Europe’s distaste for genetically modified foods and food ingredients.  As a result, the following companies chose to source their ingredients (and most claim to source derivatives as well) from GMO-free crops for the food and beverages they sell in Europe:

Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola, Heinz, Mars, Danone (Dannon), Kelloggs, Campbell Foods, Cadbury Schweppes and Kraft/ Jacobs/ Suchard. Almost all of these indicated that they also use GMO-free derivatives. And Europe’s top fast food chain McDonald’s Europe “have asked suppliers to source non-GM ingredients, additives and processing aids.

Because the American population hasn’t spoken with the same opposition, most of these companies still use GM ingredients and derivatives in our food.  Derivatives include oils and lecithin.  Almost every other industrialized country has regulations to label genetically modified foods – except for the U.S.

Some U.S. Food Manufacturers that Are Likely Using GM Ingredients

A representative from a food manufacturer who for now wishes to remain unnamed (because the company is in the process of changing some of their verbiage) gave me the following information about processed foods and GM ingredients:

The issue is very complex for processed or composite food products.  Anything that we buy as a single ingredient direct from an original source of supply, like soy protein, sugar, maltodextrin, gums, etc, is non-GMO.  The issue of non-GMO arises when you have to purchase composite ingredients that consist of several ingredients from different sources, like flavors, it is virtually impossible to maintain total non-GMO status with 100% certainty.  Very few processed food products are absolutely non-GMO.  Most food companies aren’t aware of many of these issues and many times, they will put such a designation on their products if one key ingredient, like soy protein, is non-GMO.  Please bear in mind that most companies do not test their product for being non-GMO. They simply rely on statements and documents from their suppliers, who many times may inadvertently be mistaken themselves.  For these reasons, we do not make any claims that our products are completely non-GMO, even though in fact they may be.

As of August 2009, Pepsi was still using GM ingredients in their products.  It may be a surprise for some folks to see the list of products that Pepsi manufactures keeping in mind that most soft drinks have high fructose corn syrup which is very highly likely to be genetically modified: Mountain Dew, Amp energy drink, Sun Chips, Lays potato chips, Doritos, Tostitos, Tropicana juices, Dole juices, Quaker Oats, Aunt Jemima Syrup, Rice-A-Roni, Gatorade, and Aquafina .

Yes, Gatorade is among that list.  Here’s a shout out to all you sports enthusiasts who exercise for your health.  Drinking Gatorade could be doing more harm than hydration.

The list of food manufacturers below is neither all inclusive nor fully confirmed.  It is challenging to find concrete information, because there are no regulations in the US to label genetically modified foods!  Safest bet:  if it is not labeled non-GMO, then it likely has GM ingredients or derivatives.  If anyone has additional information to offer, please post a comment.  I want to honor the integrity of any food manufacturer that is taking steps to remove GM ingredients in the US.

Producers of infant formula and baby foods:  Beech-Nut, Enfamil, Good Start, Nestlé, Similac/Isomil

Frozen foods: Boca, unless labeled organic (Kraft), Celeste (Pinnacle Foods), Eggo Waffles (Kellogg), Gardenburger, Green Giant frozen meals (General Mills), Healthy Choice (ConAgra), Kid’s Cuisine (ConAgra), Lean Cuisine (Nestle),Marie Callender’s (ConAgra), Morningstar Farms, Morningstar Farms Natural Touch, unless labeled organic (Kellogg), Rosetto Frozen Pasta (Nestle), Stouffer’s (Nestle), Swanson (Campbell’s), Tombstone (Kraft), Totino’s (Smucker’s), Voila! (Birds Eye/Unilever)

Coca-Cola’s website has a statement that reads:  We conform to all labeling regulations just as we comply with all other laws of the countries in which our products are sold.  Just out of curiosity, I called Coca-Cola and asked, “Do your products contain genetically modified ingredients?”  I was put on hold while the representative checked and she came back with the following:

Biotech corn is used in combination with traditional varieties in some parts of the world where we manufacture our ingredients.  The refining process we use removes the genetic material.

Huh? How is it possible that Coca-Cola’s refining process removes GM material?  She didn’t have an answer for this, so I did some searching on the world wide googleweb.  Zippo.  If anyone has information about this, please comment.  And I’m still so curious to know why Coca-Cola would remove GM ingredients in Europe but then in the US go through the effort of incorporating these (presumably) same ingredients and then refine them out through some mysterious process.  Could it be that it’s actually more cost effective to include the ingredients and then refine them out?  Is this whole refining out GM ingredients total poppycock?  Someone please educate me on this!  That might very well be the first time I’ve ever used the word poppycock in a sentence.

