After reading Slow Death by a Rubber Duck I got rid of my Teflon cookware, vinyl shower curtain and most of our bath and body products. I became more weary of "green washing" and started buying organic produce that made it on of the EWG dirty dozen list. It's amazing what a book can do!
I'm also a fan of documentaries. I've recently watched a bunch on water, pollution, birth and most recently one on genetically engineered food called Life Running Out of Control (it's available on netflix.ca). I haven't given much thought about genetically engineered foods but after viewing this documentary I came to realize how much of an issue it really is.
In Canada, there is no obligation to label foods that have been genetically engineered or contains modified ingredients. This is because our government believes that there are no risks to consuming genetically engineered (GE) foods, despite the fact that GE foods are fairly new and that no long term studies have been done to assess the risks of eating these foods. Many other countries worldwide, including Europe, Australia, Japan and China, have mandatory labeling for GE foods but not Canada. Strange isn't it?
There are a variety of reasons why foods are being GE. Money is a big player. But, even if there are no long term health risks to eating GE foods there are still a lot of problems with them. The loss of biodiversity and the risk of living pollution are just a couple problems with introducing GE crops onto our land. One notable case is that of Monsanto versus Schmeiser, a Saskachewan farmer that was sued by Monsanto for having their GE canola crop of his field because is was blown there from a neighbour's field.
Most of us have been eating GE foods without even knowing it. In Canada, almost all corn, soy, canola and sugar beet are from GE crop (cban). The scary thing is these ingredients are found in so many store bought products, from Ketchup to Raisin Bran. Greenpeace has a great GE food shopping guide that lists common grocery items that have GE products and those that don't. CBAN also has a Quick Guide to GM Foods.
So now I look at my Raisin Bran suspiciously and my canola oil with trepidation. I'm sure they are GE or have some GE products in them. I'm considering a phase out of GE foods from our home starting with cereal and canola oil. Hmmmm...