GE in your food
GE food safety: There are strong indications of possible dangers from GE foods to our health. We simply don't know, as no human testing has occurred. Many doctors and scientists are worried GE foods may damage our immune systems, create new toxins and allergens or increase resistance to antibiotics. The long-term effects are extremely unpredictable.
Can I avoid it? Everyone must have the right to say 'no' to genetically engineered food. Yet 80% of processed foods including crisps, bread and chocolate contain maize or soya and could therefore contain GE products. These are not labelled and South African labelling laws are yet to come into force. The present draft regulations are deeply flawed and we are applying pressure to rectify this.
Ingredients to look out for: Ingredients from countries that grow (but don't separate or label) GE crops may be present in the following foods … especially if ingredients are from the USA, Canada, Argentina or China, the world's biggest growers of GE crops.
Click here for a list of GM content in SA Foodstuffs
- SOY DERIVATIVES (65% of US Soy is GE) As much as 60% of processed foods contain soy in these forms: Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein; Textured Vegetable Extract; Soy Protein Isolate; Soy Protein; Lecithin Emulsifier; Tofu; Tamari; Shoyu; Tempeh; Soya Sauce; Soy Fibre; Soya Oil; Maltodextrin; Soy Flour; Soya Cheese; Margarine
- VEGETABLE OIL may contain oil extracted from GE SOY, MAIZE, CANOLA or COTTON
- MAIZE DERIVATIVES (30% of US maize is GE): Corn/Maize Starch and Syrup; Glucose; Corn/Maize Oil; Starch; Modified Starch; Thickener; Corn/Maize Flour; Fructose
- CANOLA (Oilseed Rape/Rapeseed Oil): Canola Oil; Margarine; Butter/Oil spreads
- POTATOES: Starch/Potato starch/Potato flour
- COTTON DERIVATIVES: GE Cotton is widely grown in South Africa; Cottonseed oil (especially in fast foods and in vegetable oils ); Cotton Linters (in sausage casings) may be used in sanitary products, dressings etc.
GE in milk: Despite bans in many other countries, the SA Department of Agriculture has licensed the local use of the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone rBGH/rBST. Milk from rBST or rBGH treated cows has higher-than-normal levels of IGF-1, an insulin-like substance linked with increased cancer incidence in humans. Scientists have noted lameness, shortened lifespans and increased mastitis in treated cows, leading to higher antibiotic use. This in turn can increase antibiotic resistance in humans who drink the milk from treated cows.