How to ban genetically modified (GM) foods from your diet

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | May 20, 2009

You may not be able to single-handedly decide to ban GM crops in your country the way Germany did, but as a consumer you do have power. You can choose not to be a victim of deception, and you can choose what you feed your family.

Large portions of Europe have already succeeded in removing GM foods from their food supply, forcing food manufacturers to use real ingredients in their European product lines. But here in the United States we’re still stuck with it to a very large degree.

Since GM foods do not need to be labeled in the United States, there are two main tricks you can use to figure out if something is genetically modified:

• Examine produce stickers on the fruits and vegetables you buy. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers; organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine; and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.

• Buy organic as often as you can. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms.

Keep in mind, too, that soy, corn, cottonseed, and canola are four of the crops most likely to be GM, and these are also ingredients commonly added to virtually every processed food. So if you eat processed foods, be sure to buy only organic varieties or, ideally, cut them largely out of your diet.

If more of us begin to refuse GM foods, food manufacturers will have no choice but to listen.

Are GM crops threatening the future of humankind?

GM crops routinely create unintended proteins, alter existing protein levels, or even change the components and shape of the protein that is created by the inserted gene.

This results in brand new proteins that have never before existed in food, some of which may be causing severe allergic reactions.

Creating a GM crop can also produce massive changes in the natural functioning of the plant‘s DNA. Native genes can be mutated, deleted, permanently turned on or off, or change their levels of protein expression. No one knows how this will impact human health, but so far Jeffrey Smith has documented at least 65 serious health risks related to GM foods.
Among them:

• Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce

• Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells

• The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning

• Several U.S. farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed GM corn varieties

• Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products.

Austrian researchers have now also confirmed a direct link between a decrease in fertility and a genetically modified diet. In order to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world, GM opponents are calling for an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops.

I agree with them wholly, as genetically modified foods are, from my perception, one of the largest threats that we have against the very sustainability of the human race.

Special hunt tags raise funds for wildlife conservation

May 20, 2009

Offer hunt of a lifetime

For as little as five dollars you can get a chance at a great hunt. For $25, that highly sought-after tag for desert bighorn sheep or a bull elk may be yours.

The Arizona Big Game Super Raffle now has 10 special big game tags up for raffle to raise money for wildlife conservation in Arizona. The deadline to purchase tickets by mail is July 3 (postmarks don’t count). The deadline to purchase tickets online is July 12.

The big game tags up for raffle include one each for pronghorn antelope, black bear, buffalo, Coues whitetail, desert bighorn sheep, elk, javelina, mule deer, turkey (Gould’s or Merriam’s), and now mountain lion. In addition, there will be a Swarovski optics package raffled, which will pay for the administration costs of the Super Raffle.

What makes these tags so special? The season dates for each hunt will be 365 days starting Aug. 15 and there are very few limitations on hunting areas.

Launched in 2006 by a consortium of sportsmen’s / conservation groups in cooperation with the Arizona Game and Fish Commission as a way to raise money for wildlife conservation, the Arizona Big Game Super Raffle returns all ticket proceeds to the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Every dollar raised for each species will go directly toward the management of that particular species.

Last year’s raffle raised $478,860.

Raffle tickets cost between $5 and $25, depending on species, and a ticket for all 11 raffles is only $150. Tickets can be purchased by mail using the downloadable order form and making a check payable to AZBGSR. Mail the form and payment to AZBGSR, P.O. Box 61713, Phoenix, AZ 85082. You can also buy tickets online at The site is a verified Authorize.Net merchant site and accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards.

The public drawing is Saturday, July 18. The time and location will be announced soon.
Special big game tags are granted to qualifying nonprofit organizations, dedicated to wildlife conservation, by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission through a public application process each year per A.R.S. § 17-346 and R12-4-120.

Wildlife conservation and management of game animals by the Arizona Game and Fish Department is made possible by funding generated from the sale of hunting licenses, hunt permit-tags, and matching funds from federal excise taxes hunters pay on guns, ammunition and related equipment.

So, the next time you see a herd of elk near Flagstaff, or antelope in an open plains of Prescott, or if you’re lucky to spot a desert bighorn sheep peering down from a cliff in the desolate desert, remember to thank a hunter – wildlife’s original conservationists.