“Children encounter pesticides daily and have unique susceptibilities to their potential toxicity. Epidemiologic evidence demonstrates associations between early life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems,” stated the American Academy of Pediatrics in a policy statement from November of 2012.
Do you know what you’re really feeding your baby?
In an effort to truly determine the safety of baby foods on the market, the Organic Consumers Association sent a package of Gerber Graduates Lil’ Crunchies Veggie Dip Baked Whole Grain Corn Snack for testing at a certified lab.
To screen for the presence of any GMO material in the food, a verified quantitative PCR test was done with DNA analysis. The findings revealed that 100 percent of the corn in the Gerber snack was GMO. So all of the corn in those snacks was genetically engineered to be tolerant of herbicides. It also contained DNA sequences that are present in Bt insecticide-producing GMO corn.
This same herbicide-tolerant GMO corn from the Gerber snack has been researched through industry-independent, peer-reviewed studies and was found to be linked to kidney and liver damage in laboratory animals.
Insecticide toxins that can’t be washed off
Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn is genetically engineered to produce insecticide toxins within every plant cell that cannot be removed by washing off. This corn is regulated and registered with the EPA. So essentially, the EPA, USDA, and FDA have allowed this insecticidal GMO corn to be used in commercial products for consumption by infants, without having conducted any safety tests regarding their effects on humans.
However, an in-vitro study did find possible evidence of potential toxicity to humans. The studies were conducted on mammals, and researchers discovered links to immune system disturbances, male reproductive organ damage, damage to mucosal barrier of the stomach, blood biochemistry disturbances, disturbances in the functioning of the digestive system, higher blood glucose levels and hyperlipidemia, as well as signs of organ toxicity.
Despite claims that the insecticidal proteins would be broken down during its travel through the digestive tract, evidence of the proteins were found circulating in the blood stream of non-pregnant and pregnant women, as well as the blood supply to fetuses.
Hawaiian State Senator, Josh Green, M.D., said, “As a physician in Hawaii, I remain gravely concerned about the impact pesticides and pesticide dependent crops have on our children’s development.”
But that’s not all
The Organic Consumers Association was also concerned about the possible presence of glyphosate in the Gerber snacks. Glyphosate is the primary active chemical ingredient used in the herbicide, Roundup. It is used in other herbicides as well, and its use has been increased significantly because of GM crops.
Testing was conducted on the Gerber Graduates Veggie Dip Baked Whole Grain Corn Snack by a certified lab to detect any presence of glyphosate. A specific LC/MS/MS testing method was used to check for glyphosate residue. This is currently the most sensitive test available. The findings did not detect any presence of glyphosate; however, these results are inconclusive for the following reasons:
First off, the testing sample was not large enough to represent every package of the Gerber snack. Secondly, the test used was the most sensitive available, but it is not sensitive enough to detect the minimal levels of glyphosate that have been linked to endocrine disruption. Lastly, because the GMO corn detected by the testing was 100 percent herbicide tolerant, it is safe to assume farmers purchased it so they could spray it with glyphosate containing herbicide products. For these reasons, the Organic Consumer Association feels there is inconclusive evidence as to the possible presence of glyphosate in the Gerber snacks.
Healthy homemade alternatives
It is always better to be safe than sorry, so here are some wonderful homemade alternatives that you can use to feed your baby without worrying about hidden ingredients. Always be sure to shop for organic ingredients and substitute them in recipes that don’t already call for organic components.
· Fruit-based snack alternatives.
· Calorie conscious snacks, such as fruit with nut butter dip and more.
· Consider dried fruit, homemade kale chips, sweet potato skins and more gluten-free ideas.
—The Alternative Daily