Non GMO brands, and is wine genetically modified?

UPDATE from healthy holistic living: New Study Links GMO Food To Leukemia| (March 3, 2016)

Last September the causal link between cancer and genetically modified food was confirmed in a French study, the first independent long-term animal feeding study not commissioned by the biotech corporations themselves. The disturbing details can be found here: New Study Finds GM Corn and Roundup Causes Cancer In RatsLast September, the causal link between cancer and genetically modified food was confirmed in a French study, the first independent long-term animal feeding study not commissioned by the biotech corporations themselves. The disturbing details can be found here: New Study Finds GM Corn and Roundup Causes Cancer In Rats

UPDATE: Christina Sarich, NationofChange / News Report (Published: Thursday 27 June 2013)

First Long Term Study Released on Pigs, Cattle Who Eat GMO Soy and Corn Offers Frightening Results

“Livestock in the UK and around the world have been fed GMO for over two decades, since the USDA authorized the commercial sale of GMO soy and corn to feed not only animals, but human beings in 1996. Much of the meat raised on these GMO crop are sent overseas, to countries like the UK, elsewhere in Europe, and even to cattle-abundant nations like Australia. This most recent study proves that a more sober examination of the long term effects of GMO on our environment and health should be demanded of corporations like Monsanto, even as other evidence mounts that GMO crops are unhealthy, especially considering that nations trying to remove GMO from their food supply are still being devastated by its ill-effects.”

UPDATE (24th August 2014): Ecologist ~ Cancer deaths double in Argentina’s GMO agribusiness areas

Cancer Deaths Double in Argentina’s GMO Agribusiness Areas: A report by the Ministry of Health in Córdoba, Argentina reveals that deaths from cancerous tumours are double the national average in areas where genetically engineered crops are grown and agro-chemicals are used.

This comprehensive report documented five years of information on cancer cases in the province.

UPDATE, REUTERS: French study finds tumours in rats fed GM corn

(Reuters) – Rats fed a lifetime diet of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn or exposed to its top-selling weedkiller Roundup suffered tumours and multiple organ damage, according to a French study published on Wednesday.

Although the lead researcher’s past record as a critic of the industry may make other experts wary of drawing hasty conclusions, the finding will stoke controversy about the safety of GM crops.

[UPDATE: from Larry Mawby’s comment: “The variety chancellor has existed for a number of years, and has been in use to you might wish to change your note to self to avoid ‘improved chancellor’ wine, rather than chancellor wine. Not that you are likely to run into either….”]


Since this is a wine blog, let’s start with whether or not wine is already genetically modified.

From the Heartland Institute, by H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

One of the most effective, widely used herbicides in the United States—known as 2, 4-D—has a serious drawback: It devastates grapes. That makes it very difficult to raise grapes in the Midwest, because 2, 4-D is widely used on popular staple food crops including corn and wheat, and it can harm grapes up to two miles away from its point of application.

Scientists, however, report a minor genetic modification of Midwestern grapes can make them resistant to 2, 4-D.

Gene Successfully Transferred

The genetically modified grape, created by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is called Improved Chancellor. In the aftermath of an accidental spill of the pesticide, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found a soil bacterium with a gene that allows it to break down 2, 4-D. Building on this finding, in 2002 Robert Skirvin, a plant biologist at the University of Illinois, secured permission to use the gene and transfer it into the Chancellor grape.

Click on the link above for the full story for pros and cons. An intriguing final statement really caught me eye.

Even such staple crops as potatoes, critical to solving hunger worldwide, are not immune to the “irrational fears and harmful political maneuverings of environmentalists,” Avery said. He predicted Improved Chancellor grapes might face similar objections as researchers attempt to move them from the laboratory and greenhouse to farmers’ fields.

NOTE TO SELF… don’t buy wine made from the Chancellor grape, once it’s produced.

In the 1970s, it was an environmentalist that stated the dumping of water from manufacturers into rivers (like what Bates Mill in Lewiston, Maine… my own home town) had to stop, as it was putting hazardous chemicals into the Androscoggin River… It was not irrational fears, nor was it harmful maneuverings of environmentalists that called that one correctly. If you don’t believe this, simply look to China’s environment today, where the factories in Lewiston, Maine, rather than doing something to modify their hazardous behavior, simply took their plants to China, and have been globe trotting ever since.

From Palate Press, by Erika Szymanski

Dr. Dennis Gray, a professor of developmental biology at the University of Florida and father of the glowing grapevine, speculates that industry and consumer acceptance may be the most difficult part of bringing genetically modified wine grapes to market. Dr. Gray and his research group have successfully modified—“transformed”—both wine and table grape varieties with genes that make them more resistant to problem fungi and pests. Expressing a specific gene from chardonnay in a Thompson Seedless variety, for example, dramatically improves its resistance to fungal diseases like powdery mildew or sour-bunch rot. The group has had success with a variety of Vitis species, including popular vinifera. The work is motivated in part by the goal of profitably growing grapes in Florida, an endeavor historically plagued by unmanageable Pierce’s Disease, but Dr. Gray sees benefits for growers of both wine and table grapes everywhere….

