Sunday, March 8, 2009

Response to "High Fructose Corn Syrup" ads

You know the ads I'm talking about? The ones where a person says to another they shouldn't be eating a particular product because it contains high fructose corn syrup "because you know what they say about it" and the other person says "no what?" and the first person doesn't really have an answer so the conclusion is "You mean because it's the same as sugar and taken in moderation is fine for you". Well the answer really is because most corn is genetically modified and that is the serious issue. Already scientists believe the decline of the honey bee population is directly related to GMO's (genetically modified organisms) and now they believe the monarch butterfly population is threatened.

It's very complicated for us to know what is harmful and what isn't. Like people who smoked cigarettes for years and developed lung cancer and emphysema saying "they didn't know better" and probably didn't. It becomes clear that in todays society we have access to more information and we need to research what we believe to be true to protect our health and environment. Research who is behind a campaign and why to decide if we are being deceived or not, is there a bigger picture?

A particular article from les nouvelles esthetiques & spa by Jenny Hogan made me aware of the issue with GMO's and that the corn use isn't just for food products but also skin care products. If you go to the site and click on the free digital magazine the article is "The Butterfly Effect of Organics" by Jenny Hogan starting on page 34/35. The following is taken from that article:

"Organically grown products come from organic seed and are not genetically modified and do not contain any added hormones or antibiotics.

Genetically modified organisms are living organisms whose DNA has been changed combining genes of the native organism with other genes to create a superior product. The problem? While beneficial to the plant, genetic modification can create side effects for the environment. Genetically modified corn produces a bacterial toxin that protects it against pests so that less pesticide use is needed and crop yields are increased. BUT an endotoxin from the bacteria is also created, carried in the pollen from the corn. As corn is wind pollinated, the pollen can blow more than 60 yards from the fields. Milkweed, the exclusive food supply of monarch butterfly larvae is killed by this pollen according to laboratory reports by Cornell University. Currently in the USA 61% of corn, 89% of soy and 83% of canola is genetically modified.

Monarch butterfly populations are very important in conservation studies and any threat to them is considered a red flag for larger environmental issues."

Sobering huh?

Some skin care products specify that the corn they use is imported from the UK where it is not genetically modified. Another product that needs to be decided where the corn comes from are vitamins. Vitamins are increasingly derived from GMO sources as vitamin C typically comes from corn and vitamin E is derived from soy.

I know, more things to worry about, but this seems to be important. We as consumers can choose which products to purchase and which not to based on ingredients and what we know.

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