Posts Tagged ‘ GMO ’

Aspartame and GMOs: What You Really Need to Know About the Science and Health Risks

Coca-Cola claims diet drinks promote weight loss, but studies show that artificial sweeteners actually contribute to weight gain.

In response to a plunge in sales of artificially sweetened sodas last week, Coca-Cola announced plans to roll out an ad campaign to win back popular favor for its aspartame-containing beverage, Diet Coke. (Diet Pepsi, which also contained aspartame, saw its sales fall 6.2 percent in 2012 while regular Pepsi sales fell little more than half that amount.)

The safety of aspartame, which the FDA approved for human consumption in 1981, has long been in dispute, before, during, and after its approval by the FDA. The simmering controversy is notable for the parallels between aspartame’s safety and regulatory history, and that of another controversial industrial food product – genetically modified foods also known as GMOs.

Aspartame, developed by Searle, was approved for public consumption despite the strong concerns of FDA scientists, who were over-ruled by Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. then the newly appointed FDA Chief—handpicked by Donald Rumsfeld, the former CEO of Searle, and the Secretary of Defense in two Republican administrations. Hayes pushed through the approval, and then returned to the same industry (at Searle’s public relations firm.) Upon aspartame’s approval, Searle gained two things:

1. The ability to market and profit from this product (sold as NutraSweet or Equal)

2. The upper hand in science

Since then, industry sponsored science has sustained the FDA decision, opposing both independent scientific findings, as well as citizen reports of adverse reactions. After a profitable three decades, first for Searle, soon thereafter for Monsanto, which bought Searle in 1985, the vestiges of the former company are now owned by Pfizer. But public confidence in aspartame has steadily eroded. Coca-Cola’s ad campaign seeks to restore that confidence.

Following a similar pattern, the 1992 FDA declaration that GMO seeds and plants were “substantially equivalent” to regular seeds and plants, also occurred despite the concerns of FDA scientists, who were over-ruled by a policy maker (Michael R. Taylor) who came in to the FDA (as Deputy Commissioner of Policy) from industry (Monsanto’s law firm), got GMOs approved, and then returned to the same industry (serving as a Monsanto Vice President for Public Policy.) Note: Taylor is currently Commissioner for Food at the FDA. This time the Searle/Monsanto playbook gave Monsanto three things:

1. The ability to develop, market, and profit from its products

2. The upper hand in science, AND

3. The right to patent its seeds and products and to protect its patents.

With many open questions about the long-range health and environment impacts of GMOs, today over twenty years after FDA approval, public discomfort with GMOs continues to rise. According to a recent New York Times poll, ninety-three percent want GMO foods to be labeled. While industry science supports use, other evidence (and many more concerns not addressed by industry science) continue to emerge. Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, the Monsanto herbicide, integral to GMO agriculture, increases the proliferation of breast cancer, even at exposures at low concentrations of parts per trillion, 2013 research found. Glyphosate decreases the body’s ability to detoxify from other toxic exposures, thus increasing the potential for diseases arising from other toxic chemicals, a second study found.

According to Dr. Charles Benbrook, a Washington State University professor and researcher, GMO agriculture’s dramatic increases in the use of fungicides and pesticides (principally Roundup) could outstrip earlier scientific projections of safe exposure levels. Based on current use and exposure rates, risk assessment faces a multiplex of testing challenges arising from the likely presence of multiple transgenes, DNA fragments, promoters, regulatory sequences and chemicals from pesticides (active ingredients, metabolites, surfactants, adjuvants…

But how well can the needed risk assessment be conducted (and acted upon) in a climate where science gets mired in debate between independent researchers and pro-industry factions? If we lack the science to inform policy, both environmental risks (like honeybee collapse) and health risks will only become apparent over time. Accurate assessment is further hampered when patent laws permit Monsanto to limit seed access for study. Aspartame is freely available, yet it still took thirty years for concerns over aspartame’s health risks to amplify to levels that would significantly dent sales. We can learn a lot about the risks from GMOs by taking a look at aspartame.

Conflicting Studies
In its ads, and media messaging, Coke plans to tout the benefits of its aspartame-containing soft drinks as a weight loss aid. Its print ad, rolling out in Atlanta and Chicago this week will say that, “diet drinks can help people manage their weight.” Despite Coke’s claim, several studies found that artificial sweeteners fail to promote weight loss, and instead contribute to weight gain.

According to one of the researchers, the San Antonio Heart Study, which studied over 1,100 participants found that, “On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.”

The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) confirmed these findings when it found that, “Daily consumption of diet drinks was associated with a 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a 67% increased risk for type 2 diabetes.”

One mechanism for weight gain could be that the “Overstimulation of sugar receptors from frequent use of these hyper-intense sweeteners may limit tolerance for more complex tastes,” says Dr. David Ludwig, MD, PhD, a leading Harvard clinician and researcher into the causes and treatment of the obesity epidemic. As a result, less sweet or non-sweet foods may become unpalatable, driving people to avoid healthy foods and eat unhealthy ones.

Given this evidence, Coke’s boast that diet drinks produce weight loss may be a fib, but nowadays, industries wooing the public back to their product, can also bolster their claims with science. Though confusing to a public seeking answers, for every scientific finding, there is often an opposite scientific finding.

For example, a 2012 study published in The Journal of Nutrition concluded that, “There is no evidence that low calorie sweeteners can be claimed to be a cause of higher body weights in adults.”

What explains these opposite findings? Well, the thrust of the JN study is that with so many egregious foods on the nutritional landscape, it’s hard to single out just one. Point taken. Surprisingly, this implied critique of the industrial food system comes from the four study authors, three of whom had “received consulting fees, honoraria, donations, and unrestricted grants from food, beverage, and pharmaceutical companies.”

