October 16, 2012 | 9:49am
Today is world food day. Originally started in 1981 to honor to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, it is now used to promote advocacy campaigns for nonprofits. This year, World Food's focus is on ending hunger through Agricultural Cooperatives; however some groups are using the day to honor and mobilize other food related campaigns.
Many anti-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) groups are using the day to raise awareness about their crusade to require mandatory labeling. These groups have kicked into high-gear this year to support California's Proposition 37, the first initiative of its kind, that would mandate labeling of GMO foods. To help California's Prop. 37, the Fishman Institute and RawOne Foods are sponsoring a rally.
The rally which is being held in conjunction with GMO Free Florida's "Rally for the Right to Know" and Food and Water Watch's "Let Me Decide" campaigns, will include include: Millions Against Monsanto, Florida Right to Know, GMO Free USA, Carighttoknow, Proposition 37, The Institute for Responsible Technology and The Organic Consumer's Association. The event will take place this Saturday October 20, from noon to 3 pm, at the Yellow Green Market in Hollywood. The event will feature live music, speakers, tables of vendors, raffles, and an organic food truck.
Clean Plate Charlie spoke to event co-sponsor, nutritionist and owner of RawOne Foods Dion Taylor. Taylor an engineer for twenty years, got into a raw diet with his chef wife and decided to make the switch to nutrition. He studied nutrition and its effects on genes. Taylor is skeptical of GMO foods, because he says, "We don't know what we don't know. It's the wild card. Twenty five years ago or so, we began processing much of our food with fillers, in an effort to feed more people. Food scientists and genomecists are studying the affects of food on the humane genome, but they have not been able to publish findings; because the studies need to be conducted over two generations for government publication. Right now, we basically just don't know."
Although there is no conclusive evidence about GMO's affects on the human body, the results of a peer reviewed study on GMOs in rats came up with some disheartening conclusions. The French study entitled "Long-term Toxicity of a Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-Tolerant Genetically Modified Maize," surveyed rats over their two year lifespans. Published online by Food and Chemical Toxicology, 19th September, 2012, the "researchers found that even consuming low levels of NK603 and Roundup, separately or combined, can cause serious health problems, but these only became apparent when the rats were older than 90 days.
The first tumor was observed after 120 days, but the majority were only detected after 18 months." The study was conducted by a group of scientists led by molecular biologist and endocrinologist, Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, who is the co-director of the Risk Quality and Sustainable Environment Unit at the University of Caen, France. Seralini is an authority on research into the health consequences of GMOs and pesticides. The study was supported by CRIIGEN, an independent research organization.
Dr. Robert Fishman, of the Hollywood-based Fishman Institute and Post Haste Pharmacy, studied Pharmacology and Biochemistry at Columbia University. He is an advocate for organics. "Tomatoes, for example, have 3,800 genes. What are those genes for? Those genes are suppsed to match genes we need to survive. They need to fit into our gene structure. Genes are like a key in a lock: when altered, it's like putting the wrong key in the lock. If genes of tomatoes don't match our genes, we can't absorb the nutrients. Unless a scientifically developed food fits the DNA to out gene structure, it won't benefit us. That's science. Were intricately designed."
According to Dr. Fishman, allowing unlabeled GMOs into the food supply infringes upon American's basic right of democracy. "America is supposed to be about free speech. There are over fifty countries in Europe that have banned or required mandatory labeling of these foods. Why don't we have the right to know? If you want food that hasn't been altered you should be able to find it. Let the free enterprise system decide."