Will the fact that only grape genes are being used make a difference to opponents of genetic modification? Maybe, but it is not likely to pacify everyone. Both the Australian wine industry and the California-based Wine Institute have issued public statements against the use of any genetically modified organisms, which would include Dr. Gray’s cisgenetic vines.

NOTE TO SELF… don’t buy any wine grown and produced from Florida.

From MetroActive, by Tara Treasurefield

WOULD YOU LIKE the wine you drink to glow in the dark? Then go to Florida, where genetic engineers have inserted a fluorescent jellyfish gene into grape plants. The gene lights up the plants and allows researchers to see the results of their experiments. The real purpose of the research is to develop a cure for Pierce’s disease, a vine-withering disease spread by the glassy-winged sharpshooter and other insects and by diseased rootstock. Researchers plan to remove the jellyfish marker gene from the grape plants before they’re marketed. But if some enterprising soul thinks that consumers will buy fluorescent wine, before long it could be available in stores near you.

So, if I drink that wine, and the DNA has been changed to include a jellyfish gene, does that mean that I, too, will glow in the dark? This is all just too much.

Science brought us both being able to see an atom, and then Einstein’s equation E=mc2. This equation helped to create the atomic bomb. Einstein encouraged President Franklin Roosevelt to build an atomic bomb, thinking that the Germans might get there first. From Einstein | American Museum of Natural History: “He came to regret taking even this step. In an interview with Newsweek magazine, he said that ‘had I known that the Germans would not succeed in developing an atomic bomb, I would have done nothing.'”

Today’s non GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) food brands ~From the Non GMO Product Website.

Verified Products

The list is very extensive, thankfully, and brands are happy to state their non-GMO commitment to us.

  • 365
  • A.Vogel
  • Agrana
  • Alter Eco
  • Alvarado Street Bakery
  • Amande
  • Amy’s Kitchen
  • Angie’s Artisan Treats
  • Annie’s [update: 9/9/2014 – Bought out by General Mills]
  • Arrowhead Mills
  • Atlantic Organic
  • Attune Foods

This is just the “a’s,” so I suggest you go to this page on the Product search on the Non-GMO Product Website. And, also remember… a health food store continues to be our best friend for healthy living, and avoiding some scientist’s great new idea for inventing how we can grow bigger, better, faster, more disease resistant, when we all know, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”

STAY ALERT ~ There’s an app for that! ~ NEW True Food Shopper’s Guide

As ingredients change in products all the time, the best thing is to check the ingredients list of the products you buy often. Keep a look out for:

  • Corn: corn oil, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, corn meal
  • Soy: soy protein, soy lecithin, soy oil, soy sauce, soy isolates
  • Canola: canola oil
  • Cotton: cottonseed oil

UPDATE: Infertility with cattle, along with spontaneous abortions.

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61 Responses to “Non GMO brands, and is wine genetically modified?”

  1. John Hilliard says:

    If Pierces Disease, or some other plant disease, ever mutates, and wrecks havoc on our vineyards, our response to that genetic modification will be the use of our own genetically modified grape vines, and we may find ourselves happily consuming GMO wine. We consume GMO foods constantly, and some can be legally labeled “organic”. Most of the plants we eat do not exist in “nature”, and look like Frankenstein compared to their ungenetically modified ancestors, look at corn or brussel sprouts for example. Many plants we consume are modified by irradiating seeds for decades. Others, like organic papaya, are full of plant virus, and so have been replaced by GMO papaya. Just some thoughts.

  2. Tim says:

    Thoughtful post Jo, although I tend to be on your side of the GMO issue, when it comes to wine, isn’t the yeast everyone buys a problem? Cheers. Tim

  3. Jon says:

    Recall wasp venom-like allergen unexpectedly created in grape using these techniques in Pierce’s research in Florida. The nuclear analogy seems appropriate – poorly understood powerful technologies can blow up in your face, especially since genetic pollution self-replicates, and let’s not even get into inadvertent or purposeful creation of pathogenic viruses and bacteria… Don’t play with matches around fireworks, kids! GM wine yeast is hardly commercialized, and some yeasts may be grown on substrates from GM crops, but certified organic wine yeast is available.

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    I like your thinking, Jon.

  5. Jo Diaz says:

    Good question, Tim, and I’d have to have the winemakers weigh in on this one. My understanding on this is very limited.

  6. Jo Diaz says:

    And we wonder, John, why there’s so much more cancer now then in days of my (for example) youth.

  7. SUAMW says:

    Wine is chemically modified fruit juice.
    The grapes its made from may or may not be modified – now. Althought you could argue that hybridization and the process of clonal development is genetic modification.
    In the future they will very likely GMO grape cultivars with resistance to molds, mildews, phylloxera and even xylella (Pierce’s).

