S8
Monday, 24 July 2017
SBC
Index
22 April 2015

GM foods and plant poisons can damage health

Public not told what they are eating


I am tired of having to fight to know what I am eating.

90% of catering establishments all over UK are using GM ingredients, mostly illegally, as undisclosed to the consumer, and are often obstructive and aggressive, as if I have no right to ask. I investigate this extensively, and am often thrown out, or told I'm 'barred'. Many others are most courteous and co-operative.

GM ingredients are being bulldozed into our food chain, I believe, with the absolute compliance of government. GM soya from US is shipped into Cargill Foods, Liverpool, milled, and distributed to companies like KTC, Westmill, Pearl, etc, and end up in nearly all independent catering outlets and some High Street brands who should know better.

Often they don not even know what the supplier sends. GM Soya bean oil is believed to be cheaper per 20 litre can and has a longer shelf life but there are many other oils that actually compare favourably.

There is growing concern about GM not just the DNA issue, but Roundup pesticide, containing Glyphosate, which has been declared a probable cancer cause, locked into the seed. Thousands are raking in profits from this, and possible millions are at risk.

They are legally entitled to use them as long as they clearly inform the consumer, as some are starting to do - but this is often hard to notice, and I always ask.

This may apply also to Chinese, Thai, Fried Chicken, Kebab, general restaurants and cafes, one or two Fish and Chip shops.

Most, however, do not notify customers. Staff often become defiant and aggressive. I have had to report dozens to Trading Standards.

Many will not care about this, but apart from breaking the law, use of the oil may pose a significant risk to consumers.

GM Soya beans may contain the DNA of some plant or animal, which is done in a laboratory, not naturally in a nursery.

It also contains a built in pesticide called Roundup, made by Scotts - I understand a subsidiary of Monsanto, who make the seeds containing Glyphosate - as do almost all commercial pesticides and weedkillers.

There had long been growing concern about the safety of the whole process, and Glyphosate in particular. I have attended Parliamentary Group meetings to hear alarming evidence from many leading plant pathologists and professors.

The World Health Organization has recently declared Glyphosate a probable carcinogen - which may also be contaminating our water system.

I understand that many will either be unaware, or simply not care, saying there are more important things in life, or that one has consumed it and it has done no harm - but to me this is a personal mission, as I lost my wife, aged 58, to breast cancer, in 2010 - never before ill, no incidence in the family, attended screenings.

I am not in any way saying that Soya bean oil or Glyphosate harmed her - but all I'm asking for is:

  1. Total transparency by catering venues, so that we at least know what is in the food we pay for, and not 'pushed' into the food chain, despite EU/UK laws - we should not have to fight to know this.
  2. That while there is so much controversy on GM, it should be totally segregated from any other food - especially organic, but even legislation has allowed this to become so tangled that we cannot escape it: eg, cheese rennet, soya lecithin, poultry feed, etc, which are not required to be labelled GM, as they are below 1%.

Other GM oils are:

  • Cottonseed, often found in imported foods,
  • Olive Pomace - often blended with GM Soya oil, and
  • I believe Canola.

I'm posting this to make people aware.

Major High Street brands, and a few of the independents, use non-GM oils, such as Sunflower, Rapeseed, Palm, although, there are now types of GM Rapeseed creeping into a minefield.

If anyone agrees with me, please make your voices heard.

Tony Osborne
Slough