Genetically Modified Foods and You

GMO Initiativew

A good reason to become resilient — beyond creating a better and more prosperous life for you, your family, and your community — is to limit the impact of global disruptions.

One type of disruption we’re going to see more of is one caused by a technological “innovation” that runs amok.

We saw that in the financial markets a couple of years ago.  In that case, a pile of “financial innovation” built to rig global markets blew up, and we almost saw a system wide reboot.

There are more innovations out there that threaten the same.  One is GMO foods.  Foods made with genetically modified organisms.

In this case,”innovative” genetically modified foods have become nearly ubiquitous in the United States.

The flaw in this is that GMOs pose a potential health threat (we are currently experimenting with GMOs in a population wide “live” trial, the biggest health experiment in history).

Until we know more, smart people around the world are looking ways to minimize the number of GMOs in their diet.  One of the first steps to doing that is to get labels on all food that contains GMOs in it.

That’s happening, despite the tens of millions big food is spending to defeat initiatives to force labeling.  Outside the US, the number of countries mandating that GMO labels is increasing.  Inside the US, there are lots of groups gearing up to force it to occur in their states (see the chart below from just label it) and stores like Whole Foods is in the process of mandating it.

GMO Initiativew

Unfortunately, this is likely to turn out badly, particularly for US agriculture.

On the one side, you have a growing global market that demands better, higher quality local foods free of GMOs.  On the other, you have an industry that won’t let go of the monopoly profits its patents on genetically modified foods provides.

This is a battle the industry won’t win.  The market for US agricultural products will continue to shrink as customers vote with their pocket books.  Labeling will happen, slower in the US than other places, but it will happen.

At some point, and this is almost inevitable given the complexities/greed/incompetence involved, there will be a GMO related health problem that will cause a panic.  At that point, US agricultural products will become toxic.  Nobody with any concern for their health will want to eat them.

As a result, the prices for GMO free alternatives will soar.  Of course, if you aren’t already growing your own food locally (either in a home/community garden or as part of a CSA farm), you will be out of luck.

My advice?

Get started early with local food.   Take control of your future.  Don’t become a casualty of a broken system.

Resiliently Yours,


JR Small

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  • David Hammond

    I really appreciate your take on GMOs and your optimistic solution on how best to prepare for the future. Keep up the good work.

  • Vertis Bream

    The sad commentary on this already, for those of us growing our own OP and heirloom varieties is the cross contamination. Last year, OG seedsmen reported that almost half of all their seed sources were cross contaminated from GMO. Make sure that you get your foundation seed from seedsmen that guarantee non GMO cross contamination.

  • Ray McKee

    Robb, we enjoy your resilient emails. This one on GMO foods is very important. I believe there is more than enough evidence that these modified foods are pure poison. Just look at the corn with the mutant growths at the root system (gag!).

    Labeling is an important step yet the best thing we can do for self protection is avoidance by eating and growing locally. Talk with your local farmers. They are also concerned about this.



  • Abbie Panettiere

    Could you post, at the top of your US Map with information on GMO-states, a legend that tells you which color stands for what. I know you can find the information looking through the list but the effect would be more powerful if you could see the states identified at a glance.

    Not sure I’m opposed to GMOs myself. The loss of heirloom varieties that aren’t popular anymore is a worry but I don’t see that GMOs are doing any harm and your article didn’t specify what genetically modified foods would likely do.

  • different clue

    To my mind there are two whole areas of problems with GMO food. One is the health problems you outline here. The other is the monopoly-creating extortion-practicing behavior of the Corporate Gene-Jackers who are patenting particular GMO creations. They charge high “technology fees” on their patented GMO seeds and they demand payment of that “technology fee” every year thereafter on the farmer who saves and replants seed grown from the patented source. What is even worse, they send trespasser-spies onto farms all around the GMO zone looking for any trace of GMO contamination in the neighbors’ nonGMO crops. If they find any trace whatsoever, they pretend to believe that the nonGMO farmer is illicitly growing the GMO crop without having paid the “technology fee”. Monsanto (or Syngenta or Bayer or whomever?) then threatens the targetted farmer(s) with a massive lawsuit in order to extort the farmer into paying a huge payment. I believe Monsanto has pioneered this as a bussiness model. Monsanto tried extorting payment from farmer Percy Schmeiser in Alberta for example after “finding” its genes in his canola (after having made very sure to contaminate their genes into his canola to begin with).

    Only Percy Schmeiser did not give in to extortion. He countersued in court after court after court, up the Canadian court system ladder. Here is a Percy Schmeiser interview about that whole ordeal.

    It is actually fairly easy to avoid GMO foods so far. Only certain crops have been targetted so far in this country, mainly corn and soybeans so far. Since the Organic Food Industry zero-tolerates any presence of stray GMO frankengenes, corn and soybean products from the Organic Food Industry (or farmers) are FrankenFree so far. Also, since Japan rejects any FrankenTaminated soybeans or corn, any soy or corn product imported from Japan (such as Japanese soy sauce, miso, edamame-nuts, etc.) may be accepted as GMO-free. So apart from Organic (or Japanese) cornsoy products, avoid all soybean oil, corn oil, soy-anything, corn-anything, High Fructose Corn Syrup, etc. and you will be dodging the GMO bullet AND you will be withholding your money and support from black hat GMO perpetrators such as Monsanto.

    The lesser crops have not been GMOd to my knowledge. So by definition, commercial dry beans, split peas, chick peas, grains, etc. are GMO-free. I hear that the Australia government is about to permit the growing of a new GMO wheat in Australia, so one might want to avoid Australian wheat or anything made with it or fed on it.

  • Karen

    Thank you so much for sharing this! That was a great documentary the site had on GMO which is a wonderful teaching tool (motivational, too, for keeping an eye on what we are eating! Knew about corn & soy, but potatoes?!?)

    • Karen

      I guess potatoes would make sense, tho, as they are on the dirty dozen list of highly-pesticide usage.

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