Published on December 3rd, 2015 | by Brielle Bleeker0
Moms Battle GMO Foods
by Brielle Bleeker
We have begun to fear our food, and though it may appear that the fear developed overnight, it has been years in the making. It seems like recently people have become more aware of what is put into foods and what people are putting in their bodies.
The mainstream media has not given much attention to genetically modified organisms (GMO) except to say they’re completely safe, which most people think is far from the truth. Presently, the vast majority of food companies allow GMO in their foods and are under no obligation to acknowledge this. In fact, big food companies, as well as the Grocery Manufacturers Association, are fighting to keep Americans in the dark and don’t want GMO labeling on any products.
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, more commonly known as the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know) has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and will soon be introduced in the Senate. While 64 other countries around the world have restrictions or a ban on the production and sale of GMO, the U.S. has overlooked the health of both humans and animals in the name of corporate greed and continues to fight labeling.
More than 90 percent of Americans support the labeling of GMO food. Among those supporters are moms that are trying to ensure a healthy and nutritious lifestyle at every meal for their children, which has now become even more of a struggle. Kelly Majoch, of Saddle Brook, and a co-leader of the Bergen County chapter of the Holistic Moms Network (HMN), says, “I became conscious when I became a parent. I had this being that was so pure and I wanted to be conscious of what I was feeding her.” Majoch says that it’s unfortunately impossible to avoid GMO completely, and so has adopted an 80/20 percent policy in her household while still managing to avoid the top GMO offenders, including corn and soy.
Awareness is growing. There is a demand for organic food now more than ever, and it’s easier to find and more readily available. Angela Cays, another co-leader of the HMN Bergen County chapter, says that her family does their best to eliminate GMO from their diet, but does not go crazy over it, because it can be also harmful to live in fear and anger. “We need to get balanced, because we’re so imbalanced toward all the foods that are easy. We don’t look at food to nourish and sustain, but rather to entertain.”
People tend to be reluctant to change their ways. As Majoch remarks, “Food is culture. It’s everything to some people. When you say some food is bad, it can be very insulting.”
But food is not the same as it once was. Many products are made differently with far more ingredients, including chemical additives and food dyes, in addition to genetically modified ingredients. There is a health crisis in this country like never before. With everything from cancer to allergies to autism and ADHD on the rise, it is no wonder that many people, especially moms, are looking to food as the culprit and eliminating the bad and unnecessary ingredients from their diets and that of their families and children.
Food Activist and mom Robyn O’Brien pointed out an interesting correlation in her book The Unhealthy Truth. In 1993, the genetically modified growth hormone rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) was developed by Monsanto and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be given to cows to increase milk production. Coincidentally or not, at around the same time, milk allergies began to skyrocket. In addition, there have been a host of other problems related to rBGH for both the cows being administered the growth hormone and the people consuming dairy products that contain it.
Clearly, more independent studies need to be done. It is a fact that many, if not all of the studies touting the safety of GMO have been conducted by the very corporations that created, produce and own the patents on GMO, which demonstrates a clear bias and reason enough to give pause in buying anything and everything containing genetically modified material. Moms have every right to be concerned and vigilant when it comes to feeding their families. The companies that are in support of GMO have a vested interest in them, while people that consume GMO have everything to lose; most importantly, their health. As Henry Kissinger once said, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”
Brielle Bleeker is a mother of two from Bergen County, a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a contributing writer for Natural Awakenings magazine.