Tag Archives: Kenda Swartz Pepper

Solutions for a GMO free life

Get Your Gen Mo Out of My Food Yo: Part VII – Soulutions for a GMO-free life

By Kenda Swartz Pepper | Published: February 8, 2010

Yes, some of the GMO info can lend itself to feelings of despair.  Yes, it may seem like an insurmountable uphill battle in lead shoes toting a backpack full of bricks on an empty stomach.  BUT all hope is not lost!  There’s quite a bit, actually, you can do. You’ll see several options in this post, and I’m sure there are many I haven’t included.  Please share your ideas in the comments section. In an effort for you to not be overwhelmed, I suggest you focus on only one soulution at a time – assuming of course that you care to make a change.

Boycott products and byproducts of Monsanto and affiliates

For starters, discontinue buying Roundup along with any products, byproducts or affiliates of Monsanto.  Frankly, I highly encourage all of us to join forces and discontinue the purchase of any toxins that we are knowingly putting into the earth.  There are healthy alternatives to caring for your garden and lawn – alternatives that will help you, your family and essential wildlife thrive.  The decline of the Monarch butterfly along with some other important insects that is considered to be environmental trackers are greatly attributed to toxic sprays.  Give a toxic free life a chance!  You can check out the Ecology Center for some nontoxic way of handling weeds.

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GMO Foods: kernels that may be of interest

By Kenda Swartz Pepper | Published: February 7, 2010

You may recall from previous posts the role Michael Taylor played in affecting your food.  As of January 2010, the new Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the FDA is none other than Michael R. Taylor.  Good ole’ Mike. Mikey mike mike. The Mikester.  Mikemonger. The Mike-man makin’ messages.

One may feel a special closeness – a bond even – with this guy.  After all, if you recall, in November 1993 during the Clinton administration, while in the FDA, he helped put Bovine Growth Hormone into your milk.  Taylor was the leader (I use that word loosely) in banning the labeling of GM products.  Oh, and for more than ten years he worked for Monsanto. He was intimately involved in some bad food policy, which makes you, the consumer, intimately involved with the outcome of his decisions.

Here’s some scoop on Mike Taylor and other government associations with Monsanto

In 1994, the FDA, while in the sack with Monsanto put out a message to grocery stores and dairy farmers who weren’t using rBGH:

Do not label milk as free of the hormone.

Shortly thereafter (within a matter of weeks) Monsanto sued two milk processors that labeled milk as free of the hormone according to a New York Times article.

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GMO’s – Banning together: what to do about GM foods

Get Your Gen Mo Out of My Food Yo: Part VI – Banning together

By Kenda Swartz Pepper | Published: February 8, 2010

So how is it the general American population is allowing multinational chemical corporations to determine the quality (or lack thereof) level of our food whereas some countries are clearly taking a stand against Genetically Modified foods?  How is it that the general American population is allowing Agrochemical companies to wreak indescribable havoc on our earth, our bodies, our children’s bodies?  Some countries say they will first watch and see what happens to America’s children before they make a decision about whether they will or will not grow or import genetically modified crops/food.  They can clearly see that our children are part of a massive outcome study.  

Ban Lifters and Crashers

This is not an all-inclusive list.  I welcome any thoughts or additions in the comment section.

According to The Australian in late 2007 the states of New South Wales and Victoria lifted their bans while South Australia continues its ban (Well done South Australia). Tasmania has a ban in place until 2014 (Well done Tasmania!). The state of Queensland has had commercial GM crops since 1996 and has never had a GM ban.

From 2010 onward genetically modified canola can be grown in Western Australia according to the decision of Food Minister Terry Redman and against the wishes of many in WA.  Boooooooooooooooo. Mates.

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Farmers that save seeds are soon sued

Get Your Gen Mo Out of My Food Yo: Part IV – Farmers who save seeds are soon sued

By Kenda Swartz Pepper | Published: February 6, 2010

Farmers and Furious Curious Twists of Injustice

Farmers have been front and center pawns in the GM Food chess game.  To their credit, farmers historically have a hard working life and little return for their investment of blood, sweat, tears and dollars.  They spend their morning, days and evenings working, day in and day out, week after week, year after year, and the prospect of being part of a growing corporation could offer great appeal along with the aspiration of one day retiring.  While yes, they are partly responsible for producing GM crops, they are also responding to the consumer’s demand and a corporation’s command.

