genetically modified organisms – Uncle Matt's Organic http://www.unclematts.com Organic Juices and Beverages | Love at First Sip Tue, 22 May 2018 19:33:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.3 http://www.unclematts.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/cropped-umo-logo-on-wood-e1511126022201-32x32.png genetically modified organisms – Uncle Matt's Organic http://www.unclematts.com 32 32 “Why I’m PRO ‘NO-GMO’” | An Open Letter from Uncle Matt http://www.unclematts.com/why-im-pro-no-gmo-an-open-letter-from-uncle-matt/ http://www.unclematts.com/why-im-pro-no-gmo-an-open-letter-from-uncle-matt/#respond Mon, 15 Apr 2013 15:38:02 +0000 http://unclematts.com/?p=1249 more]]> Dear Friends,

As an Uncle Matt’s supporter, you know the importance of eating food that is high in nutrition and free from the residual effects of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers often used in today’s conventional growing practices.

But there is an issue you may not know about that deeply affects the U.S. food supply and has far-reaching global implications: GMOs. A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.

What’s all the talk about? Simply put, GMOs combine genes in crops from unrelated organisms that could not have otherwise have mixed through biological reproduction and/or conventional breeding. For instance, a frog gene could be inserted into a tomato plant to allow the tomato plant to grow faster.  Common crops that have been modified include wheat, soy and corn. Ultimately, the goal is to increase crop yields by creating GMO plants more resistant to pests and disease.

While farming with GMOs might increase yields over the short term, “Round-Up Ready” crops (as they are dubbed) utilizing the chemical “glyphosate,” a weed killer, have spawned a growing concern for human health. Why? Because not enough research exists on what the long-term risks from GMOs are when examining our environment and human health.

As an organic farmer, I’m concerned with answering questions like, “Does the human body respond to GMOs as food or as foreign substances?” If the body responds to the genetic modification as something “foreign,” it won’t break it down and nourish the body as it should. In fact, the body may actually have a negative autoimmune response. Additionally, what are implications for pregnant women, babies and children who consume GMO foods? Is there a correlation between GMO-food consumption and the spike in food allergies, autism, and ADHD that we see today?

As we grapple over these alarming questions regarding human health, unanswered questions surrounding the impact of GM crops on animal and environmental health remain: What are the ramifications of GM-engineered animal feed given to livestock? Or what about the potential contamination of GM crops on non-GM varieties via open pollination? One grain grower told me about his concern for “trespassing pollen” on his property with organic acreage.

So while the topic can appear daunting, here are 2 important steps you can take today to make a difference ­­–– not only for the safety of your family but also for your community and your state.

1.  SUPPORT LABELING.

Aside from banning GMOs, which I would be in favor of until ramifications for human, animal, and environmental health were fully understood, the easiest short-term action that allows for consumer choice is food labeling. Consumers would then know whether or not they were consuming GMOs and the marketplace would decide whether or not they want to be a part of the GMO experiment.

The national ‘Just-Label-It’ campaign is lobbying Washington D.C. to introduce a law that would require labeling of all GMO foods. Visit www.justlabelit.org to learn about the 8 steps you can take to promote labeling. And while Prop 37, which would have required GMO labeling in California, was defeated last November, there are currently 14 states with similar bills being considered.

If you are more favorable to letting the marketplace decide, Whole Foods recently announced that any products sold in its U.S. and Canadian stories that contain genetically modified ingredients must be labeled by 2018.

2. CHOOSE ORGANIC WHEN POSSIBLE.

Consuming organic foods is one sure-fire way to avoid GMOs.  Not only are organic foods produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, they are also produced without genetically-modified organisms. GMOs and GM seeds are strictly prohibited in the production of organically-grown foods. For example, certified organic corn flakes will not be produced with GMO corn. Organic soymilk uses only non-gmo soy.

In the end, your dollar is your vote and voice, not only for you, but for your family as well. By voting for organic, you are voting for a much cleaner method for producing food that is healthy for you, your family and the planet. And by choosing an all-organic diet, you’ll never have to worry about consuming GMOs again.

Healthy regards,

Matt

Matt McLean is the founder and CEO of Uncle Matt’s Organic, a family-owned business located in Clermont, Florida, specializing in fresh organic juices and fresh produce. He also has served on the Organic Trade Association Board for the past 8 years, the last two as President.

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Five Facts to Know about GMOs…and Five Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Exposure http://www.unclematts.com/five-facts-to-know-about-gmosand-five-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-your-exposure/ http://www.unclematts.com/five-facts-to-know-about-gmosand-five-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-your-exposure/#respond Fri, 17 Aug 2012 19:06:42 +0000 http://unclematts.com/?p=1031 more]]> WHAT TO KNOW…

1. What is a GMO? GMOs (genetically modified organisms, also known as genetically engineered-GE) are altered at the molecular level through laboratory processes that take genes from one species and insert them into another to obtain desired traits.

2. Environmental concerns. GMOs may migrate and damage other farms and ecosystems. They have been known to cross-pollinate and contaminate non-GMO crops; once they get into the wild they cannot be recalled. Additionally, studies have shown GMO crops often use more pesticides than non-GMO crops.

3. Safety. The safety of GMOs for human consumption has not been assured. Several studies have affirmed that GMO crops have the potential to introduce new toxins or allergens into our food and environment. There are no mandatory human clinical trials for GMO crops, no requirement for long-term testing on animals, and limited testing requirements on allergenicity.

4. Presence. As much as 60-70% of processed foods available in U.S. grocery stores likely contain some GMOs. If you eat something with high fructose corn syrup, there’s a 90% likelihood that you are consuming GMOs.

5. Labeling. Most developed countries, including the 15 nations of the European Union, Japan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and China, have mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.

5 Things You Can Do

WHAT TO DO…

1. Buy organic. The USDA’s official organic standards prohibit products that were grown and made with GMOs. Organic food and products are the best way to avoid GMOs.

2. If not organic, look for the Non-GMO Project label. If a product carries the Non-GMO Project Verified Label, it has been tested and found to have less than 0.9% GMO contamination.

3. Avoid foods that are most likely to be GMOs. There are nine GMO crops on the market today: corn, soybean, cotton, sugar beets, alfalfa, canola, Hawaiian papaya, yellow crookneck squash, and zucchini. Those crops often end up in the following foods when processed: corn syrup, corn starch, corn oil, beef, milk, chicken, farmed fish, soy lecithin, soy protein, vegetable oil, and cottonseed oil.

4. Write the FDA to demand labeling on all foods that contain GMOs. Politicians need to hear the message loud and clear: we all have a right to know what’s in our food. You can add your voice to the campaign by going to justlabelit.org

5. Educate your family and friends. Spread the word by telling people about the unknown and negative impacts of GMOs. (Do you know that the FDA is close to approving GE salmon, the world’s first genetically engineered animal?) Sign the petition to have your food labeled and then pass it on: justlabelit.org.


WHAT IS ORGANIC?

Organic food production methods promote biodiversity, the biological cycling of nutrients, and plant and animal health. Certified organic farmers may not use toxic synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and unnecessary hormones or antibiotics. Instead, they use practices that restore, maintain, and enhance soil and ecosystem health. GMOs, artificial ingredients, or trans fats may not be used.

Source: “LABEL IT NOW: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS,” by Gary Hirshberg, Dr. Chuck Benbrook, and Britt Lundgren and The Organic Center / Generations of Organic

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