Aspartame: The Bitter Truth Behind This Toxic Sweetener
It’s in a lot of food products –
- Diet sodas
- Chewing gum
- Cooking sauces
- Tabletop sweeteners
- Drink powders
- Flavored water
- Sugar-free products
It’s in a lot of food products –
Over 90% of Americans support FDA mandated labeling of genetically engineered foods. Check out this video to see to stars like, Michael J Fox, Ziggy Marley and 25 others celebrities join the millions to voice their support for GE labeling!
Why is this so important? We have make informed choices as a consumer. We have a right to know about food we eat and feed our families, but under current regulations, we don’t have that ability when it comes to GE foods.
Did you know? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may soon approve genetically engineered salmon, which would be the first genetically engineered animal on supermarket shelves in the United States. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering a new type of herbicide-resistant corn that will promote the use of more chemicals in our food supply.
Speak out! Check out the Just Label It website and join these celebrities (and millions of people like you) in speaking out for our right to know! www.justlabelit.org
About Just Label It:
JUST LABEL IT is a national coalition of more than 600 diverse organizations dedicated to the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods, also referred to as genetically-modified, or GMOs. The Just Label It message is simple: consumers have a right to know about our food so we can make informed choices about what we eat and feed our families.
For more information on polling and consumer support of labeling, visit: http://justlabelit.org/right-to-know/…
I wish I was kidding, I wish…
GMO food and now GMO bugs too?
Scratching the Surface provides a first-time look into the controversial world of genetically engineered animals. Director Tamara Laine, follows the citizens of Key West, Florida, as they discover plans by a multinational bio-tech company to release millions of genetically engineered mosquitoes in their community. Key West is a unique destination with a rich biodiversity that attracts tourist and residents alike. However, the community was shaken in 2009 by a record-setting Dengue Fever outbreak. Since then, scientist and mosquito control experts have juggled the sensitive issue of pest suppression. In 2012, Key West residents discovered a plan by British-based Oxitec to release up to 4 million genetically engineered mosquitoes in their backyards. Scratching the Surface follows their stories and expert opinions on the potential outcomes of such a release.
Here are 5 reasons to support a non-GMO future:
1. GMOs have not been thoroughly tested. While we often hear about the rigorous testing that GMOs must go through before being approved for the food supply, the reality is this testing is conducted by the same companies that create these genetically engineered crops or by biotech-affiliated researchers. At this time, there are no after-market studies, and if an independent researcher wants to do studies on GMOs they must get approval from the company that holds the patent on the organism—and get their approval again before they release their results.
2. We may be opening Pandora’s box. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment, these novel organisms cannot be recalled. In many cases, genetically engineered crops readily cross-pollinate with other crops, and contamination can occur in the seed supply and post-harvest during transportation, processing, and storage. A report released by Food and Water Watch in 2014 noted that 30 percent of organic farmers surveyed have dealt with contamination issues from GMOs, and many have experienced significant financial loss due to the impact on the integrity and quality of their organic crops.
3. A scientific consensus is lacking. One of the common myths about GMOs is that there is broad scientific consensus on their safety. However, an assessment of the statements made by the World Health Organization (WHO), the America Medical Association (AMA), and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) reflects a general tone of neutrality and precaution about making overarching safety claims. For instance, the WHO says, “It is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.” This is a similar statement to that of NAS: “There remain sizeable gaps in our ability…to devise appropriate scientific methods to predict and assess unintended adverse effects on human health.” Both the AMA and the WHO state the need for post-market monitoring and risk assessments, however these evaluations are not occurring at this time.
4. Consumers do not have a chance to make an informed choice about consuming GMOs. More than 60 countries around the world have mandatory labeling and significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs in place. Consumers in the United States and Canada, however, are not given an informed choice about the GMOs in the products they purchase. In the absence of mandatory labeling, consumers are in the dark about whether the food they buys contain GMOs unless they purchase certified-organic or Non-GMO Project Verified products. Consumers have a right to know what is in the food they eat and feed their families.
5. We need to exercise the precautionary principle. No long-term or independent feeding studies have been conducted to understand the full health impacts of GMOs. More than 80 percent of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance and/or to produce their own insecticide. As a result, the use of glyphosate has increased fifteenfold since the introduction of GMOs. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “superweeds” and “superbugs,” as well as the loss of plant diversity. Consumers are deeply concerned about the potential impacts on our health and on our environment of these experimental organisms.
Alicia is 7 years old (6 when the petition was started) and has been a Girl Scout for almost 3 years. Her mom is a Troop leader for Alicia’s Brownie Troop and Alicia’s sister’s Daisy Troop. Alicia likes learning about new things and helping others. She began to learn a lot about food and ingredients. When Girl Scout Cookie Season came around, she and her mom looked at the ingredients in the cookies. There were a lot of words Alicia couldn’t read and she didn’t know what a lot of the ingredients were. She did recognize some of the ingredients as being GMO (genetically modified organisms). Knowing of some of dangers related to GMOs, she knew she wanted them out of our cookies. “I want Girl Scouts to make cookies without GMOs.”