Sadly, once again, Syndrome’s immoral wanton ways are masked by a facade of hope for the greater good.  Global Exchange lists the top 14 ‘Most Wanted’ Human Rights violators for 2007 (I didn’t see a ‘Most Wanted’ list for 2008 or 2009).  Monsanto is on that list for abuses of displacement, health violations, and child labor. According to Global Exchange, in India, an estimated 12, 400 children were working for Monsanto in cottonseed production as of 2007.  Global Exchange adds how a number of (unspecified) children have died from exposure to pesticides.

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What you don’t know about GMO won’t hurt you

Get Your Gen Mo Out of My Food Yo: Part III – What you don’t know about your GMO won’t hurt you

By Kenda Swartz Pepper | Published: February 5, 2010

So, What’s the Problem with Genetically Modified Food?

For starters…the health of the planet, your food, your body and your children’s bodies are at risk.

Allergies

Do you know someone who is highly or even mildly allergic to soy?  More than 60 serious health risks have been discovered as a result of GM foods including serious allergies that are a direct consequence of new proteins found in these organisms.

Many years ago, I was diagnosed with a corn allergy.  It was unfathomable to me that I was allergic to corn!  I grew up in a region of Pennsylvania nestled within the Appalachian Mountains where corn grew in great abundance.  Corn remained a staple food for me long after leaving Pennsylvania.  After this new allergic discovery, I avoided corn for quite some time and eventually over the past few years reintroduced it back into my diet.  I need my corn!  The major difference now is that I only (to the best of my knowledge) eat organic or non-GMO corn and corn products.  So far so good.

Your health and the health of your loved ones

Doctor doctor give me the news, I got a bad case of the Monsanto blues.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has called for a moratorium on Genetically Modified foods.  They also want long-term independent studies, and labeling for GM foods.

The AAEM’s statement on Genetically Modified foods includes the following information:

Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system. There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects

The statement continues on to address some specific problems caused by GM foods as a result of animal studies.  These include significant immune problems (asthma, allergies) and cellular changes that could accelerate aging.

The feeding of GM corn to mice has been linked to infertility, a significant decrease in offspring and significant lower litter weightInsulin regulation, immune system functioning and cholesterol synthesis are also listed among the outcomes of GM food animal studies.

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Get GM out of your food

Get Your Gen Mo Out of My Food Yo: Part I – The spoof’s in the genetically modified pudding

By Kenda Swartz Pepper | Published: February 3, 2010
It plays like a really really bad B movie, but that’s redundant.  Sadly this modern day version of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is painfully realistic.  The evil tomatoes while not as big as cars and while not overtly stalking the people of San Diego as they attempt to escape their certain pureed demise, are much more insidious – even invisible – to the consumer’s eye.  And despite the fact the general American public is being spoofed, there is nothing funny about Genetically Modified Foods.

What is a GMO?

A Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic makeup has been altered to serve another purpose.  One may also see the terms GE (Genetically Engineered) and Transgenic.  Take the gene of one species and put it into the gene of another.  The idea of genetic modification has been around for quite a long time. For thousands and thousands of years farmers have experimented to improve the quality of their crops through a process of selection and cross-breeding.  Even with nature, plants and animals selectively breed.  It’s nature’s way of assuring a strong gene pool.  It’s that whole survival of the fittest thing.  Today, the most prolific GMOs are crop plants developed in a laboratory not on a farm.  Whereas traditional breeding is between reproduction of likeorganisms, today’s bioengineers isolate genes from unlike organisms (including bacteria, viruses and animals) creating an unnatural sequence and a synthetic outcome that requires artificial assistance to reach its full potential.

Genetically Modified (GM) Foods have had their DNA changed through genetic engineering.  According to Jeffrey Smith, author of the #1 GMO bestseller Seeds of Deception, and Genetic Roulette, the four major GM crops are soy, corn, cotton and canola.  Smith states there are two major traits of GM foods:

about 80% are genetically engineered to not die when sprayed with herbicide and about 20% are genetically engineered to create their own pesticide.  A very small percentage of crops such as zucchini, crookneck squash and Hawaiian papaya are GE to resist disease.

According to WHO, all GM crops available on the international market today have been designed using one of three basic traits:

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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.

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