Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Genetically modified (GM) foods and the evils of the company most identified with them - Monsanto - are again inciting discussion. There is a petition to president Obama "Tell Obama to Cease FDA Ties to Monsanto" (see which is currently big on the social media circuit. Leaving aside the evils of the food industries ties to, and influence at the U.S. political and policy levels (of which this is not the only case), just how bad is genetically modified food?

I don't know. I am not an expert on this a very specialized and complex subject. My review of the research and opinion on the topic leads me to conclude that it may not be quite as harmless as proponents argue, or, quite as evil as GM critics state. But I am not sure that anyone really knows what all the long term risks are.

Quoting from what I said on p. 82 of The Safe Food Handbook: " Perhaps the biggest concern among many experts is that we still do not know what all the risk of GMOs are, and by the time we find out, it may be too late to do much about them."

Alright, let's bring this to the personal level: if we would rather avoid GMOs what can we do? In the case of produce, it may be quite easy in the U.S. Next time you are shopping you may want to look at that little PLU code on that apple or squash or tomato and remember the below:

A five-digit number beginning with 8 means that the produce has been genetically modified.

To your good health,

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