The Double-Faced Role of Science

If only all science were as unanimously agreed to as is climate science. Despite a lack of political will to address climate change, and public bafflement about how to tackle it, there is no uncertainty in the science.

But that’s harder to locate in other regulatory realms, due to opposing claimants. When assessing the health and safety of products and practices, government regulators default to industry sponsored scientific research. It’s up to independent scientists, (or members of the general public) to uncover evidence of harm— all too often after governmental approval.

Sometimes the shoe winds up on the other foot: Industry sponsored scientists question the safety of their competitors’ products. Exaggerated concerns over artisanal jams, or locally grown lettuce come from the pesticide-ridden ag industry. Drug companies fret that someone will reject pharmaceuticals because they take vitamin C. In such cases, independent scientists, farmers, or regular people counter health concerns with evidence of no to low-harm for non-industrial products.

Beyond aspartame’s benefits (or lack thereof) for weight loss, over the last three decades, public health gatekeepers, reliant on industry research, consistently affirm that aspartame (marketed as NutraSweet and Equal) is safe. This past week, both the FDA and the American Cancer Society were cited in the COMMENT NOW! following Coke’s campaign launch. The American Cancer society noted that: “Most (italics mine) studies using people have found that aspartame is not linked to an increased risk of cancer…”

The same language appears on the ACS on-line information page on aspartame’s cancer risk. “Most (italics mine) studies in people have not found that aspartame use is linked to an increased risk of cancer.”

This is misleading because when scientists consider evidence, they don’t merely count the number of studies, a la the Electoral College, in which a majority vote wins. They evaluate the weight of the evidence, and damning evidence on aspartame goes back to the mid-1960’s. The phrase “most studies” likely refers to the many industry-sponsored studies, but certain significant independent studies find that there are health concerns.

The ACS aspartame web page was created in February 2011, and never revised to include significant 2012 findings on aspartame cancer risks. When this past week, the ACS (and the FDA) weighed in with Coke on the safety of aspartame, both the agency and the premiere cancer organization politely omitted mention of a well-regarded December 2012 Harvard study which found that a daily serving of diet soda increased the risks of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma in men.

Nor was this the first warning of health risks with aspartame. As is often the case with science, first there were animal studies.

The Animal Studies
As early as 1967 and again in 1971, animal study outcomes provoked questions about aspartame health risks. In 1980, a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) convened by the FDA, revoked an earlier approval of aspartame because of a study indicating it caused brain tumors in rats.

More recently, a 2007 study conducted by Dr. Mirando Soffritti, MD, the Scientific Director of the Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences, (located in Bologna, Italy) found high rates of lymphomas, leukemias and other cancers in rats consuming aspartame. As in the Harvard study, this similar constellation of cancers was more pronounced in males.

Soffritti, a prominent and highly regarded international scientist, designed his research to correct design flaws he identified in the original Searle research. Searle scientists followed rats for only two years, which roughly equates to age fifty-three in the human life span. The Ramazzini study used a larger cohort of rats (1,900 vs. 300-700 animals) and followed them throughout their natural life cycle. Soffritti’s rationale for the study design was that:

Cancer is a disease of the third part of life. You have 75 percent of cancer diagnoses for people who are 55 years old or older. So if you truncate the experiments at 110 weeks and the rats are supposed to survive until 150 to 160 weeks, it means you avoid the development of cancer at the time when cancer would be starting to arise.

When independent, international, or even mainstream Harvard scientists find post-approval evidence of health risks from ingredients (like aspartame or GMOs), they are in effect acting as scientific whistleblowers, but scientific whistleblowers all too easily get dismissed or marginalized as cranks or quacks.

Yet over time, the evidence mounts. As aspartame research continues to emerge, the history of aspartame science and its suppression confers key lessons for the scientific assessment of GMOs.

First, GMOs were introduced a decade later than aspartame, and have much less science, and consumer report. Second, GMOs are difficult for independent scientists to study because Monsanto (via patent law) limits access to its seeds. Nevertheless, two animal studies done in Europe, found evidence of tumor growth in mice consuming GMO ingredients. A storm of protest erupted over the study design both for the earlier English study and the recent French study. But while study designs can often be improved, and independent research merits better funding, it’s vital that critiques not end by suffocating all independent research into industrial food products.

A 2009 position paper published by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, surveyed animal studies on GMO health effects, and found:

  • Immune dysregulation of inflammatory markers associated with increases in asthma, allergy, and inflammation.


  • Functional and structural changes of the liver, which can alter fat and carbohydrate metabolism


  • Intestinal and immune system damage, including proliferative cell growth


  • Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been documented


  • Links to infertility and low birth weight


  • Changes in the expression of four hundred genes that “control protein synthesis and modification, cell signaling, cholesterol synthesis, and insulin regulation

This review of animal studies is a strong indicator of areas of health concern entailed by GMO consumption. The Public Trust

What people find so hard to wrap their minds around is this: How can major gatekeeping organizations, trusted by the public, lay claim to scientific validation of product safety while selectively ignoring animal studies and other meaningful science?

First, it’s obvious that institutional loyalties, economic pressures, and reputations make it hard for organizations like the FDA and the ACS to shift their stance on nearly three decades of safety claims.

Second, we, the public allow it. Apart from climate science, in most cases where there is scientific debate, there is complexity. As the breakdown in traditional journalism eats away at traditional scientific reporting, people seek simple answers and lack time for nuanced analysis.

Most of the educated public wants to trust science, without having to evaluate its credibility, and industry takes advantage of that.

