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.
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.
might also restrict the import and consumption of food products with GMOs, International
News Agency reports.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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
Uzbekistan is far ahead of the U.S. when it comes to protecting infants from
the toxic effects of GMOs.