Uzbekistan Bans GMOs in Baby Food

Uzbekistan Bans GMOs in Baby Food

Uzbekistan

is known for being ruled by a dictator named Islam Karimov. Or as the CIA describes it, Uzbekistan’s government features “authoritarian presidential rule

with little power outside the executive branch.” But that dictatorship has

managed to accomplish something democracies in North America haven’t. That

something is the ban of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in baby food.

Read about GMOs

Karimov

announced the ban of GMOs in baby food as part of a government program called

Year of Healthy Mother and Child. “Uzbekistan will also adopt measures to

restrict the import and consumption of all products containing GMOs,”

Sustainable Pulse reports. And Uzbekistan just might be added to the list of 38 countries that ban the

cultivation of GMO crops. Only 28 countries grow GMO crops.

Uzbekistan

might also restrict the import and consumption of food products with GMOs, International

News Agency reports.

GMOs

are present in some baby foods, namely any that contain corn or soy. GMOs are

present in most infant formulas as milk or soy protein is the basis of most of them. And

within baby products are ingredients such as corn syrup, corn syrup solids, or

soy lecithin. All of which are derived from GMO crops.

Infants

are particularly vulnerable to GMOs, as pediatrician Dr. Michelle Perro points

out in a blog post for Green America. Many GMO crops are engineered to tolerate the herbicide

glyphosate. Glyphosate “inhibits the activity of a group of enzymes ubiquitous

in the body called cytochrome P450 enzymes which are important for oxidation

and well as detoxification in the liver,” Perro writes.

That

is a big problem for infants as it takes about two years for the liver in

infants to reach full maturity. Perro warns that “if you expose newborns to

substances that further impair liver and immune function, the infant has

increased health risks.”

Perro

recommends that parents use organic infant formula. And that is the advice of

several food advocacy groups, including the Center for Food Safety, which urges consumers to “buy certified organic infant

formulas or formulas labeled as Non-GMO.”

On

top of putting GMOs in their products, many makers of baby food and infant

formula have given money to defeat GMO labeling efforts in California. Three of

those companies (Abbott Laboratories, Mead Johnson Nutrition, and Nestlé) have

all given money to defeat Prop 37, California’s GMO labeling ballot initiative. Take Abbott

Laboratories, the maker of Similac, accounts for about 43 percent of the infant

formula market in the U.S. The company gave $334,500 to defeat Prop 37. Or take

Mead Johnson Nutrition, the maker of Enfamil, which is responsible for 40

percent of infant formula sales in the U.S. The company gave $80,000 to defeat

Prop 37. Nestlé, which has only 15 percent of the U.S. market share of infant

formula sales, gave $1,461,600 to defeat Prop 37.

Read about Prop 37

Clearly,

Uzbekistan is far ahead of the U.S. when it comes to protecting infants from

the toxic effects of GMOs.

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Gina-Marie is a freelance writer armed with a passion for healthy living and a degree in journalism. Hailing from the dry, sunny Central San Joaquin Valley, she hasn't let the heat fry her brain!