“If at the outset, agencies like the FDA confer scientific validation on an industrial food product or ingredient, going forward, industry can more readily maintain the scientific upper hand,” says James S. Turner, Chairman of Citizens for Health, a health and science policy organization.

The studies industry commissions will be cited. Contending studies will be invalidated. Typically corporate funded science has more generous budgets for larger cohorts of participants in a study than independent researchers. This can translate into a seemingly “scientific” basis for rejecting independent research, because “most studies” are funded by industry and support industry claims.

Because it takes time and money to progress up the chain of proof from animal to human studies, it may take decades for independent science to reverse the initial advantage conferred by a government agency like the FDA, the USDA, or the EPA. By then the product or ingredient is in wide use, making its risks “impossible” to accept (even with scientific proof) given that by then millions have been exposed to its dangers. Moreover, there is heavy economic vestment in the use of even a nutritionally valueless ingredient like aspartame. Finally, since our medical treatment and research model focus on treatments of disease, rather than the causes of disease, it will be harder after the fact to ascertain whether a person’s illness was caused by aspartame or GMOs or other exposure to chemicals, like in plastic bottles and containers containing bisphenol-A (BPA), or chemicals used in fracking oil and gas wells, which are becoming more common, or myriad other chemicals or combinations of chemicals.

Soffritti defined the bottom line when he spoke to The New York Times back when his animal study was first published, “If something is a carcinogen in animals, then it should not be added to food, especially if there are so many people that are going to be consuming it.” When it comes to the novel ingredients in the food supply, independent study is a must.



Over 400 Companies Who Aren’t Using GMOs In Their Products

Over 400 Companies Who Aren’t Using GMOs In Their Products

Natural Cures Not Medicine on Facebook:

