I recently went to an informative and engaging talk by Dag Falck at Choices Market. Falck is recognized as an organics expert due to his long term involvement in organic farming regulation. One thing that really stuck with me after this presentation is the fact that the genetic 'pollution' caused by the growing of GMO crops is almost impossible to control.
Once a GMO seed blows in the wind or is carried by a bird into the environment and then cross-pollinates with a non-GMO seed — that will result in a GMO plant. When that plant then pollinates with another non-GMO plant, either in the wilderness or on a non-GMO farm, that will produce another GMO plant.
This means once a GMO seed is released in the environment it will start a chain reaction, spreading its genetic pollution far and wide. If we do not stand up to the growing of GMO crops, pretty soon it will be impossible to find a plant that is not contaminated with genetically altered DNA.
One way we can help prevent this is by increasing awareness by talking to your friends and family, contacting your local politicians, talking to your local grocery stores about labelling products and teaching people how to avoid GMOs when they are buying groceries. I am available every Monday and Wednesday at Choices Market in Yaletown to show people how they can shop GMO-free.
A really effective way to spread awareness about this problem is by showing one of the many documentaries on GMOs. Genetic Roulette dives deep into the science of GMOs and issues regarding GMO safety, as well as social and environmental issues (see trailer below).
Here is a list of products that contain GMOs. It is safe to say at least 80% of the products on the store shelves contain GMOs. A good way to avoid GMOs is to cook from scratch using organic ingredients, and if you do buy a packaged product, look for ones with the Non-GMO Verified Product Label.
Shawna Barker BSc., RHN is a nutritionist, college instructor, and raw food educator.