The Need for Full Disclosure on Food Products

in #health10 months ago

I was reading thorough a post and comments on Facebook the other day.

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It was shared in a detox and health group. Reading through the comments and some of the links it's apparent that the statement is not entirely accurate, but I can understand the warning behind it. This is the definition of biofortification:

“Biofortification, according to the WHO, is the process of nutritionally enhancing food crops through agronomic practices such as managing crops to promote soil and water conservation, conventional plant breeding and modern biotechnology, which can include GMO. The WHO states the aim of biofortification is to “increase nutrient in crops during plant growth rather than through manual means during processing of the crops”.”

Okay, so biofortification can be done to a variety of crops which could include GMO, but may not necessarily be GMO. Yet if you click on the words “agronomic practices” in the article it will take you to a definition on Monsanto’s website, which isn't exactly helpful to their cause when Monsanto is the most quoted name behind GMOs.

The issue most people have with regards food labelling is the lack of full disclosure. So a term which doesn't give a clear explanation of how something was achieved isn't very helpful. In this case it's easiest to err on the side of caution and just assume anything labelled that way is GMO. So if you have an issue with GMOs you may want to avoid something that is labelled as biofortified.

The problem is that labelling is often changing and the definitions of what a word might mean can end up being altered over time. When one ingredient starts to gain a bad reputation, then they'll give it a new name which is often deceptive. So where we should be getting full disclosure, we're not and people are losing trust in the authorities regulating this. With increasing food intolerances and allergies, it's becoming more imperative that foods are openly labelled, yet I know people with celiac disease who end up having to research products online, to keep on top of whether they have gluten in them from year to year, because the ingredients with gluten in aren't always immediately apparent and manufacturers will sometimes alter recipes so that previously gluten free products will suddenly have gluten in. For some celiacs this could just mean that they wonder why they are in pain, but for others it could put them in hospital and risk their lives.

With so much in social media about labelling in the US, it's no wonder that the rest of the world is suspicious that their own country may start to change labelling policies. In Australia the food standards agency requires the labelling of foods that are genetically modified, which sounds great. However, if you read what the exemptions are, it's apparent that it's much more of a case of buyer beware. Restaurants aren't required to label GM foods. Refined foods “where processing has removed the DNA and protein from the food” don't require labelling, because the assumption is that the GM parts have essentially been removed. Then animal products from animals which have been fed GM foods don't need to be labelled. Yet these are the very things that do require labelling because it isn't so obvious.

Full disclosure doesn't mean that people won't buy products, it means that people can make their own, informed choices. Without this arguments are always going to rage over the accuracy of statements, because the information isn't easily available. A distrust is also going to develop in product providers.

Not everyone will understand or care what is in products, but it doesn't mean that nobody deserves full disclosure.

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We constantly have to keep educating ourselves, and our children, about what these things mean. Vitamin B. Is it natural? Synthesized? GMO? The supplement industry is one of the worst!! Followed by personal care items and snack foods.

REALLY important issue and one I might post about some more. The #naturalproducts tag would have been important on this post to make sure it is seen by more people.


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Thanks for the heads up. I want aware of the #naturalproducts tag.

Supplements are a bit of a minefield, aren't they. Sometimes we need them, but some can be worse than useless. My 16 year old is growing, menstruating and training 15 hours a week at gymnastics and iron deficiency was something we were settling to keep on top of. It took me a woke to find a supplement that was close to natural and that she actually absorbed enough to finally get her iron levels back up. Unfortunately, we were struggling with her gaining it from diet alone.


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The days of full disclosure are long gone I think.

I disagree, I think those days are just beginning.

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I think when consumer choice dictates the bottom line, then these companies will often follow.

Maybe. Time will tell huh?

I wonder if we've ever really had it. For food, I guess it wasn't necessary before we started adding unexpected ingredients.

With all the stuff that goes into food I'm not sure full disclosure would work well for manufacturers. Better that the masses are clueless is what I would imagine they would think. I agree that we should have full disclosure, just not sure it's truly possible.

Hmmm, wish i could have a scientific opinion about GMO but no. Any unbiased and reliable sources of information?

It's often hard to tell how unbiased sources are. I think the best we can do is to read a broad selection and try and take any opinion from there. Like many things, there is likely some truth in all opinions and different people will draw different conclusions in any studies.

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We really should all want to know what we are eating, how disconnected some have become by not even caring. Monsanto really are trying to their best to fool us, thank you for spreading awareness about their latest name. Almost sounds organic!

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It can get exhausting trying to figure it all out, especially when we lead such busy lives. Some days I reach the point where I'm rushed and hungry and avoid even looking at the ingredients because I know I won't eat it if I do.

Awesome article. Bio Fortified sounds legit, organic, and good. But man, the deception is thick. These people will stop at nothing to stay relevant. Everyone that I know that understands GMOs stays away from them. BT toxin in your gut? No thanks!

When you're losing everyone's confidence, I guess you have to save face somehow.

It's kinda frustrating that restaurants don't fully disclose - if you think about it, a lot of the food they use can be from dubious sources. There isn't anything wrong with GMO per se, but the problem is we actually don't know that until many years have passed and proper tests have been done. I suspect we may NEED more GMO foods to withstand climate change effects, but we also need biodiverse GMO which I cannot see Monsanto providing! God the world is frustrating me this week. I have a sore back so maybe it's just I don't have resilience against the negative.

To me the biggest problem with GMO seems to be the goal that they're manufacturing for. We don't see crops that are adapted for climate we see crops that are bred to withstand the chemicals they want to sell you to spray liberally on the fields. Then they are also altered to limit the ability to seed save, so they can keep selling them to you. This alteration could possibly be affecting our own fertility if tests on mice are to be believed. There isn't much money to be made adapting plants for the reasons we could actually use while dropping the restriction on reproduction. It's a catch 22 situation which I can't see being easily resolved satisfactorily enough for people to lose their distrust of GMO.

Ha, I was just watching Catch 22 on Netflix and ordered the book again to re-read because I loved it. Joseph Heller had quite the bug bear with people saying things were catch 22 and they weren't. I wonder if this would qualify in his regard!

You are right about WHY GMO is a problem - in theory, it's actually incredible science which we really need. Why can't we use GMO to create a giant triffid to swallow Monsanto? Now that'd be a good use of DNA. And then we can make GMO crops that withstand flood, fire, rain and assholes, and as biodiverse as possible for the benefit of mankind.

Oh right, I'm not dreaming am I? I do live in a world of fuckwits. Sorry. That's the back talking again.

Ooo, burn!! 🔥 🤣 She's on the rampage!

It all about da money, in it! No money to be made in developing those sorts of crops, until there's no food left due to crop failure. Or maybe they've already developed them, but they're not going to waste them on cannon fodder. Wait until they've eliminated the riff raff first. Oops, sorry, I'm going conspiracy theorist now...