Have you ever thought about how genetically modified foods and foods grown with herbicides can affect your health?

A  study published this month in the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology studied just that, and the results weren’t pretty.

200 rats were randomized to diets of food containing non-genetically modified corn versus Monsanto’s “Roundup-ready” genetically modified corn.  In both arms of the study, the corn component represented 11%, 22%, or 33% of the animals’ total diet.  The rats were observed for 2 years – the longest such study to date.

Death rates were consistently 2-3 times higher among rats eating genetically modified corn.  Mammary tumors (often larger than the rats’ heads) were the most common pathology in female rats.  In male rats, liver congestion and liver necrosis were the most common pathological findings.

In both genders, genetically modified chow consumption was associated with increases in sex hormone dysregulation, pituitary tumors, and kidney disease.

 These results are frightening!!  The food supply in the United States is largely genetically modified and pesticides and herbicides are used excessively in conventional farming.

Not many consumers realize that the FDA does not require genetically modified food to be labeled. Here’s how to determine if the fruits and vegetables you’re buying are (GM) genetically modified.

Here’s how it works:

For conventionally grown produce, (grown with chemicals inputs), the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers. Organically grown produce has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 9. Genetically modified (GM) produce has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 8.

For example:

A conventionally grown banana would be: 4011

An organic banana would be: 94011

A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011

Think twice about buying produce and foods that have been genetically altered or sprayed with pesticides. If a food or food product is labeled 100% organic and is labeled with the USDA Organic seal, it must be completely free of genetically modified products and herbicides by government regulations. On the other hand, foods that are labeled “Made with Organic Ingredients” or simply “Organic” are not as tightly regulated and can contain GMOs. To be sure your food is GMO-free and pesticide free, buy USDA certified 100% organic food.

Most importantly, get educated about these issues, and make informed decisions regarding what you put into your body.

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