Friday, August 10, 2012

PIP: The Food Bastard

This is the cute PIP.
Have you heard about PIP? Sounds cute, doesn't it?  In fact, one summer our family named a friendly chipmunk, PIP. That PIP was cute. Unfortunately, I find this PIP scary.

I think everyone needs to know about scary PIP.

Yesterday, I watched this video. {Go ahead, watch it. Trust me. It's worth the time and effort} Her story had me on the edge of my seat. I thought of all the times I had done the same thing with our kids when they were young.

She scared me so much, I went digging around on the FDA website. What I found was not reassuring:
In the 1992 policy, FDA recommended that developers consult with FDA about bioengineered foods under development; since issuance of the 1992 policy, developers have routinely done so. In June 1996, FDA provided additional guidance to industry on procedures for these consultations (the consultation procedures). These procedures describe a process in which a developer who intends to commercialize a bioengineered food meets with the agency to identify and discuss relevant safety, nutritional, or other regulatory issues regarding the bioengineered food and then submits to FDA a summary of its scientific and regulatory assessment of the food; FDA evaluates the submission and responds to the developer by letter.
Let me highlight the high notes for you:

  1. We have been feeding our children these genetically modified (GMO) foods since 1992. That's their ENTIRE LIVES thus far. 
  2. Developers of bio engineered foods meet with FDA to discuss relevant safety, submit summary of scientific and regulatory assessment. Don't you think they should have to submit substantial, irrefutable proof of a food's safety?

With my upper lip sweating out of a combination of fear and anger, I dug around some more and was surprised to find this gem on the EPA website: PIP, Plant-Incorporated Protectants.
Plant-Incorporated Protectants are pesticidal substances produced by plants and the genetic material necessary for the plant to produce the substance. For example, scientists can take the gene for a specific Bt pesticidal protein, and introduce the gene into the plant's genetic material. Then the plant manufactures the pesticidal protein that controls the pest when it feeds on the plant. Both the protein and its genetic material are regulated by EPA; the plant itself is not regulated.
Don't care to read the fine print? Here it is in a nutshell... these scientists have created food seeds with the pesticide already inside them. Yes, so no matter how thoroughly you wash your food, you will never be able to rid your GMO, PIP foods free from pesticides.

I told you... SCARY.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? All those processed foods we feed our kids.... The fructose (made from GMO-PIP corn) sweetened fruit juices in all those sippy cups...

I have a friend battling breast cancer right now. She tested negative for the cancer gene. It's environmental. She has kids: 12 and 8 year old.

I fear that if we do not change the way we and our families eat our kids' generation will experience an even higher number of cancer rates. How about you?

Here is a list outlining different grocery stores and whether or not the sell non-GMO foods.

I'm not an expert on this stuff. I'm just learning and sharing the information.

I wish you and your family good food and good health.

{I want to thank Pam at Healthily Ever After for bringing this to my attention! Click over where you will find more information on this subject.}


  1. I wish people would stop trying to kill me and my children. Maybe an overstatement, maybe not. Time to start a garden.

  2. It IS scary! I try to choose healthy local products including produce which is much easier during the spring and summer when local farmers set up their stands along the roadways. I will tripple think each purchase I make from now on with regard to food. So many allergies these days to everything from milk to trees and food dyes. I believe it has everything to do with these GMO and PIP products!

    1. I have started buying foods only with labels I can read. I've become pretty stupid, cause I can't read "fructose" or "sucrose" anymore either. Everything I'm buying now has to be organic. I realize when we're out we may not be able to eat organic all the time, but we can at home.

  3. Very scary!! More people need to be aware of this and that's why I've been trying to eat a little better...growing vegetables, organic where I can. It's crazy to think what we don't know is in our foods...even veggies and fruits! :S

    1. I've talked to all the kids about it, and I think I've managed to scare the PIPs out of them.

  4. I hate to even admit this, but my first job in college was working at a USDA lab, where I inserted a plasmid vector from a soy bean (a tiny piece of DNA with the genes you want on it) into a corn plant, to increase the protein content. My project was being funded by the dairy farmers of America who wanted a higher protein content corn source that they could feed less of to their cattle. Someone else in my lab was modifying citrus plants to have the natural pesticidal deterrents that you write about here. At the time, it wasn't really real (everything was in the lab) and my project was for corn that wasn't intended for human consumption. Then, I guess it slipped into our food source without anyone talking about it or publicizing it. Honestly, I don't even know how we go backwards now. How do you even figure out what the original crops were and convince farmers and manufacturers to cut their bottom lines:/ I don't know if there's enough evidence yet to say that there's a correlation to disease, but I do think that the public at least needs be notified that this is happening.

    1. EEKS!!! The government is going to have to find its balls and upset the lobbyists and put the people first. Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime, I'm looking for those organic labels and getting a greenhouse.

  5. What an informative post. Thank you. It is so hard to avoid contaminated food. I try my best to make everything from scratch ( we have food allergies) but I still need to buy produce. How scary. Great post

  6. I just wanted to leave a quick comment in defense of the logic behind bt-crops. Bt is popular as a pesticide because it's very specific in the types of insects that it acts on. It actually can't even hurt butterflies, and has thus far been found to be safe in people. By putting Bt into the food, farmers are able to spray less pesticides, and so keep from killing good bugs they didn't want to kill. This makes more bugs around for birds to eat, and a healthier ecosystem all around. I know it's scary to think about mutant food, but we've actually been mutating food through irradiation since about 1930. That method was actually scarier because it would cause thousands of gene mutations for one desired effect. With current GM tech, we can alter very specific genes. It's much more precise! And it's really hard to feed the number of people we have while being kind to the environment (unless everyone starts being okay with buying the occasional wormy apple. It's just protein people!). I do think that the FDA needs to watch things more strictly, but frankly I find the fact that modern water treatment systems don't filter out flushed anti-depressants/drugs/hormones etc. to be much scarier.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I understand the business component of it and I don't mind have to cut a worm out of my apple, but I really take issue with the fact that our food is not labeled GMO like in other countries. I think if people knew they were eating GMO, they would prefer organic.
      Don't even get me started on the water supply... (grumble, grumble)

  7. Wow-- this is really something to think about. It is so easy to just think that food is food, and disregard the part about how that food came to be.

  8. I had no clue about PIP but I am being tested to reacting to genetically altered foods. They think I can't digest them...


  9. This is very interesting!! I've seen the movie Food Inc. and it scared me to death!

  10. This stuff has been going on for years. I worked the farmers markets and the farmers would tell me how it is almost impossible to grow organic food (even if they paid for their certified organic status-hint!) because of cross contamination (maybe germination would be a better word?) There is a well known story about a farmer, who was growing organic crops and a Monsanto truck accidentally dropped GMO seeds on his property. Long story short it infected his organic crops and to add insult to injury, Monsanto sued him for "using" their seeds without permission.

    I am glad I found your blog through the Mom Mingle! Keep up the good work!



  11. This is so upsetting to me--I hate that there is really nothing we can do about it. And I heard about the cross-contamination and the company suing the farmer--it makes me sick. The fact that the big corporations are always going to be able to buy Congress doesn't help. Thank you for sharing. As it stands, I need to get some of my groceries at Target or drive the hour or two it takes to get to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods (something I love to do occasionally because it is totally worth it to me) to be sure I am getting organic produce. I am afraid to even buy at the local stands as it seems like nothing is safe anymore. SOOO SAD!


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