Non-GMO News Briefs on Chipotle,
Dr. Oz, Glyphosate, & More

By Melissa Diane Smith

The last few months there has been so much news about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food and the pesticides that go with them, it’s difficult to keep up! Here’s a quick rundown of the most important consumer-oriented headlines:

ChipotleChipotle Says No to GMOs

In April, Chipotle Mexican Grill became the first restaurant chain to remove all direct sources of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the ingredients it uses in cooking.

According to the company, the tortillas, corn, rice, beans, vegetables, chips, salsa, and marinades used to cook the meats all are not genetically modified. The 1,831-restaurant chain also is now using GMO-free sunflower oil and rice bran oil in place of the soybean oil it used to use.

However, the meat and dairy served at Chipotle are likely to come from animals given at least some GMO feed. The company says it is working to source meat and dairy exclusively from animals never fed GMOs. But right now, to have truly GMO-free meals, customers should order vegan choices. In addition, many of the beverages sold in its restaurants contain genetically modified ingredients, such as soft drinks that contain corn syrup, which is almost always made from GMO corn. To learn more, visit www.Chipotle.com/gmo.

 

Dr. OzDr. Oz Reveals the Truth About His Critics

In April, a group of ten doctors wrote a letter to Columbia University Medical School criticizing Mehmet Oz, M.D., a surgeon at the hospital and host of the popular Dr. Oz show. On April 23rd, Dr. Oz did a special episode that responded to the attacks: He revealed that the doctors who were calling for his termination from Columbia had ties to big industry (meaning, the pesticide, GMO/biotech, and big food industries). One was a key spokesman against Prop 37 (the GMO Labeling Act) in California in 2012 and another was a convicted felon for Medicaid fraud. Lisa Graves, executive director of Sourcewatch.org, called it a definite smear campaign against Dr. Oz.

On a segment about the controversy on CNN, Dr. Bob Arnot, former NBC medical correspondent, said: “…What it’s really about is the industry is furious that he has taken on genetically modified crops.” Watch a segment of the Dr. Oz show exposing the background of the doctors who wrote the letter here.

Dr. Oz said he won’t be silenced and he pledges to continue to track any major developments in GMOs, one of the biggest food controversies of our time. You can watch the entire episode (in short segments) starting with this segment here.

 

Glyphosate newsWeed Killer Used on GM Foods Declared a Probable Human Carcinogen; Bans, Product Removals & DIY Test Follow

In March, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate—the active ingredient in the Roundup weed killer that’s sprayed on most genetically modified foods—a “probable human carcinogen.” The decision by a group of 17 reviewers from around the world was unanimous. This news was reported by countless media organizations, including The Wall Street Journal pictured here.

According to a New York Times report, the Environmental Protection Agency first determined glyphosate might cause cancer in 1985, but later, reversed that decision. The IARC declaration has brought the issue back again.

Quickly after the announcement, restrictions by various countries and companies followed. Bermuda suspended glyphosate-based Roundup indefinitely, the president of Columbia called for suspension of aerial spraying of glyphosate, and a German retail giant removed Roundup from 350 stores. In addition, one of Argentina’s leading medical unions, which represents more than 30,000 of the country’s doctors and other health professionals, called on the Argentine federal government to ban glyphosate-containing products.

A few weeks after the announcement, the Organic Consumers Association and the Feed the World Project launched the world’s first do-it-yourself validated glyphosate testing for the general public. The test allows consumers to find out with certainty what levels of glyphosate are found in their bodies and/or their tap water—and women may soon be able to test their breast milk. Each test costs $119. To learn more, visit www.Feedtheworld.info.

The groups plan to use results of the tests to pressure regulators and lawmakers to limit and eventually ban glyphosate in the United States.

 

Rock Star to Take on GMO-producing Monsanto with New Album

In April, legendary rocker Neil Young announced that he will release a new protest album against GMOs and the agrichemical giant Monsanto that produces them called “The Monsanto Years” in mid-June. Nelson is a co-founder of Farm Aid, a concert series that helps support small farmers, which have been under attack from Monsanto via lawsuits and the false promises attached to their genetically modified seeds and agricultural pesticides, such as glyphosate (Roundup). You can learn more about the album and a concert tour he will be doing this summer here.

To receive more regular, current, non-GMO news, be sure to “Like” and follow my Going Against GMOs Facebook page.

Copyright 2015 Melissa Diane Smith

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