Alicia has been very actively involved in the Girl Scout community in many areas. She has raised money for her school’s Organic Garden, raised awareness about endangered animals, participated in many recycling projects, helped organize food and toy drives for those in need and more. She exemplifies what it means to be a Girl Scout. She has also researched a lot about GMOs and is concerned with the independent studies done (on mice) showing infertility and tumors, the fact that over 60 countries either label or ban GMOs, and that the result form growing genetically modified crops is hurting our farmers and harming our land. Alicia wants to protect our farmer’s, our land, our bees, and for us all to have food without the dangers of GMOs. “I want GMOs out of our cookies so they will be safer for my friends and everyone to eat.”
Girl Scouts of America can request their bakers source other ingredients that are non-GMO. In doing so, they will take a step in the right direction in improving their cookies. They will prevent any possible harm or illness that may come from consuming GMOs or Girl Scout Cookies made with GMO ingredients. They will uphold their values and be true to what Girl Scouts represents. They will be creating awareness and pioneering a movement in the food industry. “Girl Scouts can make the cookies with healthier ingredients, so they will be safer to eat.”
If Girl Scouts continues to make cookies with GMO ingredients, our soil will continue to be saturated with pesticides. Our Farmer’s will continue to pay higher prices for seeds and purchase larger quantities of pesticides. Our Organic farmers will continue to struggle. Our bees will continue to die off. In eating the cookies we will continue to gamble with our health. If they don’t remove GMOs from our cookies, Girl Scouts of America will not be leading by example with the core values it was founded upon. “If Girl Scouts don’t make cookies without GMOs, everyone could get sick and not even know it.” Please sign the petition in asking Girl Scouts of America to make cookies without GMOs.
I love me some good pita bread but beware of this recent recall if you have purchased some from Trader Joes.
Posted on the Trader Joes Website:
To Our Valued Customers:
Since our February 1, 2015 communication, our Pita Bread Supplier has expanded the lots and codes involved to include the items in bold below.
We have been alerted by our Pita Bread supplier for our Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington D.C. stores that there is a possibility the following Trader Joe’s products, with the specified code dates, may contain trace amounts of soy, which is not listed in the ingredient panel:
People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy may run the risk of allergic reaction if they consume these products.
No adverse reactions have been reported to date.
As a precaution, all affected codes of these products have been removed from sale. If you purchased these products, please feel free to return them to any Trader Joe’s for a full refund.
If you have any questions, you may call Trader Joe’s Customer Relations at (626) 599-3817 [Monday through Friday, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Pacific Time].
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.
Dean Foods. You might not have heard their name, but as one of the largest processors and direct distributors of dairy products in the U.S., you just might have bought one of their products before. Land O’Lakes, Garelick Farms, Alta Dena, Country Fresh, Berkeley Farms, Mayfield Dairy – all brands owned by Dean Foods.
The other thing that all of these brands have in common? GMOs.
While not genetically modified themselves, dairy products are not immune to the insidious impacts of GMOs. Cows living on industrialized farms, or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), are fed almost entirely GMO crops like corn, soy, alfalfa, cotton seed, and/or sugar beets. In fact, 98% of GM soy and 49% of GM corn goes to feeding livestock and poultry.
Animals, like humans, are deeply impacted by the quality of their diets. A recent study showed that pigs fed an entirely GMO diet suffered from severe stomach inflammation when compared to pigs given non-GMO feed. Additionally, while the dairy industry claims that genetically modified particles are broken down in the digestive tracts of the animals that eat them, these GM particles have shown up in the organs and milk of animals fed GMOs, the same milk and meat that humans then eat.
Dean Foods claims that their white milk does not contain GMOs, while sourcing their dairy from cows raised on genetically modified feed. To quote Dean Foods from their website: “Pure and simple, we ensure Mother Nature’s most perfect food finds a place in every home.”
Considering Dean Foods’ use of genetically modified animal feed in their dairy operations, their products don’t seem so “pure and simple” to us. And as for Mother Nature? CAFOs and genetic engineering were probably not what she had in mind.
It’s time to hold Dean Foods accountable. Join us in calling on Dean Foods to shift to non-GMO feed for their cows, and help us accelerate the shift to a non-GMO food system!
Processed foods often have hidden GMO sources (unless they are organic or declared non-GMO).
The following are ingredients that may be made from GMOs:
|Aspartame (also called AminoSweet®, NutraSweet®, Equal Spoonful®, Canderel®, BeneVia®, E951)
canola oil (rapeseed oil)
cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
fructose (any form)
high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
modified food starch
mono and diglycerides
monosodium glutamate (MSG)
soy protein isolate
sugar (unless specified as cane sugar)
textured vegetable protein
tocopherols (vitamin E)
|Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) although usually derived from corn, is probably not GM because it is not likely made in North America.|
Ten years ago hummus was something that you ate as a delicacy at a Mediterranean restaurant; since then it has become a staple in many American homes. As parents have become more concerned with the types of foods they put in their children’s lunch boxes, they have turned to Sabra hummus as a healthy alternative.