gmo-project-263x164If you want to keep eating poison food, you can join the ‘scientists’ who keep spewing Monsanto-funded lies. They are telling us that genetically altered crops are good for us and the environment – that they are, in fact, a necessity to feed the world population. They say all of this, even though we seemed to feed the masses just fine without chemical quackery until about 60 years ago, all while dumping millions of tons of unaltered food right into the trash bin. If however, you believe GMOs are toxic, cancer-causing substances, you have another option.
We will always need to fight for what we believe in and ignite change through things like the March Against Monsanto and the upcoming Monsanto Video Revolt(which you should absolutely get involved in, as it’s super easy), but it’s also important to use your dollar not only to vote, but also to keep yourself healthy.
Courtesy of the Non-GMO Project, here is a list of companies who make many or even the majority of all their products without GMOs:
479 Degrees
A. Vogel
Adams Vegetable Oils
Agricor Inc.
Alter Ego
Alverado Street Bakery
Among Friend’s
Amy’s Kitchen
Andalou Naturals
Angie’s Artisan Treats
Ariven Planet
Arrowhead Mills
Artisan Bistro
Artisan Bistro Home Direct
Atlantic Organic
Atlantic Rose
Attune Foods
Autumn Sky wild
Back to Nature
Bainter Extra Virgin Sunfllower Oil
Bakery On Main
Barlean’s Organic Oils
Barney Butter
Basic Food Flavors, Inc.
Beach Bum Foods
Berlin Natural Bakery
Better Bean
Bhakti Chai
Biad Chili Products
Bites of Bliss
Blue Diamond
Blue Print
Bold Organics
Bora Bora
Boulder Canyon Natural Foods
Brad’s Leafy Kale
Brad’s Raw for Paws
Brad’s Raw Chips
Brad’s Raw Crackers
Brad’s Raw Onion Rings
Braga Organic Farms
Brand Aromatics
Bridgewell Resources
Blue Natural
Cabo Chips
Cal-Organic Farms
Cafia Farms
California Olive Ranch
Canfo Natural Products
Canyon Bakehouse
Cape Cod Select
Cave Chick
Central Market Organics
Chappaqua Crunch Granola
Cheweco Organics
Chez Marie, Inc.
ChiaRezza! OMG Foods Inc
Choice Organic Teas
Chosen Foods
CHS Oilseed Processing
Chunks O’ Fruti
Ciao Bella Gelato
Coconut Secret
Cool Cups
Coral LLC
Country Choice Organic
Crispy Cat
cruncha ma•me
Crunch Master
Curtie’s Juice
Dave’s Gourmet
David’s Unforgettables
Desert Essence
Doctor in the Kitchen
Doctor Kracker
Dr. Arenander’s BrainGain & Oral Care
Dr. Bronner’s Magic
Drew’s LLC
Earth Balance
Earth’s Best
Edward & Sons
Eighth Wonder
Emerald Cove
Emile Noel
Emmy’s Organics
Emperor’s Kitchen
Endangered Species Chocolate
Ener-G Foods
Engine 2
Enjoy Life Foods
Essential Living Foods, Inc
Everyday Superfoods
Fairfield Specialty Eggs
Fantastic World Foods
Farm to Table Foods
Farmer’s Market
Farmhouse Culture
Field Day
Field Roast Grain Meat Company
Fillmore Farms
Flamous Organics
Flax USA
Follow Your Heart
Freekeh Foods
Freeline Organic Foods
Fresh & Easy
Fruit Bliss
Fruit Chia
Fry Group Foods
Fungi Perfecti, LLC
Funky Monkey Snacks
Garden Bar
Garden of Eatin’
Garden of Life
Gin Gins
Gingras XO
Giving Nature
GL Soybeans
Global River
Gluten Free Pantry by Glutino
Gnu Foods
Go Raw
GoMacro, Inc
Good Health Natural Foods
Good Karma
Grain Place Foods
Grains of Wellness
Green Gem
Green Island Rice
Green Mountain Gringo
Green Mustache
Grimmway Farms
Growing Naturals
Guiltless Gourmet
Haig’s Delicacies
Hail Merry
Hapi Foods Group Inc.
Happy Baby Pouches
Harvest Bay
Haute Cuisine
Health is Wealth
Health Warrior
Heavenly Organics
Herbal Zap
High Country Kombucha
Hiland Naturals
Hilary’s Eat Well
Hodgson Mill
Home Appetit
House Foods
Houweling’s Tomatoes
Immaculate Baking
Immortality Alchemy
Imperial Gourmet
It Tastes Raaw
Jaali Bean
JaynRoss Creations LLC
Jeff’s Naturals
Jessica’s Natural Foods
Jolly Llama
Keller Crafted Meats
Kettle Foods
KIND Healthy Snacks
Kur Organic Superfoods
La Reina
La Spagnola
La Tolteca
La Tourangelle
Lafiya Foods
Laughing Giraffe Organics
Laurel Hill
Let’s Do
Licious Organics
Lillabee Allergy Friendly Baking
Little Duck Organics
livingNOW gluten-free
Louts Foods
Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss
Lundberg Family Farms
Made in Nature
Mamma Chia
Manitoba Harvest
Marconi Naturals
Maria & Ricardo
Marinelli’s True Italian Pasta Sauce
Mariner Biscuit Company
Martha’s All Natural
Marukome USA
Mary’s Chicken
Mary’s Gone Crackers
Mary’s Little Garden
Mary’s Organic Chicken
Mary’s Organic Turkey
Mary’s Pasture Raised Chicken
Maui Maid
Mediterranean Organic
Mediterranean Snacks
Melt Organic
Metabolic Response Modifiers (MRM)
Mighty Mustard
Mighty Rice
Mighty-O Donuts
Mindful Meats
Miracle Noodle
Miso Master
Modesto WholeSoy Co.
Montana Specialty Mills, LLC
Mt Vikos
Muesli Munch
Multiple Organics
My Chi Delights
Naked Coconuts
Naosap Harvest
Napa Valley Naturals
Native Forest Distributed by Edward & Sons
Natural Directions
Natural Habitats
Natural Nectar
Natural Sea
Natural Tides
Natural Vitality
Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd
Nature Built
Nature Fed
Nature Way
Nature’s Express
Nature’s Path
Navitas Naturals
Nest Fresh
New Chapter
New England Naturals
New Organics
New York Superfoods
Nexcel Natural Ingredients
Nexcel Soy
Niagara Natural
Nordic Naturals
North Coast
NOW Foods
NOW Healthy Foods
NOW Real Food
NOW Real Tea
Nu Life Market
Numi Organic Tea
Nummy Tum Tum
Nuts About Granola
Oh Baby Foods
Old Wessex
Once Again
One Degree Organic Foods
One World
Organic Baby
Organic Planet
Organic Valley
Oriya Organics
Ozery Bakery
Pacific Natural Foods
Pacific Northwest Farmers
Paisley Tea Co
Palo Root Tea
Pampas Rice / Organic Latin
Pan De Oro
Pastorelli Food Products Inc
Peace Cereal
Peanut Butter & Co.
Peeled Snacks
Peggy’s Premium
PJ’s Organics
Planet Rice
Plum Organics
Popcorn, Indiana
President’s Choice
Pure Country Pork
Pure Eire
Purely Decadent
Purely Elizabeth
Pyure Brands
Qrunch Foods
Quinn Popcorn
R.W. Knudsen
Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems
Red Hat Co-operative Ltd
Righteously Raw
Rigoni di Asiago Honey
Rishi Tea
Rising Moon Organics
ROBE and Riverina Natural Oils LLC
Roots Route 11
Royal Hawaiian Orchards
Rumiano Family Cheese
Ruth’s Foods
RW Garcia
Saffron Road
Sage V Foods
Sainthood Herbs
Salba Smart
Sally’s Smart Foods
Salute Santé!
Santa Cruz Organic
Scratch and Peck
Secret Squirrel
Seven Stars Farm
Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery
Simple Origins
Simply Soy Yogurt
Simply Suzanne
Sir Kensington’s
SK Food
Snyder’s of Hanover
So Delicious Dairy Free
Sol Cuisine
Somersault Snack Co.
Sophie’s Kitchen
Spectrum Ingredients
Stahlbush Island Farms
Stahlbush Island Farms Ingredients
Stark Sisters Granola
Stash Teas
Stiebrs Farms Go-Organic Eggs
Stone Buhr Flour Company
Straus Family Creamery
Stretch Island Fruit Co
Suja Juice
Sun Cups
Sunfood Superfoods
SunRidge Farms
Sunset Kidz
Sunshine Burger
Surf Sweets
Sushi Sonic
Sweet Sass Foods
Sweet Tree
Sweet Leaf
Taste of Nature
Tasty Brand
That’s It.
The Better Chip
The Chia Co
The Fresh Market
The Ginger People
The Pure Wraps
The Republic of Tea
The Scoular Company
The Simply Bar
The Solio Family
Theo Chocolate
Third Street, Inc.
Three Farmers
Tiny But Might
Trace Minerals Research
Traditional Medicinals
Tree of Life
Tropical Traditions
Tru Joy Sweets
Turtle Island Foods
Two Leaves Tea Company
Two Moms in the Raw
Union Market
Upfront Foods
Van’s Natural Foods
Veronica Foods
Vigilant Eats
Watts Brothers
Way Better Snacks
Western Foods
Whole Alternatives
Whole Earth
Whole Harvest
Whole Pantry
Wholesome Chow
Wholesome Sweeteners
WholeSoy & Co.
Wild Veggie
Willamette Valley
Wisdom of the Ancients
XO Baking Co.
Zema’s Madhouse Foods
Ziggy Marley Coco’Mon
Ziggy Marley Hemp Rules
Zing Bars
And there you have it. Over 400 GMO-free companies.
Source: Antony Gucciardi, Natural Society

GMO-free food list

22 Non-GMO Companies - GMO Free Food CompaniesThese brands, at the time of writing, source their ingredients from GMO-free supplies.  If you’re concerned about the very real threat that genetically modified organisms pose to our food supply and ultimate health, please purchase from these companies and contact them to let them know that you support and value their decision to use non-gmo soy, corn, canola and other ingredients. Please enjoy this GMO-free food list and share it.

