Corn is made into corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, vitamin C (as ascorbic acid), and many other forms of sugar. Corn syrup is the sweetener of choice in virtually all processed food. 94% of U.S. corn production is GMO. So, the U.S. public is participating in a genetically engineered (GE) experiment but many of us don’t know that yet. GMO food is not labeled in many countries. It is labeled in 64 countries and Europe but there was no requirement to label it in the U.S. until July 2016. Congress finally passed a weak GMO labeling law to override much more stringent state laws that were beginning to be passed by states like Vermont. In 2017, we can now see statements like, “Partially produced with genetic engineering.” This is a nice statement meant to comply with the labeling law. It doesn’t use the negative acronym GMO because they want to assure the public that something engineered could only be good for us. It appears at the end of the list of ingredients in very tiny print so not to arouse the public. Eventually, there will also be smart labels. They will require a smartphone and a QR code reader to access. But all of this is an improvement on the United States’ no label norm of the past. Consumers will finally have a way to verify GMO foods.
The importance of labeling this modified food is critical. We think of eating food as filling up our gas tank with gas. Food gives us the needed energy to live, work and play. We forget the food we eat is not just the gas in the gas tank—it builds our gas tank. What we eat becomes us. There is nothing more intimate than that. What we eat is used to construct every cell of our human body. We have a right to know what is in our food. These synthetic, GMO components become part of our body and we cannot remove them. What are the ramifications of incorporating these foreign elements into our body? The people who make this food are not very interested in finding out. They don’t test for what they don’t want to know! But there is no escaping that we are what we eat. It is also true that we are what we eat, eats!
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