Coca-Cola’s product list which includes Powerade, Odwalla, Nature’s Own, Nestea, Minute Maid, Fresca, Dannon, and Winnie the Pooh (yes, our little honey bear is owned by Coke) is too long to post everything here, so you can check out the website if you’re interested.

Check out Food Consumer for a more detailed list of foods that may contain genetically modified ingredients.

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17 responses to “Really great GMO statistics

  1. I believe in you.Gotta try that one.

  2. “Drinking Gatorade could be doing more harm than hydration”

    I can’t wait until companies like Pepsi start suing people who write unsubstantiated crap such as this about their products.

    Where’s the evidence that any GM ingredient has caused any harm whatsoever to anyone who consumed it anywhere in the world? To save you the trouble of looking for it, there isn’t any.

    Doesn’t exactly stack up against the mountain of blindly anti-GMO content on the internet written by self proclaimed ‘experts’ who more often than not don’t even have a basic grasp of the subject.

  3. Sadly, Jon, the crap is substantiated. I’m curious to know about your scientific background. There is accumulating evidence about the harm caused by GM foods – to the earth and humans. The ‘blind’ science belongs to the corporations who want to control the food system. Yet, if you don’t believe it, no worries. You can be your own science experiment and hand your power over to any of many corporations who will create your food in a laboratory! That’s not the personal touch I want in my meals. I simply choose to be informed about my food, and I have every intention of sharing my opinions freely. Looks like you do as well.

    Peace,
    Kenda Swartz Pepper

  4. Kenda
    My scientific background is that I first became aware of genetic modification and how it was apparently to change our World whilst at school in the 1980s learning ‘A’ level biology. I was intrigued/ fascinated by the whole idea yet quite wary of such a technology. With this in mind I took a 4 year degree in genetics at one of the UKs leading Universities and then studied both the mechanics and practice of molecular genetics intensively eventually obtaining a PhD in plant genetics in the late 90s. I have since spent 10 years studying plant genetics at a range of European Universities and research institutes furthering my interest and knowledge in this subject (none of my research has ever been even partially funded by industry, although various findings of mine along the road have recently been patented by an agricultural R&D company who read about my work at an international conference). I therefore can only speak from a couple of decades of intense independent research into my subject.

    I would also be curious to hear what your background is that has lead you to be an authority on the toxicology of genetically modifed foods. Any information you could point me towards that shows the negative health impacts on humans from eating GM foods to date would also be a useful resource for me. As I say I have never found any other than anecdotal evidence published by anti GM groups or those funded by environmental pressure groups. I’m willing to be proved wrong though if I’ve missed something.

    I’m really not the argumentative sort and am simply interested in open discussion with anyone who has an interest from any angle on the subject of GM technology. As with many people’s arguments your post very quickly turns into an anti-corporate one rather than an anti-GM one and I feel this is the real crux of a lot of peoples dislike of the technology. That’s OK. Everyone has their right to an opinion. Its what makes life more interesting!

    Best wishes to you.

    Jon

  5. Hi Jon, thanks for joining the conversation. Since you have a background I lack, maybe you can help out here. I am trying to find long-term studies/research results on GM foods. I have called, written, done everything for the last 5 years, but everyone claims IP rights. How can I find this research and testing?

    While you can’t find testing on harmful effects on GM from anti-GM advocates, no one on the anti-GM side can find anything from the big companies either.

    My wish is to bring everything into transparency. It is the only way to solve our issues. And to allow others to make informed choices on their foods. Grow GM, just label it, and contain it. Don’t sue other farmers if GM gets on their property. There has been much unfairness up to now. I hope this changes, and we all live how we want and need to.

  6. You are right in that a lot of research is held under data protection by companies, but what R&D research isn’t be it GM/non-GM, food products/non-food products? I don’t fully agree with this myself but can see why it is done. By the way, all industry performed research is carried out and monitored under GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) and is not allowed without this creditation. This as good as guarantees that no cheating or result fixing is possible and that data analysis and interpretation is carried out correctly. Read more about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Laboratory_Practice

    As far as research that is available, there is a list of 270+ publically available research papers on GM and its safety at the following link (http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2007/06/150-published-safety-assessments-on-gm.html). Whilst it is hosted on a website with pro-science/pro-GM sentiments it was put there in reponse to people saying no research has been done. A common misconception. All of it has been peer reviewed and should be available from any library. Certainly any University library. Its a bit out of date now (2007) but shows that contrary to what most people around the internet say, quite a lot of research has been done and shows GM to be as safe as non-GM food. It just doesn’t make the news.