  • Arrowhead Mills: GMO-free providers of baking mixes and flours found in both natural health food stores and regular supermarkets.
  • Braggs: GMO-free providers of seasonings and liquid products such as; Apple Cider Vinegar, Liquid Aminos, etc. Can be found in both natural health food stores and regular supermarkets.
  • Eden Foods: GMO-free providers of canned goods, noodles, tamari, miso, vinegar and Asian foodstuffs.
  • Natural Choice Foods:  GMO-free roviders of frozen dessert products.
  • Purity Foods: GMO-free makers of spelt-based noodles, snacks and other goodies.
  • Rapunzel: My all-time favorite chocolate company.  They also sell speciality oils.
  • Spectrum Oils: GMO-free manufacturer of speciality oils, cooking oils, salad oils and natural shortening.
  • Genisoy: Uses only certified GMO-free soybeans for their many soy products.
  • Earth’s Best: Baby food manufacturer uses non-GMO ingredients.
  • Healthy Times: Baby food manufacturer uses non-gmo ingredients.
  • Bob’s Red Mill: GMO-free provider of baking mixes and specialty flours.
  • Pamela’s Products: Provider of luscious gluten-free baking mixes sources non-GMO ingredients.
  • Whole Foods Store Brands: Whole foods has made the commitment to sourcing its ingredients from GMO-free sources.
  • Cascadian Farms: Provider of frozen entrees, juices, frozen vegetables and fruit, yogurt and other foods.
  • Imagine Foods: GMO-free provider of soy and rice milk as well as broth and other foods.
  • Muir Glen: Source of canned goods and vegetable juice uses gmo-free foods.
  • Thai Kitchen: Source for coconut milks and Asian ingredients sources gmo-free ingredients.
  • Amy’s Kitchen: GMO-free source of canned soups, chilies, boxed and frozen meals.
  • Nature’s Path: Manufacturer of cereals and snack bars made with ingredients sourced gmo-free.
  • Annie’s Naturals: Manufacturer of BBQ sauce, salad dressings and other condiments sourced from gmo-free ingredients.
  • San J: GMO-free manufacturer of soy sauce, shoyu and tamari.
  • Tradition Miso: Manufacturer of miso pastes that are made from GMO-free ingredients.
  • Barbara’s Bakery: Manufacturer of cookies sources from gmo-free ingredients.
  • Lundberg Family Farms: GMO-free provider of rice and wild rice foods including raw rice, soups and convenience foods.
  • Walkers: Provider of the best shortbread cookies ever as well as other sweet treats.
  • Fantastic Foods: Provider of hummus, falafel, risotto couscous, soup and other mixes with gmo-free ingredients.
  • Vitasoy: Manufacturer of soy-based foods sourced from gmo-free ingredients.
  • Clif: Manufacturer of energy bars sourced from gmo-free foods.
  • Kettle Chips: GMO-free manufacturer of potato and tortilla chips.
  • Que Pasa: Manufacturer of tortilla chips and other Mexican foods sourced from non-gmo ingredients.
  • Garden of Eatin: Manufacturer of chips, salsas and other snack foods.
  • French Meadow Bakery: Manufacturer of bread and baked goods using non-gmo ingredients.
  • White Wave: Manufacturer of soy products including tofu and tempeh using gmo-free soy.
  • Bearitos: Manufacturer of snack foods and dips using gmo-free foods.
  • Chaffin Family Orchards: Is committed to GMO-free foods and sells an assortment of goods including olive oil.
  • Cultures for Health: All starters and products sold at Cultures for Health are GMO-free.
  • Grindstone Bakery: GMO-free provider of wheat- and gluten-free bread.
  • Pure Indian Foods: GMO-free provider of grass-fed ghee.
  • To Your Health: Provider of gmo-free sprouted breads and sprouted flours.
  • Trader Joe’s : GMO-free provider on their personal products. All labels with Trader Joe’s, Jose’s, Ming’s, etc. are GMO-free
  • US Wellness Meats: Provider of pasture- and grass-fed meats free of GMO supplemental feed.
  • Zukay: Provider of live cultured condiments and salsa free from GMO.
  • Wisconsin Healthy Grown Potatoes: GMO-free potatoes.

If you have a question about a certain product or brand that is not listed here, please call the company and ask or contact us. Remember: one of the best ways to raise awareness among the food corporations is to voice your concerns directly to them and boycott companies who continue to source ingredients from genetically modified sources.


GM Hormones in Dairy

This was copied from here.

GM Hormones in Dairy

Although banned in most other industrialized nations due to the health risks to humans and harm to the animals, Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) is still injected into dairy cows in the US to increase milk-production.

