What’s the GO with GMO? Genetically Modified Foods

July 14, 2013

Genetically Modified (GM) Foods is a very controversial topic but it is one that is worth exploring.  And I know I am not alone in this!  A  nationwide survey on Australians’ attitudes to food by Australian consumer research group, Roy Morgan Research, revealed that 52 per cent of Australians said they will not buy genetically modified food if they can help it, and 46 per cent said they try to buy additive free food!!!

I’m hosting an event on it on Friday 2nd August in Brisbane because I personally want to know more:  CLICK HERE to find out about our event!

Foods that are genetically modified tend to be modified so that they express proteins for herbicide tolerance and insect resistance.  A lot of the issues with GM crops that farmers report, is they need to use more and more pesticides.  Almost two times the amount they would normally need to use!

With growing rates of allergies, autism/ADHD, asthma, gut and auto-immune disorders,  parents around the world are taking steps to avoid GM foods, pesticides and food additives with great results.  Why?

When Pigs Eat GM 

This new research by an Australian scientist might have some answers.  This research is showing pigs fed a diet of GM-feed, has been linked to increasing digestive and reproductive problems, compared to pigs fed a non-GM diet.

Curiously humans are also experiencing increasing rates of digestive/ gut health issues and infertility.  It seems crazy – yes – but  think about the number of people you talk to that either have gut issues or are going through IVF at ‘younger’ ages.  Plus there is a growing body of research exploring environmental factors and Autism (click here for a nice summary by US organisation Autism Speaks).

While governments, scientists, farmers, and industry continue to debate about the necessity and safety of Genetically Modified (GM) crops for our food supply, we need to take a step back and understand what it all means – gene splicing, organics, pesticides.  Otherwise we cannot even begin to make informed choices for our health.

Need more info?

If you’re not sure why you need to bother – I’d love to introduce you to two speakers that will be at our Brisbane Event on Friday 2nd August (CLICK HERE for details):  Fran Murrell and Robert Pekin.  

Fran Murrell is a co-founder of MADGE (Mothers Are Demystifying Genetic Engineering), one of Australia’s leading organisations campaigning for GM labeling.  Fran, who is one of our two fantastic speakers had this to say about the pig GM Feed study:

“This study shows intestinal and fertility problems are linked to eating GM. Most processed food in Australia contains GM ingredients but they escape labelling. We need a freeze on new GM approvals, a reassessment of existing ones and full labelling of GM ingredients immediately.”

I couldn’t agree more!  At least with food additives we have SOME info on the label so we can READ and make INFORMED DECISIONS about if we want to eat it or not.  We aren’t that lucky when it comes to GM foods or knowing if animals have been fed a GM diet?

What about the farmers?

Our second speaker is such a delight as well – Robert Pekin, Executive Director of Brisbane-based Food Connect Foundation, a unique Social Business that provides local marketing and distribution solutions for Ecological Family Farmers throughout Australia.  I love that Robert is an ex-dairy farmer – he knows what it takes to offer alternatives and just how hard our farmers work to provide us with food.

Robert will be speaking about how the New Creative Food Economy can transform the health and wealth of our local communities.  And this is exactly why I am so excited about Robert’s session too.

Personally I don’t think we can ignore the impact that our food choices have on the health and wellbeing of our farmers! They are having to use toxic, cancer causing pesticides and herbicides daily to stop bugs eating our food.  If you’re a science and OHS nerd like me,  you’ll have read the material safety data sheets and looked at the statistics!  NOT GOOD!  Deaths from prostate cancer are 137 per cent higher in male farmers compared to the rest of the Australian male population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.  And, deaths from cancers of the haemopoietic and lymphatic systems are 80 per cent higher.

Dr Liz Hanna of the Australian National University found the health of Australian farmers is being subjected to serious risks due to their exposure to some of the most dangerous chemicals available.  These can inflict molecular-level damage on humans, harming the immune system and establishing a predisposition for cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease.

I don’t know about you, to me that sounds like bad Karma!!

So if you want to learn more – get along to the event on FRIDAY 2 AUGUST.  Tickets are $20 or get 3 tickets for $49.50 (ie $16.50 a ticket)!  

Bookings are essential.

 

Check the facts for yourself!  Here are the References:

Judy A. Carman, Howard R. Vlieger, Larry J. Ver Steeg, Verlyn E. Sneller, Garth W. Robinson, Catherine A. Clinch-Jones, Julie I. Haynes, John W. Edwards (2013). A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and  GM maize diet. Journal of Organic Systems 8 (1): 38-54. Open access full text: http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf

Press release Evidence of GMO harm in pig study http://gmojudycarman.org/new-study-shows-that-animals-are-seriously-harmed-by-gm-feed/

Press release Evidence of GMO harm in pig study http://gmojudycarman.org/new-study-shows-that-animals-are-seriously-harmed-by-gm-feed/

GM soy linked to health damage in pigs – a Danish Dossier

http://www.gmwatch.org/gm-reality/13882-gm-soy-linked-to-health-damage-in-pigs-a-danish-dossier

Farmers tested for exposure to chemicals

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-31/farmers-tested-for-exposure-to-chemicals/4344638

Holding back the chemical tide (Dr Liz Hanna)

http://www.bfa.com.au/portals/0/BFAFiles/farmer-health-article.pdf

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine August 5, 2013 at 11:33 am

My friends and I were keen to come along to your GMO talk but couldn’t make it last Friday night. Will you be putting on another event on that topic Louise?

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Meal Planning Your Way August 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Hi Catherine
Unfortunately I won’t be running another one on GMO. I will however be stocking the amazing DVD – Genetic Roulette which is completely AWESOME! It will be on the site soon. You can get it from the US – costs $27 with currency conversion but I will be stocking it for $24.95 (inc delivery)

Check out the Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv96D_ZURzs

Louise 😉

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