    Best wishes,

    Jon

  7. Hello Jon,

    I much prefer this type of dialogue, and thank you for sharing your remarkable credentials. It’s nice to hear from a geneticist. I welcome any comments you have that are factually based. I welcome any expert opinions you would like to share as well. I’d even be happy to have an interview with you. I write for a progressive blog, and it could be an interesting adjunct to my 7-part GMO series.

    While many years ago I became fascinated with the human body through university studies in physiology, biology and nutrition, I actually earned my masters degree in psychology. I once thought I would be a nutritionist but psychology was more interesting to me at the time. I spent many years providing therapy to high-risk children and to families dealing with serious illness – mostly cancer. I worked closely with various doctors of western, eastern and alternative orientations. My current work, as a facilitator, is focused on employee and leadership development – mostly on communications skills, and conflict resolution along with various planning facilitations and focus groups. My extracurricular passions have been (since childhood) and will continue to be (as far as I can predict) the environment, writing and art. So, no, I am not a geneticist and I don’t pretend to be one. I’m not an authority in the ‘schooling’ sense, although I don’t think one has to be a scientist per se to blog about science. I understand how it can help in certain contexts.

    And yes, while my blog posts are more one-sided and opinionated, I also wrote with the high intention of sharing facts and included data from various organizations – both pro and anti-gmo (this is part of a 7-part post). My opinions are also written as such – in most cases owning the opinions and assumptions by suggesting what ‘could be’ etc.

    I began researching this topic many years ago for my own health, but more so recently it has morphed into a genuine concern for the environment. And I fully admit I am not a fan of the agrochemical companies. I have a strong opinion about those companies. I do not have respect for any company that is profiting by adding toxic chemicals to our earth. Take Monsanto, for instance. This is a company who used to advertise that ‘DDT is Good For Me’. I understand some things about DDT. My father was a District Forester -an environmentalist – protecting a large portion of Pennsylvania forests and studied chemistry as part of his education. I remember a few decades ago when DDT was used to kill gypsy moth in Pennsylvania. Over the years, my father and I had many conversations about pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and the application of these products along with the consequences of use. I’m currently associated with a Monarch butterfly preserve. Local scientists do believe that the decline of the Monarch can be pointed to pesticide spray (including Roundup) from roadside and crop ‘management’.

    You asked for any information I may have that shows the negative health impacts on humans from eating GM foods to date. I have found a lot of information over the years and included a couple of the links below. I’m guessing you would consider most of the information I have biased based on the organizations from which it comes. This is the same issue I have with some of the science behind the Agrochemical companies. Should I believe their science or the science of organizations I respect? Should I believe what they tell me to be true or should I trust what I have experienced and researched on my own? Opinion alert (based on my own experience and research): I simply do not believe that the agrochemical companies are operating out of the highest intentions. I do not believe they are educating the public nor offering full disclosure. I believe that what they share with the public is also one-sided.

    In the meantime, here are a few of many links if you would like to check them out. I certainly welcome your thoughts:

    The Glyphosate Factsheet (this one could be considered biased :>))
    http://www.dontspraycalifornia.org/Glyphosate%20Factsheet%201.htm

    The AAEM (American Academy of Environmental Medicine) has a position statement on Genetically Modified Foods. There are some aspects of the AAEM with which I do not agree – specifically some of the work they do with pharmacology. So, this reference may be on more of a level playing field than others. http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

    Institute of Science in Society on Superweeds: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GMCropsFacingMeltdown.php

    About your comment (as to my being more anti-corporate rather than anti-GM) a couple things come to mind for me: 1) I personally believe that the science of GM foods (from a laboratory) is still too young to show all the long-term effects. 2) What I think is most important, to me, is the general concern of industrialized agriculture and ultimately having a small handful of corporations (corporations that I consider to be socially irresponsible) in control of the world’s food system. I fear this will happen especially if the global public is not offered a chance to digest all the facts (pros and cons) regarding GM crops.

    Given my disrespect for companies like Monsanto, this does not mean I disrespect the general employees of those companies. I can understand how a person may truly believe in his/her work. Believe s/he is making a difference even in the face of opposing groups. I get that. I also get how sometimes people (this includes myself) change their beliefs as their critical thinking evolves. What one believes today could be very different tomorrow. I also want to clearly communicate that I’m not anti-corporation. I have the privilege of working with upstanding corporate clients. This is the same for several of my government clients. I have had the fortunate experience of being exposed to many socially responsible organizations.

