Kaiser Permanente is the largest managed healthcare provider in the US, with just under 9 million members, and 15,000 physicians. In its fall newsletter, the non-profit warns people about GMOs and their dangers:
GMOs have been added to our food supply since 1994, but most people don’t know it because the United States does not require labeling of GMOs. As of 2012, most corn, soybeans, canola, cotton, and sugar beets are genetically modified. Nearly 80 percent of processed food and most fast food contain GMOs.
The kicker comes next, with a warning that the food industry doesn’t want consumers to hear or heed:
Despite what the biotech industry might say, there is little research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human health. Independent research has found several varieties of GMO corn caused organ damage in rats. Other studies have found that GMOs may lead to an inability in animals to reproduce.
It’s not surprising that Kaiser Permanente is brave enough to come out so boldly about GMOs. KP is considered a progressive health provider. It has been running farmer’s markets outside medical centers for several years.
We hope that additional healthcare players acknowledge the crucial role healthy food plays in disease prevention. Simple incentives, like the Walmart / Humana discount on healthy supermarket choices, are a great example of collaborations that help people eat a bit better.
What to do at the supermarket:
The brief KP article suggests several ways to limit your GMO exposure – buying organic, seeking food with Non-GMO Project labels, and avoiding foods with soy, corn, or canola ingredients (that’s hard!).