So why was rBGH approved? The approval of rBGH in our country is a story of fired whistleblowers, manipulated research, and a corporate takeover of the US Food and Drug Administration. US dairies, responding to the health concerns of consumers by not injecting their herds, now battle for their right to label their milk as rBGH-free. For those familiar with the history of this controversial drug, and Monsanto, this is no surprise. Monsanto’s past is plagued with toxic disasters, lawsuits and cover-ups.

The Health Hazards in Milk from Cows Injected with rBGH

Milk from rBGH-treated cows has much higher levels of IGF-1, a hormone considered to be a high risk factor for breast, prostate, colon, lung, and other cancers. IGF-1 levels in milk from treated cows with rBGH can be up to 10 times higher. Studies suggest that pre-menopausal women below 50 years old with high levels of IGF-1 are seven times more likely to develop breast cancer. Men are four times more likely to develop prostate cancer. IGF-1 is implicated in lung and colon cancer.

Milk from rBGH-treated cows with its heightened IGF-1 levels also likely increases the rate of fraternal twin births in humans. In the United States, the number of fraternal twins grew at twice the rate as that in the United Kingdom, where rBGH is banned.

Milk from cows injected with rBGH also has lowered nutritional value, increased antibiotics and more pus from infected udders. Cows given rBGH experience higher rates of mastitis, a painful udder infection. When treated with antibiotics that are also used for people, bacteria resistant to these antibiotics end up in the milk, air, soil and water, resulting in increased antibiotic resistance in humans, a major health problem.

Labels that Lie

Within the US, many school systems have banned milk products from injected cows and dairies have refused to inject their cow with it. But a milk carton from Maine’s Oakhurst Dairy stating, “Our Farmers’ Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones” became the subject of controversy when on July 3, 2003 the dairy was sued by Monsanto over their labels. Oakhurst eventually settled, agreeing to add a sentence saying that according to the FDA no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from [rBGH]-treated and non- treated cows. But it’s a statement that is not true. Both Monsanto and FDA scientists had acknowledged the increase of IGF-1 in milk from treated cows. Higher amounts of pus and antibiotic residues in the milk were noted are as well. This misleading addition to the label was written by the FDA’s deputy commissioner of policy, Michael Taylor, previously Monsanto’s outside attorney who, after running policy at the FDA, became vice president of Monsanto. Could this revolving door between Monsanto and the government regulators (i.e. the movement from positions as biotech leaders to government policymaker and back again) be the one of the reasons why the FDA isn’t protecting US consumers?

Bribes, Fired Scientists and Corporate Hijacking of the FDA and Health Canada

In the late 1980s, one FDA scientist was fired after expressing concerns about possible health problems related rBGH-treated cows. Other like-minded FDA scientists at the FDA had been stripped of responsibilities or forced out. Remaining FDA whistle-blowers had to write an anonymous letter to Congress, complaining of fraud and conflict of interest at the agency. In 1998, six Canadian government scientists testified before their Senate that they were being pressured by superiors to approve rBGH, even though they believed it was unsafe. They also testified that documents were stolen from a locked file cabinet and that Monsanto offered them a bribe of $1-2 million to approve the drug. Monsanto responded to the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) story about the alleged bribe, claiming that the scientists misunderstood an offer for research money. (Eventually in 2005, Monsanto was fined for offering bribes to 140 Indonesians, as the company tried to gain approval for their genetically modified cotton.)

Muscling the Media—Fox News Intimidated

In 1989, Monsanto’s PR firm created “the Dairy Coalition,” a group that included researchers funded by Monsanto, to pressure editors of the USA Today, Boston Globe, New York Times and others, to stop reporting on the health concerns about rBGH.

The potential link between rBGH and cancer was one of the topics revealed in a four-part news series set to air in February of 1997 by a Tampa-based Fox TV station. Just before the series was to air, however, Fox received threatening letters from Monsanto’s attorney, threatening “dire consequences for Fox News.” The show was postponed indefinitely. The reporters who had created the series later testified that they were offered hush money to leave the station and never speak about the story again. They declined.

Progress and New Battles

Over the past few years, several organizations have worked to raise awareness of the rBGH issue, such as the Campaign For Safe Food launched by the Oregon Chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility. Getting attention to the rBGH issue was slow at first, but by educating consumers about the health dangers associated with rBGH and producers making rBGH-free brands readily available, we have seen a widespread consumer demand for rBGH free dairy products. Within the last two years, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Kroger, and about 40 of the 100 top dairies removed rBGH products as consumer concerns reached a tipping point on this issue.

Having failed to gain a complete ban on “rBGH-free” labeling from the FDA, Monsanto has now gone to the state level by claiming the labels are an “unfair restraint of trade” even with the FDA disclaimer. Also, in an effort to turn public opinion their way, Monsanto has been trying to promote rBGH as having a positive effect on the environment. Of course their position is based on the “bad science” that they have perfected. The reality is that rBGH is anything but green.

The Next Big Consumer Tidal Wave Will be the Complete Rejection of Remaining
GMOs in Food Products, and You Can be a Part of It

The market rejection of rBGH demonstrates that consumers are still at the top of the food chain, dictating the direction of this fight. We expect to see the same tipping point kick GM foods out of the US food supply. Almost 87 million consumers in the United States believe that all GM foods aren’t safe, but can’t always avoid them because they don’t know how. By directing the purchasing power of the tens of millions of health-conscious shoppers, we can reach a new tipping point and push GMOs out of the entire food supply.

Here are a couple of things you can do to help. First, view the rBGH free dairy products section of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide and share this with friends. Then, sign on to participate in The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America and you will join the swell that is rising out of the natural food aisles and building into tidal wave of GMO rejection throughout the entire food industry. Adding your name to the Campaign’s growing list of supporters not only addresses you and your family’s health concerns, but also influences the decisions of food manufacturers, distributors, and retailers nationwide.

