GMO Food: How European Trade May Help America Eat Healthier

US EU Trading

It’s no secret that Europe has firmly denied genetic modification into its food system. There are no GMO foods in the UK, France, or Germany. Unfortunately, The United States’ weak regulatory and safety frameworks, coupled with corporate funded politicians have allowed GMO ingredients into a high percentage of US foods.

The numbers are staggering: 93% of soy and 88% of corn in the US are genetically modified. Soy and corn are staples of the American diet, with their derivative ingredients omnipresent in many foods found on supermarket shelves.

But that could change, and not because of any safety, moral, or social concerns at the USDA, FDA, or Congress. Nope, something much more powerful – MONEY.

You see, the US and the European Union (EU) are trade partners. Negotiations are now taking place for a $100 billion trade agreement. And food is a substantial portion of international trade. However, Europe is reluctant to import foods from the US:

The EU looks down on American food safety and production practices, and with good reason. American meat production is heavily reliant on chemicals, from hormones to chlorine-bleach baths, and European officials and consumers largely reject these treatments and standards…

…the EU has enough clout to finally convince the US government to clean up America’s food supply, long given over to factory farming and the economic demands of agribusiness. If America wants to export more beef, chicken and crops to the European Union, it will have to make better products. The EU won’t stand for the ones we’re peddling now. Read more from the Guardian…

Get it? Europe doesn’t want our food because it is sub-par! If the export opportunity becomes promising enough, perhaps American farmers will start growing more non-GMO crops.

It is worth noting that a US consumer pays the lowest percentage of available income for food compared to any other country in the world – just 9%. In France it’s almost double. Such cheap prices come at a cost, paid later on to our health care system.

Whether the US and EU negotiators will find common ground for a food trade deal, we should ask ourselves, how is it that the governments of European countries have been able to protect their citizens’ food standards, while ours has not.

  • donna

    i cant believe no one has commented on this yet. are people not aware of our food supply becoming ruined by the GMO practices? wake up people and do your part to stop it. sign petitions, chose your food carefully and dont buy or consume GMO altered foods. It is endangering our health and the health of our future generations. Kudos to Europe. Looks like all the smart people live there.

    • Michael Legge

      While all foods that we eat are genetically manipulated-no one would like to eat the original wheat from which farmers over the ages have manipulated genetically to its present distorted genome. What worries me is that people denigrate GMOs without telling me why this is so bad.I hazard that when climate change bites, we will be grateful for the dastardly crops that can be designed to provide sustenance in drought,saline,etc. conditions. So, please give your reasons that GMO is terrible. Who has died? Who has suffered excruciating illness? Who is disadvantaged? Pray tell.

      • Omar Colom
      • TC

        Do some research. I just did a research paper on GMOs for my masters in nutrition. Why are they bad?

        1. Random controlled studies show changes in cell liver, kidney, and intestinal cell nuclei in sheep, rats, and salmon fed GM food (this is the first step in the genesis of cancer…initiation-DNA damage). Why haven’t we shown this in humans? THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A HUMAN STUDY DONE ON THE EFFECTS OF A GMO DIET!!

        2. Studies using Round Up Ready corn feed in rats have shown greatly increased rates of various tumors. Round Up resistant GM plants means that they can be doused with copious amounts of these chemicals and still survive. Round Up aka glyphosate has been shown to cause cancer in animal studies.

        3. Vertical and horizontal gene transfer from GM crops. Vertical is between the same species and horizontal is between other species. This occurs normally in nature to some extent, but we are now transferring altered genes that may cause more issues than we realize. It is potentially possible for a consumed GM food to transfer antibiotic resistance to a human.

        4. We are messing with messenger RNA. Monsanto has gotten the FDA to agree that mRNA is GRAS (generally regarded as safe). There is a great concern that if the mRNA in the GM food is similar to ours (and many are), it can turn on or off our genes and wreak havoc in our bodies.

        5. I have seen numerous plant and animal studies that show potential serious problems with GMO consumption. The studies that have shown no problems were of very short duration, and even those have shown changes to the chromatin in certain cell nuclei.

        6. The FDA regards GMOs as substantially the same as non-GMO foods and therefore does not require human studies. GMO technology is the most rapidly adopted food manipulation modality ever created. We are now all unwitting subjects in the greatest uncontrolled experiment in recorded history. I hope it has a good outcome, but from my research, I think we’re in trouble.

        Almost all the non-organic corn and soy out there is GMO, If the US will not require GMO labeling, the best thing is to avoid non-organic corn, soy, canola, and papaya, and sugar (beets).
        Do your own research on pubmed or at your local university library. Look at the real studies. Make your own conclusions.

        • Rose Frankenstien Kloeckner

          if those study’s are so numerous, why cant you include which study’s your referencing? potential serious problems is not a problem, it just sounds like your making things up. just saying. ok? It actually sucks how you can’t check to see how your writing is going to come off to anyone who is even slightly skeptical about the broad claims your edging up on. greatest uncontrolled experiment in recorded history? just …really? ? ?

  • tony

    Great News! Chile also just got some of its produce rejected because of that GMO crap. Say No to GMOs!

  • Ama

    Exactly Donna. People are NOT aware of GMOs and the harm they do to us and to the environment.i have ask tons of people on the street, even doctors, nurses and teachers and they simply don’t know. I just hope these people get home and search for the truth about GMOs and continuously spread the word.

  • Tyler

    That’s great news! Finally someone who can put some sense into the GMO monocultures over here. Most of the guys in my office who are blissfully unaware of the harm done by GMOs. I try to spread the word whenever I can. Change doesn’t happen in a day, but I am hopeful that it will happen eventually.

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  • James Cooper

    Since all major scientific organizations have agreed that GMO crops are completely safe and identical to conventional crops this discussion is kind of irrelevant. And in fact GMO crops are grown in Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. And many other countries do not restrict their import.

  • ayeager81

    The US needs to spend more money on good quality non-GMO foods so we can spend less money on hospital bills from eating all this crap they call food…

  • josh

    You should check your sources before you make claim about UK. There ARE plenty of genetically modified food in UK. Genetically modified corn is labelled as modified maize, sometimes it is soy. I work in restaurant industry, and see GENETICALLY modified ingredients.

    • JS Protiva

      That’s news to me, man. I am just aware of the meats practically anywhere.

      So how did that happen? Because UK is practically not of EU?