Despite 64 other countries decisively banning or largely restricting GMOs, and polls showing that 9 out of 10 Americans support mandatory GMO food labeling, the FDA has given the green light to J.R. Simplot Co. (makers of the new GM potato) to begin stocking grocery stores with these unlabeled and untested spuds. Not even a petition of over 100,000 people to stop production of the potatoes, which was ignored by the USDA, or the refusal of both McDonald’s and Frito Lay to purchase these plant tubers, could stop the GM potato train.
Really? Not even McDonald’s will buy these GM potatoes?!? Wow.
Back in 1998, the first production of GMO potatoes in Europe was stopped after a team of 30 researchers on a budget of around $4 million dollars found potentially serious health risks in genetically modified potatoes. Because we don’t have any long-term testing, we don’t know the true effects of GM potatoes on human health nor can we know the damage it may cause to the potato industry.
The National Potato Council admitted that the new GM potatoes could cause financial losses in the billions for American farmers:
“(There is) concern about the potential for GMO technology to disrupt potato exports valued at more than $1.6 billion,” Potato Council CEO John Keeling admitted, further suggesting that there needs to be clear labeling of the GM potatoes.
Food & Water Watch has rejected the potatoes, saying the “USDA has inexplicably failed to undertake the legally required rigorous and overarching analysis of the GE crops’ impacts or reasonably foreseeable consequences.”
According to J.R. Simplot Co., they assert that the potatoes have been engineered to resist a pathogen that is responsible for causing the Irish Potato Famine and can help to reduce the amount of acrylamide (a carcinogen) when cooked. Can we trust this claim and, if true, at what expense to our health and our crops?
Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Stonyfield Farm and Just Label It, chimed in:
“The approval of the Simplot potato is yet another reason that consumers should have a right to know what’s in their food and how it was produced. With the previous approval of other GMO potatoes, the Arctic apple and AquAdvantage salmon—the first GMO animal approved for human consumption—GMO foods are no longer relegated to the processed food shelves." Consumers should be trusted with the information to decide what food is right for their families. Companies should be proud of their products and support clear GMO labeling, just as Campbell Soup Company has done in announcing that it favors a national mandatory labeling system and will begin labeling its own products nationwide.”
In a letter to the J.R. Simply Co., the FDA said that it (their potato) wasn’t substantially-different in composition or safety from other products already on the market, and doesn’t require any more stringent vetting. Hmmm….I think the American people would welcome more stringent vetting on a product that may be harmful to both their health and the entire potato industry.
Just because the FDA approves a product, does not mean the public supports it. To the contrary... Remember the Salmon? The FDA received huge backlash for approving the frankenfish! The Simplot GM potato is yet another example of why we need to adopt GMO labeling in this country.
People want to know what they are eating and who is making their food.
7 Steps to Avoid and Identify the New GM Potato:
•Buy Organic Potatoes
•Look on bag for the words “reduced bruising” in the top right
•Look on bag for the words “fewer black spots” in the top right corner
•Pay close attention to the White Russet Potatoes
•The GM potatoes will have a link to the J.R. Simplot Co. website
•Consider buying Red Russet or other types of potatoes instead
•Support your local organic farmer so we can get GMOs out of our food supply
To express your opinion about these new unlabeled GM potatoes, you can go to the maker’s Facebook page: Facebook.com/J.R.SimplotCompany
Organic Food Companies Who Sold Out
The food giants quickly realized there was a high demand for organic products, which also meant there was an enormous amount of money to be made selling it, so they set out to take over the industry - one cool company at a time. As a result, over 80% of organic companies are now owned by mega corporations.
What should be of most alarming to consumers about the “Big Organic” takeover (think Big Ag and Big Pharma), is the shrewd ability of these corporations to control labeling or lack thereof - as evidenced in the epic battle over GMOs. Equally frightening is their power to effectively water down the standards of organics across the country. Think about it…
Backroom lobbying deals, a corrupt FDA system, and corporate greenwashing will result in fewer, more expensive and less responsible choices. Simultaneously, this will allow Big Ag and Big Organic to completely degenerate the entire organic market. What we know to be a harmful pesticide, may now be reclassified as an "organic pesticide" because it contains some "organic" substance. The loopholes these mega corps seek to instill in the organic market are truly frightening and a major setback in our evolution towards clean, healthy, sustainable farming.
