Welcome to GMO-Free Living!
This page will be dedicated to helping you find ways to remove GMOs from your household, not just your food. I am also going to dedicate this page to “Living Greener On Purpose”- and will include some resources for “green” cleaning, personal care and laundry products. Check back often as content will be added on a regular basis.
Did you ever stop to think that your clothing has GMOs? As in that cotton t-shirt that you’re wearing is most likely from GMO Cotton? I’m sorry to inform you that according the USDA, 93% of all cotton dedicated to clothing is genetically modified. Yuppers- you’ve got GMOs in yer undies. Pleasant thought isn’t it?
With all the research linking GMOs to infertility, cancer, behavioral issues, hormone deficiencies, etc., why would we want to have GMO laced cotton anywhere near our bodies? The more research I conduct on behalf of this blog and to better educate myself, the more I’m surprised I haven’t sprained my neck from the constant head shaking that occurs. I mean honestly! It seems I am almost constantly shaking my head. :/
So this begs the question: Have you ever thought of buying organic cotton clothing and bedding?
I know I never thought of it until recently. Here’s why. I’ve learned that 93% of all cotton planted in 2010 in the US was GMO’ most likely this is the Bt variety.
The cottonseed oil goes directly into our food supply…and the remaining hulls go to animal feed (also our food supply). The cotton itself is used for our clothing, towels, linens, and other cotton products, think female products, and baby diapers, and cotton balls, Q-tips, etc. Are you getting sick to your stomach yet?
I spent years as a Retail District and Store/Training Manager for high-end women’s clothing stores. I knew that it was always best to wash your clothes after you purchased them, but it used to be because they sprayed clothing from out of the country with insecticides so bugs wouldn’t lay eggs, or eat the clothing. Now, with realization that 93% of our cotton is of the Genetically Modified variety, well- no amount of laundry detergent is going to get that out. And I wonder how many skin allergy, eczema, psoriasis and other skin related irritations, infections, allergies, diseases are a direct result of having this Bt cotton up against our skin 24 hours a day?
Let’s talk about the Bt variety of this cotton and what that means. Bt stands for “Bacillus thuringiensis. The University of California San Diego describes Bt Cotton as containing a bacterium called Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt). The spores of Bt produce crystal proteins which are toxic to many forms of insects, leading to its use as an insecticide.
The Free Dictionary.com states that Bt is: “An insecticide composed of a genetically altered bacterium (Bacillus thuringiensis) that is used to control many kinds of caterpillars that are pests of ornamental, crop, and other plants.”
That actually doesn’t sound all that bad. The cotton has been genetically altered by which DNA from a bacteria was inserted into the DNA of the cotton seed. No problem, right? Um, wrong.
The Writing on the Wall
“When U.S. regulators approved Monsanto’s genetically modified “Bt” corn, they knew it would add a deadly poison into our food supply. That’s what it was designed to do. The corn’s DNA is equipped with a gene from soil bacteria called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) that produces the Bt-toxin. It’s a pesticide; it breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them.
But Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) swore up and down that it was only insects that would be hurt. The Bt-toxin, they claimed, would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system and not have any impact on all of us trusting corn-eating consumers.
Oops. A study just proved them wrong.
Doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found the corn’s Bt-toxin in the blood of pregnant women and their babies, as well as in non-pregnant women. (Specifically, the toxin was identified in 93% of 30 pregnant women, 80% of umbilical blood in their babies, and 67% of 39 non-pregnant women.) The study has been accepted for publication in the peer reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology.
According to the UK Daily Mail, this study, which “appears to blow a hole in” safety claims, “has triggered calls for a ban on imports and a total overhaul of the safety regime for genetically modified (GM) crops and food.” Organizations from England to New Zealand are now calling for investigations and for GM crops to be halted due to the serious implications of this finding.”
Jeffrey Smith goes on to cover the myriad of diseases and maladies that are believed to be associated with exposure to Bt cotton. He further exposes the links between animal deaths, human allergies and illnesses and Bt cotton. Kind of makes you want to go out and party in a cotton field, doesn’t it? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
In the interest of saving time, because I could go on and on and tell you more about this cotton, I’m going to close with one more tidbit of info on cotton and chemicals and then I’m going to give you several resources for GMO-Free AND Organic/Green living. I’ll include mattresses/bedding, clothing, personal care items, and cleaning items to get you started.
GMOs and Chemicals?!?
“Much of the conventional cotton is treated with additional chemicals. One of the worst instances is with Wrinkle-Free cotton. It is treated with formaldehyde and does not wash out. Formaldehyde can cause respiratory and skin irritation, birth defects, neurological problems, and is a known carcinogen. Other harmful chemicals and heavy metal dyes are also regularly used in cotton clothing and bedding that are not wrinkle free. “Cotton crops use the greatest amount of pesticides, unless grown organically. It’s estimated that approximately 25% of the pesticides remain in the cotton fibers of finished products.” (Quoted from Liz K. Co-founder of GMO Truth Alliance)
Robyn Landis of Body Fueling. com states: “The problems with clothing production don’t stop in the field. During the conversion of conventional cotton into clothing, numerous toxic chemicals are added at each stage–silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, softeners, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, ammonia, and formaldehyde, to name just a few.”
“Did you know that a pound of conventionally grown cotton used to make a t-shirt is sprayed with almost a third of a pound of chemical fertilizers and pesticides as it grew? And that it took more than a pound of agri-chemicals to produce that set of conventional cotton sheets on your queen-sized bed? And you thought you only had to worry about GMOs in your food.”