Finally, we invite you to have house party showings of the new film, The World According to Monsanto, which is a part of a packaged two DVD set that includes Your Milk on Drugs – Just Say No! The World According to Monsanto, takes a hard look at Monsanto’s campaign of deception and use of coercive tactics to gain market supremacy. A showing of these two films together is sure to motivate every viewer to take steps to stop GMOs.

The following PDFs are courtesy of the Campaign for Safe Food, Oregon Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Food and Water Watch

Anything but Green – rbGH Fact Sheet (FWW) PDF

Consumer Demand for rbGH-free Products (PSR) PDF

Surveys of Consumer Attitudes (PSR) PDF

See Also: Jeffrey Smith’s 3-part blog on Huffington Post called Get Our Milk off Drugs

Pt 1 – Kansas Labelling Battle

Pt 2 – FDA Failures

Pt 3 – Fox News Intimidated

Health Risks of GMO’s are Higher for Children

This was copied from here.

Higher Risks for Children

Children face the greatest risk from the potential dangers of GM foods:

  • Young, fast-developing bodies are influenced most
  • Children are more susceptible to allergies
  • Children are more susceptible to problems with milk
  • Children are more susceptible to nutritional problems
  • Children are in danger from antibiotic resistant diseases

Young, fast-developing bodies are influenced most

Children’s bodies develop at a fast pace and are more likely to be influenced and show the effects of genetically modified (GM) foods. That is why independent scientists used young adolescent rats in their GM feeding studies. The rats showed significant health damage after only 10 days, including damaged immune systems and digestive function, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy of the liver, and potentially pre-cancerous cell growth in the intestines.

Children are more susceptible to allergies

Children are three to four times more prone to allergies than adults. Infants below two years old are at greatest risk-they have the highest incidence of reactions, especially to new allergens encountered in the diet. Even tiny amounts of allergens can sometimes cause reactions in children. Breast fed infants can be exposed via the mother’s diet, and fetuses may possibly be exposed in the womb. Michael Meacher, the former minister of the environment for the UK, said, “Any baby food containing GM products could lead to a dramatic rise in allergies.” GM corn is particularly problematic for children, as they generally eat a higher percentage of corn in their diet. Further, allergic children often rely on corn protein. Mothers using cornstarch as a talc substitute on their children’s skin might also inadvertently expose them via inhalation.

Children are more susceptible to problems with milk

Milk and dairy products from cows treated with the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH) contain an increased amount of the hormone IGF-1, which is one of the highest risk factors associated with breast and prostate cancer. The Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association called for more studies to determine if ingesting “higher than normal concentrations of [IGF-1] is safe for children, adolescents, and adults.” Sam Epstein, M.D., Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition and author of eight books, wrote, “rbGH and its digested products could be absorbed from milk into blood, particularly in infants, and produce hormonal and allergic effects.” He described how “cell-stimulating growth factors . . . could induce premature growth and breast stimulation in infants, and possibly promote breast cancer in adults.” Dr. Epstein pointed out that the hormones in cows could promote the production of “steroids and adrenaline-type stressor chemicals . . . likely to contaminate milk and may be harmful, particularly to infants and young children.”

Children are more susceptible to nutritional problems

A 2002 report by the UK’s Royal Society, said that genetic modification “could lead to unpredicted harmful changes in the nutritional state of foods.” They therefore recommended that potential health effects of GM foods be rigorously researched before being fed to pregnant or breast-feeding women, elderly people, those suffering from chronic disease, and babies. Likewise, according to former minister Meacher, unexpected changes in estrogen levels in GM soy used in infant formula “might affect sexual development in children,” and that “even small nutritional changes could cause bowel obstruction.”

Children are in danger from antibiotic resistant diseases

Children prone to ear and other infections are at risk of facing antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, due to the use of antibiotic resistant genes in GM food. The British Medical Association cited this as one reason why they called for a moratorium of GM foods.

10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs

This was copied from here.

10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs

1. GMOs are unhealthy.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and that the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.

Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise. Although there is not sufficient research to confirm that GMOs are a contributing factor, doctors groups such as the AAEM tell us not to wait before we start protecting ourselves, and especially our children who are most at risk.

The American Public Health Association and American Nurses Association are among many medical groups that condemn the use of GM bovine growth hormone, because the milk from treated cows has more of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1)―which is linked to cancer.

2. GMOs contaminate―forever.
GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.

3. GMOs increase herbicide use.
Most GM crops are engineered to be “herbicide tolerant”―they deadly weed killer. Monsanto, for example, sells Roundup Ready crops, designed to survive applications of their Roundup herbicide.

Between 1996 and 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs. Overuse of Roundup results in “superweeds,” resistant to the herbicide. This is causing farmers to use even more toxic herbicides every year. Not only does this create environmental harm, GM foods contain higher residues of toxic herbicides. Roundup, for example, is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

4. Genetic engineering creates dangerous side effects.
By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects. Moreover, irrespective of the type of genes that are inserted, the very process of creating a GM plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

5. Government oversight is dangerously lax.
Most of the health and environmental risks of GMOs are ignored by governments’ superficial regulations and safety assessments. The reason for this tragedy is largely political. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, doesn’t require a single safety study, does not mandate labeling of GMOs, and allows companies to put their GM foods onto the market without even notifying the agency. Their justification was the claim that they had no information showing that GM foods were substantially different. But this was a lie. Secret agency memos made public by a lawsuit show that the overwhelming consensus even among the FDA’s own scientists was that GMOs can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects. They urged long-term safety studies. But the White House had instructed the FDA to promote biotechnology, and the agency official in charge of policy was Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, later their vice president. He’s now the US Food Safety Czar.