The more we know about who owns and controls our food, the more we can support trustworthy companies. Save this page as a quick reference guide for when you’re out shopping.
Here are some of the companies whose sell-out came at quite a surprise:
1. Annie’s (known for their mac-n-cheese) was bought by General Mills in late summer 2014. This company uses a lot of non-organic cheese products and does not state whether the cheese comes from cows that were fed GMOs.
2. Applegate Farms, the top distributor of organic meat to the U.S., was sold to Hormel (one of the most egregiously pro-GMO meat companies out there) in 2015.
3. Cascadian Farm has been around for so long, you can’t help but think it’s a trusted source of organic products, but it was actually bought out by General Mills in 1999. They were quick to triple the sugar content in their once “no added sugars” cereals.
4. Silk, although found in the health food section of most stores, they are not exactly organic… When the company was acquired by WhiteWave, a spin-off company of the massive pro-GMO corporation Dean Foods, they actually switched from non-GMO to GMO soybeans without telling their customers!
5. Earthbound Farms, the largest supplier of organic produce in the U.S., was also purchased by WhiteWave back in 2013.
6. R.W. Knudson’s is another one of those companies who has been around forever, but what most don’t realize is the organic juice maker is owned by Smucker’s, who publicly supports the use of GMOs.
7. Dagoba Chocolate is branded to look like a cool, independent company, but it’s actually owned by the chocolate giant Hershey’s.
8. Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Yes - Stonyfield! They are owned by the Danone Group of France, makers of Dannon yogurt, Brown Cow yogurt, and Evian water.
9. Honest Tea & Odwalla Honestly, I could not believe either of these companies sold-out to Coca Cola.
10. Horizon was scooped up by WhiteWave and are now subject to many complaints and investigations alleging they’re more of a factory farm type of operation than an “organic” company.
11. Dave’s Killer Bread is the latest great company to sell out for a whopping $275 million dollars. Basically Dave Dahl handed over his baby to the pro-GMO food corporation Flowers Food (owners of Wonder Bread) so he could “sit back and relax”. When asked in a recent interview: “What do you tell the folks who say Killer Dave sold out?” He responded: “That’s what I did,” “That’s what we did.”
12. Morning Star, Kashi, and Bear Naked are all owned by food giant Kellogg’s.
13. Boca and back to Nature are both owned by Kraft
14. Tom’s of Maine is actually under Colgate.
15. Burt’s Bees was once as independent as independent could be - that is until the company was sold to Clorox.
16. Garden of Eatin’, Arrowhead Mills, Spectrum Organics, Earth’s Best, Health Valley, Casbah, Imagine/Rice Dream/Soy Dream, Tofu Town and Westsoy all belong to the Hain Celestial/Heinz corporation.
17. Naked Juice has sadly been owned by Pepsi since 2006.
18. Humboldt Creamery sounds like a charming Northern California independent company, but no…it is owned by none other than Foster Farms.
19. Erewhon, with its organic sounding name, is actually owned by Post Foods.
20. New Chapter, a very popular maker of natural vitamin supplements, was taken over by Proctor and Gamble. This is a real shock and a huge concern for the future of the brand’s quality control.
