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The other day, I blogged about how surprised I was to find “extra” ingredients in my bottled water.  I also found carbon monoxide on my frozen fish.

FruitsOur son David commented, “well, vegan = vegetables and fruits. nothing special about them, they’re in the produce section…”

I would love to be a vegan.  It is more expensive, however, and not all fruits and vegetables are the same.  Some are sprayed with chemicals to prevent weeds and insects.  Others are genetically modified,

As Margie Kelly explains in the Huffington Post, “GMOs are plant or meat products that have had their DNA altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria.  For example, genetically modified corn contain a pesticide that cannot be washed off. Most GE food grown in the U.S. is “Roundup Ready,” meaning it can withstand spraying of Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide and live, while weeds around it die. Research links GMOs to allergies, organ toxicity, and other health issues, though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require safety testing for GMOs. Market watchers estimate that upwards of 70 percent of processed foods in your local supermarket contain genetically modified ingredients. However, there’s no way to be sure of the percentage because no labels are required to inform consumers about the presence of GMOs in food.”

Yup, I caught it – she started talking about “processed” foods.  So, let’s just stay over in the “fresh” fruits and vegetables aisle.

I shop a great deal at WINCO and WALMART.  Neither market has signs indicating which – if any – of their fruits and vegetables are “GMO free” or “organic.”  Organic meaning they are grown without synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Some of my local markets indicated they are “health food” stores, but even they omit signs declaring their produce is GMO-free or organic.  I’ll bet not even the clerks know the difference.  (Maybe the managers do.)

I’ve been following the invasion of the GMOs for some time, now.  It is a terrifying picture.  In my humble opinion, Monsanto is engineering our food so it can take over world-wide food distribution.  For example, corn it sells to farmers comes with an agreement that the farmer will use ONLY Monsanto seed.  Monsanto makes it difficult to break away, since the seed for crops is sterile.  The farmer has to return to get more Monsanto seed the next year.

I am not alone in my fear of Monsanto.  The CBS TV affiliate in St. Louis – the headquarters for Monsanto – reports about growing concerns.  “Dozens of sign-waving demonstrators gathered in an Olivette park, Saturday, to air their grievances against St. Louis-based Monsanto. One unidentified speaker said, ‘They have just creatively made themselves into a food manufacturer, in order to keep making profits without any regard to human life.’ In what they called a ‘global solidarity march,’ coinciding with others across the world, the group of more than 100 mentioned their distaste for genetically-modified foods, and a call to action for people across the world to continue to stand up against Monsanto. Organic farmer Mark Brown says he was thrilled with the turnout and the enthusiasm, ‘This shows you that the people are not going to stand by while these people (Monsanto) attempt to control the world. They’re doing it in a very sneaky way. It starts with one seed.’”

That “one seed” has multiplied geometrically.  Kelly discovered the Top 7 Genetically Modified Crops in the US.

1. Corn is the No. 1 crop grown in the U.S. and nearly all of it — 88 percent — is genetically modified. In addition to being added to innumerable processed foods, genetically modified corn is a staple of animal feed.

2. 93 percent of soy is genetically modified. Soy is a staple of processed foods under various names including hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a vitamin E supplement) and proteins.

3. According to the USDA, 94 percent of cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Cottonseeds are culled from cotton, and then used for vegetable oil, margarine or shortening production, or frying foods, such as potato chips.

4. Farmers feed alfalfa to dairy cows, the source of milk, butter, yogurt, meat and so much more. Alfalfa is the fourth largest crop grown in the U.S., behind corn, soybeans, and wheat (though there is no genetically engineered wheat on the market).

5. 75 percent of the Hawaiian papaya crop is genetically modified to withstand the papaya ringspot virus.

6. About 90 percent of the U.S. canola crop is genetically modified. Canola oil is used in cooking, as well as biofuels. In North Dakota, genetically modified canola has been found growing far from any planted fields, raising questions about what will happen when “escaped” GE canola competes with wild plants.

7. More than half — 54 percent — of sugar sold in America comes from sugar beets. Genetically modified sugar beets account for 90 percent of the crop; however, that percentage is expected to increase after a USDA’s decision last year gave the green light to sugar beet planting before an environmental impact statement was completed.

Last night on COAST TO COAST AM – “A leading spokesperson on the dangers of genetically modified foods, Jeffrey Smith, offered an update on GMO foods, and their connection to health problems and disorders. He reported that we’re currently in ‘Non-GMO Month,’ an outreach campaign to raise awareness about GMO issues, and encourage shoppers to make non-GMO food choices. Smith is one of the organizers of the GMO Summit, a free informational broadcast, featuring a panel of experts, researchers and activists taking place October 25-27, 2013. He noted that while Proposition 37, which would have required labeling of all foods containing GMOs was defeated in California, a similar ballot measure next month in Washington state has better prospects. There are two major traits to GMOs–they create their own toxic insecticide (BT) in corn and cotton, and (found in far more crops) they don’t die if sprayed with a pesticide like Roundup. “Now, if we just look at the characteristics of these two toxins which are in the US diet, that could explain the gastrointestinal problems that people have,” he pointed out. Smith suggested that the explosion of gluten sensitivity, and related disorders could be connected to consumption of genetically engineered foods.”

Resposnible Technology has found “Animal feeding studies and experience with humans and livestock have linked GMOs with a variety of symptoms and disorders which, when carefully examined, may explain the increase in the incidence of gluten-related disorders since 1996. GMOs may contribute to gluten-related symptoms by promoting: •Permeable intestines (“leaky gut”)  •Imbalanced gut bacteria  •Suppressed digestive enzymes  •Damaged microvilli  •Immune system desensitization or disruption”

The easy answer: stay away from all of the above.

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