6. The biotech industry uses “tobacco science” to claim product safety.

Biotech companies like Monsanto told us that Agent Orange, PCBs, and DDT were safe. They are now using the same type of superficial, rigged research to try and convince us that GMOs are safe. Independent scientists, however, have caught the spin-masters red-handed, demonstrating without doubt how industry-funded research is designed to avoid finding problems, and how adverse findings are distorted or denied.

7. Independent research and reporting is attacked and suppressed.
Scientists who discover problems with GMOs have been attacked, gagged, fired, threatened, and denied funding. The journal Nature acknowledged that a “large block of scientists . . . denigrate research by other legitimate scientists in a knee-jerk, partisan, emotional way that is not helpful in advancing knowledge.” Attempts by media to expose problems are also often censored.

8. GMOs harm the environment.

GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.

9. GMOs do not increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world.
Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report, authored by more than 400 scientists and backed by 58 governments, stated that GM crop yields were “highly variable” and in some cases, “yields declined.” The report noted, “Assessment of the technology lags behind its development, information is anecdotal and contradictory, and uncertainty about possible benefits and damage is unavoidable.” They determined that the current GMOs have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability.
On the contrary, GMOs divert money and resources that would otherwise be spent on more safe, reliable, and appropriate technologies.

10. By avoiding GMOs, you contribute to the coming tipping point of consumer rejection, forcing them out of our food supply.
Because GMOs give no consumer benefits, if even a small percentage of us start rejecting brands that contain them, GM ingredients will become a marketing liability. Food companies will kick them out. In Europe, for example, the tipping point was achieved in 1999, just after a high profile GMO safety scandal hit the papers and alerted citizens to the potential dangers. In the US, a consumer rebellion against GM bovine growth hormone has also reached a tipping point, kicked the cow drug out of dairy products by Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Dannon, Yoplait, and most of America’s dairies.

The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to achieve a tipping point against GMOs in the US. The number of non-GMO shoppers needed is probably just 5% of the population. The key is to educate consumers about the documented health dangers and provide a Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make avoiding GMOs much easier.

Please choose healthier non-GMO brands, tell others about GMOs so they can do the same, and join the Non-GMO Tipping Point Network. Together we can quickly reclaim a non-GMO food supply.

What is Genetic Engineering?

This was copied from here.

The GE Process

What is a GMO?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.

This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.

What is a gene?

Every plant and animal is made of cells, each of which has a center called a nucleus. Inside every nucleus there are strings of DNA, half of which is normally inherited from the mother and half from the father. Short sequences of DNA are called genes. These genes operate in complex networks that are finely regulated to enable the processes of living organisms to happen in the right place and at the right time. 

How is genetic engineering done?

Because living organisms have natural barriers to protect themselves against the introduction of DNA from a different species, genetic engineers must force the DNA from one organism into another. Their methods include:

  • Using viruses or bacteria to “infect” animal or plant cells with the new DNA.
  • Coating DNA onto tiny metal pellets, and firing it with a special gun into the cells.
  • Injecting the new DNA into fertilized eggs with a very fine needle.
  • Using electric shocks to create holes in the membrane covering sperm, and then forcing the new DNA into the sperm through these holes.

Is genetic engineering precise?

The technology of genetic engineering is currently very crude. It is not possible to insert a new gene with any accuracy, and the transfer of new genes can disrupt the finely controlled network of DNA in an organism.

Current understanding of the way in which DNA works is extremely limited, and any change to the DNA of an organism at any point can have side effects that are impossible to predict or control. The new gene could, for example, alter chemical reactions within the cell or disturb cell functions. This could lead to instability, the creation of new toxins or allergens, and changes in nutritional value.

But haven’t growers been grafting trees, breeding animals, and hybridizing seeds for years?

Genetic engineering is completely different from traditional breeding and carries unique risks.

In traditional breeding it is possible to mate a pig with another pig to get a new variety, but is not possible to mate a pig with a potato or a mouse. Even when species that may seem to be closely related do succeed in breeding, the offspring are usually infertile—a horse, for example, can mate with a donkey, but the offspring (a mule) is sterile.

With genetic engineering, scientists can breach species barriers set up by nature. For example, they have spliced fish genes into tomatoes. The results are plants (or animals) with traits that would be virtually impossible to obtain with natural processes, such as crossbreeding or grafting.

What combinations have been tried?

It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Scientists have worked on some interesting combinations:

  • Spider genes were inserted into goat DNA, in hopes that the goat milk would contain spider web protein for use in bulletproof vests.
  • Cow genes turned pigskins into cowhides.
  • Jellyfish genes lit up pigs’ noses in the dark.
  • Artic fish genes gave tomatoes and strawberries tolerance to frost.

Field trials have included:

  • Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)
  • Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawaii Agriculture Research Center)
  • Corn engineered with jellyfish genes (Stanford University)
  • Tobacco engineered with lettuce genes (University of Hawaii)
  • Rice engineered with human genes (Applied Phytologics)
  • Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes (Prodigene)
  • Potatoes that glowed in the dark when they needed watering.
  • Human genes were inserted into corn to produce spermicide.

Does the biotech industry hold any promise?

Genetic modification of plants is not the only biotechnology. The study of DNA does hold promise for many potential applications, including medicine. However, the current technology of GM foods is based on obsolete information and theory, and is prone to dangerous side effects. Economic interests have pushed it onto the market too soon.

Moreover, molecular marker technologies – so called Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) used with conventional breeding – show much promise for developing improved crop varieties, without the potentially dangerous side effects of direct genetic modification.