    While I’m curious to know your view on the pros of genetically modified plants, I am also curious to know…have you not found any negative evidence in your research? Being a person who enjoys research, myself, isn’t that part of the process? While trying to prove a hypothesis, doesn’t one look at all the angles along with potential benefits and risks?

    Whew – this is probably more than you bargained for! Admittedly, I am verbose. I agree that our varying opinions make life more interesting. Homogenous thinking could be boring and empty. I really appreciate your taking the time to comment back and to opening up dialogue. I think that’s very cool, Jon! If you’d like to take the conversation offline, my email address is kendaswartz@gmail.com. I apologize in advance for any delayed response. My day job is keeping me quite busy!

    Cheers,
    Kenda

  8. Enjoyed reading your commentary immensely. I have almost no qualifications whatsoever, just an interest in being healthy and helping others. I am sure you have seen this info. that has come out in late March, but just in case you have not………here are the links

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/03/25/doctors-warn-avoid-genetically-modified-food.aspx

    http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/SG/Home/index.cfm

    • Hi Carol, thank you for the links. Dr. Mercola may well be inspirational to other doctors in avoiding GM foods: both my doctors say it blatantly: don’t eat them! While the odds may be that they don’t pose much risk, the odds are much better to just avoid them at all costs until we know FOR SURE. It does take a change in diet for most people: for some a dramatic change, but once established can lead to better health and overall well-being.

  9. Hello Carol,

    My apologies for the delayed response. Thank you for passing along those links. I always appreciate when others share information. I’m aware of the NonGMO shopping guide yet am not sure if I read the Mercola article.

    I’ve just completed a series on World Hunger in which I address the corporatization of food. My bottom line: Industrial agriculture causes harm to the earth and is adding to the problem of world hunger. Experts now agree that reverting back to small-scale farming (and ideally vegetarianism) is the key to feeding all the world.

    Here is a link to the last post (part of the Solutions to World Hunger), and if you wanted to follow the entire journey, all the links are on that post as well.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. Mostly, thank you. I appreciate when folks reach out.

    Peace.

  10. In many ways, if GMO posed no health threat and all studies were transparent, I would still be going after this. Corporate control and environment are two issues that still make this worth pursuing. We now have the US (Monsanto and friends) working overtime to procure a bill that puts an end to any GMO labeling: for GMO and GMO free foods. Plus Canada is working on a EU free trade agreement that Monsanto had a hand in: whereas they could sue the Canadian government for any policy that limits their corporate profits, plus this FTA presents a direct attack on our green industry, and virtually eliminates the rights of farmers to save, reuse and sell seed, providing biotech pharmaceutical, pesticide, seed and grain companies powerful new tools to essentially decide who should farm and how.

    If I was a genetic engineer working on GM plants right now, it’s not the GM activists that will screw up your jobs; it’s Monsanto and “friends”. These TNC’s blatantly push and force their control on our planet. Without the Kenda’s and the April’s and the Carol’s of the world, we wouldn’t have these freedoms.

    And more importantly, neither would any of the young people coming into this world.

    • Wow – well put, April. And thanks for the kudos too!

      Please pass along any petitions to stop GM food/crops. I’ll help spread the word.

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  12. Thank you for this article and discussion. I am curious to know if you ever got any more information about Coca Cola and their interesting claims about removing genetic material. I am not sure that would be the end of the story, even if they could do that. . .but it would be interesting to know whether there is any fact behind the claim.

    What I have found so far, tooling around the web looking for info about Coca Cola & GMO ingredients: other people says Coke uses them (including Greenpeace, who claims to have tested the products for the presence of GMO’s), and Coke says they don’t.

    I was prompted to look into this by a commencement speech given some years ago by Brian Dyson, Coke’s CEO, and some people’s on line positive reaction to its so-called wisdom. I found it ironic that Dyson should talk about juggling different aspects of life, including health, and he should be pedaling Coca Cola at the same time, which is not exactly supporting people’s health, GMO or no.

    • Thanks for this comment Elaine. We don’t have any updated material, but if Coke is using corn syrup then it is probably from genetically engineered corn. but whether or not, Coke is one big part of our dysfunctional food system, as you note. If you get any more info please do post it.

      • Probably not yet anything you don’t know, Understanding.

        I’ve been reading Seeds of Deception, and it points out that Aspartame (brand name Nutrasweet) is often produced through genetic engineering.

        So, on top of that just being an artificial ingredient to begin with, probably already injurious to health, it means Coke drinkers have a choice between high fructose corn syrup (highly refined and most likely worse than plain white sugar) from GMO’s in the regular Coke, and GMO aspartame in the Diet Coke, many people assume to be a better choice than the regular.

        Not much choice at all.

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