Americans are divided on the issue of Genetically Modified (GM) foods, but they have become somewhat more wary of them over the last three years.

Rising Perception of Risk

The perception of the risks of GM foods, according to a survey, increased from 5.4 (on a scale of 1 to 10) three years ago to 6.1 in the most recent survey. In the same period, support for biotech foods fell from a high of 5.6 in 2003 to 5.2 last year.

Different Groups See GM Foods Differently

Republicans showed more support for GM foods than other political groups, and men and Caucasians perceived somewhat less risk than women and non-Caucasians did. Both state and national surveys showed roughly the same results.

More than two-thirds of the food in U.S. markets contains at least some GM ingredients.

Cornell University February 19, 2006

Dr. Mercola's Comment:Are Americans getting more skeptical of genetically modified foods? Going by this Cornell University survey, I'd say the answer was a shaky, lukewarm "maybe" at best.

One big surprise: Those who paid more attention to the news, researchers said, were more supportive of GM foods than those who didn't.

This is in large part because the vast majority of commercial media is controlled by the same people who own the corporations that produce the seeds. That is why alternative news media like this site are so critical to give you the independent truth that is free of commercial influences that are contrary to your health.

Contrary to the claims of proponents, GM crops have not been proven safe. The regulatory framework governing them was fatally flawed from the start; it was designed to expedite product approval at the expense of safety considerations.

It used a principal called 'substantial equivalence,' which is intentionally vague and ill-defined, giving companies complete license to claim that transgenic products are 'substantially equivalent' to non-transgenic products, and hence 'safe.'

In reality, there have been very few credible studies on GM food safety. And what findings there are already give cause for concern. In one of the few systematic investigations on GM food ever carried out, 'growth factor-like' effects were found in the stomach and small intestine of young ratsthat ate GM plants.

And there have been other studies that also raised serious safety concerns.

If you're at all skeptical about the blight of GM foods, before you go to the grocery store the next time, I urge you to review my helpful hints for distinguishing natural foods from those made by science. You may be surprised. Some hints include:

  • Reduce or Eliminate Processed Foods. 75 percent of processed foods contain GM ingredients.
  • Read Produce and Food Labels. GM soybeans and corn make up the largest portion of genetically modified crops. When looking at a product label, if any ingredients such as corn flour and meal, dextrin, starch, soy sauce, margarine, and tofu (to name a few) are listed, there's a good chance it has come from GM corn or soy, unless it's listed as organic.
  • Buy Organic Produce. Buying organic is currently the best way to ensure that your food has not been genetically modified. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms.
  • Look at Produce Stickers. Those little stickers on fruit and vegetables contain different PLU codes depending on whether the fruit was conventionally grown, organically grown or genetically modified. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit has five numbers.
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