Most of us have been told ‘take your vitamins’ on more than one occasion, and we listen because…well, because vitamins are good for you. Right? Plus, not everyone likes to eat their broccoli. The problem is that the vitamin industry has been tainted with Big Ag and Big Pharma, too. Consider the fact that Bayer is one of the largest makers of vitamins for children. This is a huge drug and chemical giant responsible for helping to develop many GMOs, all while creating health-boosting vitamins? Questionable. Can we really trust these companies with our health?
Here are 3 GMO foods you probably never expected to find in your vitamins:
1. GM Corn in the form of Ascorbic Acid or Vitamin C & Maltodextrin
Sourcing non-GMO vitamin C is almost impossible in the US since most plants that process ascorbic acid are contaminated with genetically modified corn. If that weren’t bad enough, maltodextrin, another key ingredient in vitamins used as a filler and food thickener has little to no nutritional value even when it is not genetically modified. However, most maltodextrin is sourced from GMO-corn. The makers of Now supplements openly admitted there were genetically modified soy and corn in their products:
“All of our C is derived from standard corn not certified to be non-GMO… Many products [in the industry at large] contain soy or corn derivatives which are generally GMO’d. We are motivated towards non-GMO-sourced products.
The Hungarians burned thousands of acres of GM corn in a no-nonsense policy to oust Monsanto seed crops from their country, yet we are putting the stuff in our ‘health’ food.
2. GM Soy
This is another ‘filler’ in many vitamins used in the industry and another one of Big Ag’s top three GMO crops. Soybeans, along with rice and sugar beets, were one of the first crops genetically altered to be more resistant to pests. It is prevalent in our local food sources, but also in countries over seas. Soy is arguably the most common GM crop, with up to 75-85% of the soy grown in this country being GMO, as estimated by a McGill University study. The study also points out that GMO soy acts like an estrogen in the body and can cause our hormonal systems to malfunction. In the worst cases, it causes ovarian cancer and uterus swelling.
3. GM Sugar Beets
Also used in sugar free cough drops, genetically modified sugar beets are in numerous brands of vitamins. Used to sweeten your vitamins, you can bet that many seemingly innocent brands of vitamins, including Flintstones for children, made by Bayer, are comprised of genetically altered sugar.
“Flintstones Complete Gummies are comprised of “glucose syrup, sucrose, gelatin, water, choline bitartrate; less than 2% of: artificial flavors, ascorbic acid, bees wax, carnauba wax, citric acid, d-biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, fd&c blue #1, fd&c red #40, fd&c yellow #6, folic acid, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vegetable oil (coconut or palm), vitamin A acetate, vitamin B12, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), vitamin E acetate, zinc sulfate.” As you can surmise, the vitamins are largely comprised of sugar – either high fructose corn syrup or sucrose likely derived from GM sugar beets. Other brands like Gummy Kings and Disney have very similar ingredient lists.
The good news is that our ancestors didn’t have Flintstones vitamins, but they did eat non-GMO foods, like oranges to prevent scurvy and other diseases that are caused by a deficiency in Vitamin C. Real, organic foods have all the nutrients we need, especially when we eat a rainbow of colors and include a variety of non-GMO fruits and vegetables in our diets.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.