In 1986, a small business called Sabra Blue & White Foods started manufacturing hummus in Queens, NY. Their goal was to serve people the healthy and delicious Mediterranean cuisine. With the motto of “Dip Life to the Fullest,” they encourage people to embrace the adventurous side of life through new cultures and flavors.
Frito Lay, owned by PepsiCo, acquired a 50% share of Sabra in March 2008. Since then, strategic marketing campaigns have boasted Sabra’s image as a healthy alternative to other snack dips, ultimately making them the largest hummus manufacturer in the world. While Sabra states it is dedicated to the people, places and environment that contributes to its product, its parent company, PepsiCo, is one of the largest supporters of the anti-GMO labeling movement, fighting consumer’s right to know. Why is that? Sabra hummus is one of the many PepsiCo products laden with GMOs. So much for being a healthy alternative. Sabra is just like 70% of all the other processed foods in the grocery store, stuffed full of GMOs.
How can Sabra improve? Transition to ingredients that are not produced from or with GMO ingredients and toxic pesticides. PepsiCo, Sabra’s parent corporation, should work to reduce toxic synthetic pesticides used to produce the product’s ingredients.
The actual list of ingredients in Sabra Original Hummus is (those that are likely directly or indirectly GMOs are in bold):
Original: Cooked Chickpeas, Tahini (Ground Sesame), Soybean Oil, Water, Garlic, Salt, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate Added to Maintain Freshness.
One of the main ingredients in Sabra hummus is soybean oil. Over 90% of soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified. Genetically engineered (GMOs) crops increase the prevalence of monocultures; a system of farming that results soil health deterioration and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
GMOs are engineered to work in conjunction with toxic pesticides. While GE crops were marketed as a solution to heavy chemical use, they have not only increased chemical usage but have led to the use of more toxic pesticides. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup used with Roundup Ready soy, is linked to birth defects in animals and caused the development of superweeds. Since current pesticides no longer prove effective, chemical companies are turning to more toxic alternatives such as Enlist Duo, a combination of 2,4-D (a main ingredient in Agent Orange) and glyphosate. In order to compensate for poor soil health (a result of the overuse of pesticides) farmers are dependent on synthetic fertilizers. These fertilizers enter the waterways causing massive aquatic dead zones.
The popular Mexican casual food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill saw its stock prices soar on Friday by more than 15 percent, a day after representatives from the company said they would likely need to increase prices to cover supply changes to almost entirely non-GMO items for its menu.
Founder and CEO Steve Ellis said that a price increase somewhere in the 3-5% range should be expected as the company continues to search for non-GMO alternatives to its current cooking oils, corn flour and corn starch in its products. No date was given this week as to when the shift to more non-GMO ingredients would be completed in 2014, however.
Earlier this year Ellis said, “We decided we’d rather try to avoid GMO ingredients until perhaps the science is more clear,” said Ells earlier this year. “There are some things that we just can’t, today, get non-GMO.”
But the company, despite its impressive size (which has been growing due to strong customer support) has remained committed to resolving customer concerns over the GMO ingredients and will continue to pursue more alternatives.
They are also looking for more sources of antibiotic-free and hormone-free meats that are not from animals fed GMOs as well. Ellis added that it’s especially hard to ensure on a large scale that animals are not fed GMOs. If that’s the case, customers may want to choose vegetarian options when patronizing the restaurant to be sure they will be able to avoid GMOs.
Despite the possible price increases, stock of the company soared on Friday, with a closing rate of $510. The stock had traded in the low $200 range earlier in the year due to economic fears, but it has persevered and shown that food made from real ingredients (current GMOs notwithstanding, but at least they’re working to fix that) at a higher price can work.
In a shocking new study, seventy-six percent of the sticky, golden stuff sold as honey in the US isn’t actually honey, according to the FDA. Over three-fourths of honey recently tested in supermarkets contained zero traces of pollen, and is often diluted with high-fructose corn syrup.
In fact, only a small handful of local or organic chains passed the test. Even supermarket honey labeled “organic” only had a 71% chance of actually being honey. This is a sick, cynical, and dangerous. Major grocery stores are packing their shelves with “honey” without bothering to ensure that they’re selling us the real thing. If 150,000 of us sign this petition, we’ll deliver it to the top grocery chains and force them to stop ignoring this issue.
Tell Safeway, Aldi, Kroger, Walmart and other grocers to remove fake, adulterated honey products from their stores.
The only reason that you would need to filter out the pollen from honey would be to disguise its origin to get around FDA restrictions on the importation of Chinese “honey” that is diluted with high-fructose corn syrup, and contains heavy metals, banned antibiotics, and carcinogenic pesticides.
According to Mark Jensen, head of the American Honey Producers Association, “In my judgment, it is pretty safe to assume that any ultra-filtered honey on store shelves is Chinese honey and it’s even safer to assume that it entered the country uninspected and in violation of federal law.”
This is consumer deception at its most basic level. The honey industry has undergone a boon recently as consumers move towards natural sweeteners, and big business is taking advantage of our wish to eat natural food, instead selling us cut-rate, fake “honey” while pocketing the profits. We need to send a clear message that we want real food, and real honey, on our shelves. Sign the petition today and make sure that your friends and family know about this shocking scam.