What Are My Options?
When it comes to bedding, do your best to buy unbleached, organic and un-dyed. If you’d like to know more about why you should aim for that, finish reading THIS article.
Look for small Mom & Pop companies that focus on truly natural, organic products for your body, and home. Look for the Non-GMO Project verified label, and/or the USDA Organic label on products. Do your homework. Familiarize yourself with ingredients, fabrics, the places you shop, etc.
- A national organic bedding store: Slumber Pros
- A local Minnesota based organic bedding/mattress store: Moss Envy
- A fantastic Illinois-based green (and handmade) mattress company online: My Green Mattress
- An online store for kids, babies and adults- bedding/bassinets/mattresses: NaturePedic
- A one stop resource for women for cosmetics and beauty products: The Green Beauty Guide
- GMO-Free cosmetics and skincare: Lavera
(I often have ads on my blog homepage for this brand. Look for them- they generally advertise a discount!)
- Organic Skincare: Heaven
- Organic clothing, accessories, etc: Global Girlfriend
- Gardening without using GMO seeds: Burpee Seeds
- Baby clothing, bedding, toys, etc: Baby Earth
- Socks, scarves, apparel, gifts: Maggie’s Functional Organics
- Green, organic, non-toxic DIY cleaning-supply starter kit: Elizabeth Detroit
- Homemade cleaning supplies: EarthEasy
- How to find healthier, safer, organic/green/gmo-free health, cleaning, laundry, beauty, skincare and personal care items: Environmental Working Group (whatever you do, don’t purchase Lysol or Clorox products despite the fact that EWG gives them a B- which I’m confused by because they tout the dangers of chlorine bleach more passionately than I do. My soapbox rants on chlorine bleach will be saved for another date…)
- Organic women’s clothing: Organic Style Shop
- Etsy.com has lots of shops/vendors that sell quality organic clothing. Just ask questions first to be sure that a “shop owner” can verify they are using 100% organic materials. Etsy
- Simply good for you and your body soaps: Goat Milk Stuff
- An online store with just about anything you need for your home: Eco Store USA
- For those women brave enough to say goodbye to GMO cotton feminine products laced with chlorine and other harmful chemicals, look into this company: Party in My Pants
- For those people Green and hard-core hippie enough to boldly replace toilet paper with washable/reusable cloths, check this out: Family Cloth Wipes
- Men’s organic clothing: Threads For Thought
- Men’s and Women’s eco-friendly clothing: Element EcoWear Organic Clothing
- Organic Homegoods: Gaiam Eco Home Products
- Do you have PETS?!? Here is a great site that offers eco-friendly pet products. West Paw Design
Top personal care/beauty brands that are guaranteed to be GMO-Free:
- Dr. Hauschka
- Dr. Bronner
- John Masters Organics
- Jo Wood
I think the above list gives you guys plenty of options to get your started on switching your household over to organic items. I have a severe back injury and I MUST have my sleep number bed. I don’t see TSM and I purchasing any organic mattresses any time soon, but I will be replacing our bedding as time and finances allow, as well as our clothing. Those changes will take some time. We’re not in a position to just dump off the contents of our closets at the local Goodwill, or Salvation Army, so as things we have wear out and need replacing we’ll be replacing them with organic products instead.
I’m finding since eliminating as many GMOs from our diets as possible that I’ve become even more sensitive to them. If I so much as eat anything with GMO corn (in any form, be it corn syrup, corn meal, corn flakes, HFCS) I get seriously ill, and my intestines and stomach will HATE on me for days! I can only imagine how much better we’ll feel (even though we feel better and better each day that passes where we don’t consume GMOs) once our bedding, linens, and clothing are GMO free!
As always, if you have any suggestions for where to find GMO-Free products, drop me an email with the info and a link to the website and I’ll add it to the list!
~Real Food Girl: Unmodified~
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
1)- What Is Bt Cotton? By Paul Cartmell, eHow Contributor: http://www.ehow.com/about_6372845_bt-cotton_.html
2)- Wrinkle-Free Cotton? | A Shirt Style Guide: Alexander West Custom Shirt Knowledge Library | November 18, 2009 | Home > Style Guide > What is Wrinkle-Free Cotton? – http://www.alexander-west.com/styleguide/?p=375
3)- Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk | National Cancer Institute | U.S. National Institutes of Health | www.cancer.gov and: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/formaldehyde
4)- Consumers Guide to Organic Cotton Clothing and Bedding| By Robyn Landis| http://www.bodyfueling.net/ARTICLES/cotton1.html
5)-National Resources Defense Council| From Field to Store: Your T-Shirt’s Life Story| http://www.nrdc.org/living/stuff/t-shirt-life-story.asp
6)- Institute for Responsible Technology| Dangerous Toxins From Genetically Modified Plants Found in Women and Fetuses| By Jeffrey M. Smith| http://action.responsibletechnology.org/o/6236/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1165644
7)- Lovely thumbnail picture of cotton from H&M dot com. They are actually the biggest user of organic cotton in the world, so I’m citing them as my source for this picture.
8)- Lovely picture of “chemicals” from: Connector dot com
9)- Awesome “Fork in the Road” (what are my options) picture from The Compelling Parade Blog
10)- The sweetest picture of a To-Do list that I’ve ever seen by: Blythe Metz/Google+ Profile
11)- The best pic of chemicals and GMOs from Peace Love and Snacks