Many retailers, including Safeway, have already stated they have no intention of selling the fish, but supporters say it won’t be long before it shows up in supermarkets in the US.
Helena Riess, Ph. D., a vocal opponent of GMO foods, noted this week that, at the very least, the decision will once again rekindle the debate about GMO labeling.
“I don’t think there has been enough time to adequately test the long- term implications of GMO food on humans,” Dr. Riess noted. While adding that animal studies have raised serious questions and concerns about the long-term effects of GMO’s on humans.
Dr. Riess also pointed out that much of the testing supporting GMO’s was sponsored by the industry itself (Monsanto) and had a predictable outcome. She compared it to the fox guarding the hen house.
That aside she said, “I think people have a right to know what they are eating. It’s pretty simple.”
The FDA is currently accepting comments on GMO labeling although the US House has already passed legislation prohibiting states from mandating GMO labels. Senate sponsors of the legislation say they hope that body will take up the legislation shortly.
While consumers can vote with their pocketbooks, which is exactly what the GMO industry fears, Dr. Riess suggests that anyone concerned about GMO’s contact their representatives and strongly encourage them to oppose legislation that would deny individuals the ability to “know what our food contains. States should be allowed to pass their own labeling laws as Vermont did in 2014.”
Now, I am fully aware that, the Chipotle announcement was about 90% marketing hype, since you could drive a truck through the qualifications and exceptions. These include soft drinks and other products where they could not find substitutes.
Additionally, this says nothing of the GMO products fed to animals that provide the beef, pork, or chicken in their food. But it does include corn, which is largely a GMO product in the United States and is an important ingredient at a restaurant specializing in Mexican food.
But the announcement marks the first time a well-known major chain has made any statement on GMO’s and flies directly in the face of the Monsanto supporters who claim the food is perfectly safe and there is no reason to even label the products.
The announcement comes, of course, just a week after, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, famously stopped for lunch at a Chipotle restaurant on her initial campaign trip.
Now, this also says nothing about the overall wellness level of the food at Chipotle, since many people insist that it’s not too many steps above fast food.
Will the announcement alone end the use of Roundup and make the world less polluted? Probably not, but if it raises awareness and helps the next ballot battle to label GMO foods, I think we should support it.
Combined with the impending labeling rules that Whole Foods hopes to implement by 2018, maybe consumers will be able to vote on GMO products with their wallets.
PFAS’s, poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of chemicals, used in everything from carpets to pizza boxes, that many independent scientists claim increase the risk of cancer.
Under public pressure, some classes of the chemicals were replaced a few years ago, but now a new effort is being made to ban them entirely. Industry, which has a financial interest in their continued use, insists they are safe but unfortunately, since they stay in the human body for decades, it is very difficult to verify their claims.
The only solution, in my book, would be to ban them entirely to create healthier products and lessen the body burden of chemicals, which are leading to a host of health issues which no one can, or will explain.
Recently I went to dinner with friends. As usual, I questioned our server extensively about the kitchen’s use of canola oil. My purpose is not to disparage restaurants, but I would urge you, not to always believe what your server reports.
Almost every restaurant uses canola oil, either by itself or to cut costs by combining it with more expensive olive oil.
I urge all my clients to reject canola oil and do what ever they can to avoid using it. Here’s why.
Hundreds of years ago, humans were processing rapeseed to extract the oil. It was not used as a food product but as a lubricant. Usage increased as the Industrial Revolution gathered steam and it also became particularly useful in keeping machine parts clean.
The railroad used it extensively to clean engines and as a lubricant. Rapeseed was too high in a number of substances (uric acid among them) to be used as a food source.
Researchers at the University of Manitoba reengineered the seed, using hybridization techniques, to create a seed that had fewer harmful chemicals and was much closer in taste to olive oil.
This is what we now call canola oil, a name created by marketing types to separate it from the reputation of rapeseed oil. “Canola” stands for Canadian Oil (some believe it stands for Canada Oil, Low Acid).
These days the rapeseed is created by plants using GMO techniques. Since 1995, according to Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition, Monsanto has manufactured rapeseeds that are genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide RoundUp.
Today, about 90% of the world’s canola crop is genetically modified.
Additionally, the extraction of the oil involves chemical separation using hexane – a known carcinogen.
Production of the oil is a very technical process, unlike the simple processes used to make other popular fats/oils, such as butter, olive oil or coconut oil.
The fact that it is exposed to high heat can be problematic since the oil is high in polyunsaturated fats, which are very sensitive to high heat and easily become oxidized (rancid).
Hexane is used to extract the oil from the seeds and trace amounts of it have sometimes been found in the final product.
You just can’t tell how much of the final product is damaged during the manufacturing process because the oil is also deodorized, which removes the smell.
One study analyzed canola and soybean oils found on store shelves in the U.S. They found that up to 4.2% of the fatty acids in them were toxic trans fats.
While the Canola industry claims it is entirely safe, others point to the Hexane residue and GMO sourcing as major problems.
By comparison, cold-pressed and organic canola oil has not gone through the same process and won’t contain so many oxidized fats or trans fats.
Unfortunately, the great majority of rapeseed/canola oils are made with the industrial processing method.