Here is a broader list of organic and non-organic companies who have all sold out:
|Annie’s Naturals||General Mills||2014|
|Arrowhead Mills||Hain Celestial||1998|
|Back To Nature||Heinz/Kraft||2003|
|Barbara's||Wheatabix Food Co.||1986|
|Ben & Jerrys Organic||Unilever||2003|
|Bolthouse Farms||Campbell Soup||2012|
|Campbell's Organic||Campbell Soup||2003|
|Cascadian Farm||General Mills||
|Coleman Natural||Purdue Farms||2011|
|Dave's Killer Bread||Flower Foods||2015|
|Dove Organic||M&M Mars||2006|
|Draper Valley||Purdue Farms||2007|
|Earthbound Farm||WhiteWave (Dean Int'l)||2013|
|Earth's Best||Hain Celestial||1999|
|Ella's Kitchen||Hain Celestial||2013|
|Food Should Taste Good||General Mills||2012|
|French Meadow||Rich Products Corp||2007|
|Fruitti de Bosco||Walnut Acres||2001|
|Garden of Eatin||Hain Celestial||1998|
|Gerber Organic Baby Food||Nestle||2007|
|Gold Medal Organic||General Mills||2005|
|Green & Black's||Cadbury Schweppes||2005|
|Happy Baby Organic||Dannon/Danone||2013|
|Health Valley||Hain Celestial||1999|
|Hershey Organic||Hershey Foods||2007|
|Honest Tea||Coca Cola (40% stake)||2008|
|Humboldt Creamery||Foster Farms||2009|
|Kettle (chips, etc.)||Diamond Foods||2010|
|Knudsen R.W.||J.M. Smucker||1984|
|Late July||Snyders (minority stake)||2007|
|Millina's Finest||Walnut Acres||2001|
|Mott's Organic||Cadbury Schweppes||2004|
|Mountain Sun||Hain Celestial/Walnut Acres||2001|
|Muir Glen||Cascadian Farm||1998|
|Nantucket Nectars Organic||Cadbury Schweppes||2004|
|Nile Spice||Hain Celestial||1998|
|Organic Cow of Vermont||Horizon||1999|
|Orville Redenbacher's Organic||ConAgra||2005|
|Peet's Coffee & Tea||Sara Lee/JAB/D.E. MasterBlenders||2011|
|Plum Organic Baby Food||Campbells||2013|
|Pria Grain Essentials||Nestle||2006|
|Rice Dream (Imagine)||Hain Celestial||2002|
|Santa Cruz Organic||J.M. Smucker Co||1989|
|Seeds of Change||M&M Mars||1997|
|Silk||White Wave Foods||2013|
|Soy Dream (Imagine)||Hain Celestial||2002|
|Spectrum Organics||Hain Celestial||2005|
|Walnut Acres||Hain Celestial||2003|
|Wholesome & Hearty||Kellogg||2007|
|Wholesome Sweetners||Arlon Group||2012|
|Willamette Valley Granola||Post/Hearthside||2011|
|Wolfgang Puck Soup||Campbell Soup||2008|
Now for the good news! There are some companies who are holding strong. We need to do our best to support their efforts. Here’s the list:
• Clif Bar
• Let’s Do Organic
• Native Forest
• Nature Factor
• Pure Bar
• Que Pasa
• Road’s End Organic
• Yogi Tea
***If we've missed anyone, please let us know. The information we've collected on all of the companies for this post was through public record and any errors in facts should be brought to our attention.
Millions of people are currently experiencing some form of depression, and Big Pharma is cashing in on their sadness. We tend to see a dramatic spike in new cases during fall/winter and around the holidays, as sunlight disappears and financial and emotional stress factors increase.
Instead of reaching for a synthetic prescription, try adding organic walnuts and cashews to your diet. Just a couple of handfuls of cashews (1/4 cup per day) may be the therapeutic equivalent to to a prescription dose of Prozac.
Here's what we know about cashews:
Cashews are one of the best plant-based sources of the amino acid trytophan. This amino acid is critical for improving the uptake of serotonin in the brain. If our diets are lacking trytophan, we can’t produce serotonin as effectively, nor can our bodies effectively use the amount of serotonin that we do have. A depletion of serotonin can make us feel stressed, anxious, and depressed.
Cashews are also very high in magnesium. Magnesium is essential to a healthy mood and nervous system.
Vitamin B6 Ommmm
Cashews contain Vitamin B6, which helps with the uptake of serotonin in the body as well. Both Vitamin B6 and trytophan work to create a more relaxed state, which helps to calm anxiety. Vitamin B6 also reduces depression.
Healthy Brain Fats
The healthy fats in cashews play an important role keeping your mood balanced and preventing depression. Cashews are one of the best sources of mono-unsaturated fats and can help keep your brain healthy so it may ward off depression naturally.
What about walnuts?
Well, walnuts are one of the richest sources of serotonin and omega-3 essential fatty acids, both necessary to fight seasonal depression and moodiness. What's more, walnuts are known to raise melatonin levels by a whopping 3x's, providing relief from sleeplessness and insomnia. Anyone who has been anxious or depressed knows first hand how hard it is to get a good night's sleep!
Depression is a serious mental health issue, so please, don’t assume that eating nuts every day will in fact cure depression on their own. That said, the nutritional benefits of cashews and walnuts do show to be promising in balancing brain health naturally. Combine that with the nutritional benefits of taking Trace Botanicals Humic Fulvic Complex, and you may be feeling worlds better in no time!