  8. John Hilliard says:

    Hi Jo,

    The reason there is “more cancer” today than yesteryear has been explored and the answer is simple: an aging population. Cancer is mostly an age related disease. The older the population, the more cancer. Dr Ames, (he invented the Ames Test to determine how carcinogenic a chemical may be) found that about half of man made chemicals are carcinogenic, AND about half of naturally occurring substances are also carcinogenic. Focusing on manmade chemicals is only half the story. the most cancer causing substance known is mold, naturally occuring mold. I think your “food fears” might be more accurate if you would focus on what is the known carcinogenic substance in wine: it’s the alcohol. Nothing else in wine approaches the known carcinogenic properties of alcohol . GMO has never caused cancer, nor killed anyone. Fear of GMO is more hysterical than rational.

  9. John Hilliard says:

    Also, cancer rates have been declining for years. Cancer rates would be decreasing even more except for obesity and women’s smoking ( no thanks to Virginia Slims cigarettes), and skin cancer rates increased because of sunbathing. Please refer to Center for Disease Control and Prevention. GMO and pesticides (except for exposure to farm workers) are not increasing cancer rates.

  10. Jo Diaz says:

    I have had so many friends die from cancer, I don’t even want to count them. Meanwhile, in my parent’s generation I only know one person from that generation that died of cancer. My numbers are staggering, theirs were almost non-existent by today’s standards.

    Science is science, reality is reality and a perception, John.

    Also, having a medical person in my family, who was in cardiovascular, surgical and gastroenterology nursing for years, and is now a certified nutritionist, knows the back end… (like a winemaker knows that the process is not as accurate as the technical data sheets purport… I’m going with my family member’s background and thoughts.

  11. John Hilliard says:

    Judging from your last comment, you don’t appear to me to be very educated, or perhaps you are willfully blind, but whatever your problem is, cancer rates are declining as per the CDC. And if it were’t for smoking, obesity, sunbathing, lack of exercise and poor diets, cancer rates would be declining more rapidly. GMOs have no effect on cancer rates, except fear of GMO vegetables could result in fewer vegetables eaten and as a result your fearful lifestyle increases your cancer risk. Darwin might predict you are going to go extinct because you are thinking is illogical.

  12. Jo Diaz says:

    From Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, MD

    So, what exactly are GMO foods?

    The problem started when scientists began to look for ways to increase the protein yield of plant crops, such as corn and soy, and for ways to take advantage of how plants naturally protect themselves from insects and microbial diseases — that is, by producing their own pesticides and fungicides. All plants make these protective chemicals when attacked, and it is known that they can harm human health and even promote the development of cancer in higher concentrations. Production of these chemicals and proteins by plants is controlled by an array of genes. By manipulating these genes, scientists can cause the plant to produce these chemicals in much higher concentrations and for longer periods. When the industrial giants, including Monsanto, Bayer, and Syngenta incorporated this technology into their businesses, it began to be challenged by scientists familiar with plant genetics and toxicity.

    Yet, by influencing Congress and influencing the regulatory agencies, food processing giants were able to have GMO foods quickly approved. A new report released by the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering, a nonprofit, independent organization that studies the health effects of GMO foods, throws considerable light on the shenanigans of the food industry. This report provides a detailed critique of the food industry’s safety studies that appeared in the International Journal of Biological Sciences (2009; 5: 706-726).

    In this critique, they show that data, when analyzed, demonstrated potential kidney and liver problems, as well as damage to the heart, adrenal glands, and spleen, resulting from eating all three varieties of genetically modified corn. In tests that favor these companies, the government regulatory agencies require only a very short-term analysis. The negative effects of eating GMO foods can take years (even several generations) to fully detect harmful effects in humans. Interestingly, no post-marketing studies (testing large numbers of people consuming these foods once they are released in stores) have been done. To prevent problems that would occur from discovering the toxicity of their products, companies design tests to their advantage:
    • They use older animals (so they will die before problems arise).
    • They omit testing on embryos (important to know for pregnant women).
    • They test only a few animals, and choose obsolete testing methods that aren’t sensitive enough to detect damage.
    • Just as happened with aspartame testing, they ignore the deaths of test animals.

    Unfortunately, the regulatory agencies accept such studies. Here are just a few findings that independent research has uncovered about some of
    these GMO foods:
    • Rats fed GMO soy died within three weeks, and mice developed pancreatic and liver problems.
    • Cows died mysteriously when fed GMO corn, and many became sterile.
    • When mice were fed GMO potatoes, they developed intestinal damage and bleeding stomachs, and sheep died after grazing in GMO cotton fields.

    JUST FOR STARTERS… Keep trusting our government for your info. They’ve got some Agent Orange to sell you… like they did to my dead cousin and several dead friends, who all died from it, after hearing that it was not harmful to them, and to just “soldier on…”

  13. John Hilliard says:

    No, it’s not an opinion, you are ignoring facts. Seriously , please try to lean something about which you are blogging.

  14. Jo Diaz says:

    Go over what I just added/edited to my last comment from Dr. Blaylor…. I wrote it in two stages, because I had to go get the text from my files.

    I am not about opinion, either. I’ve kept myself informed about health issues for the last 45 years. I have been on vitamins all of my life, because I come from a family with a long line of medical professionals.

    My head is not buried in the sand, John, it’s busy supporting my body’s practicing yoga for the last 45 years, and understanding that good nutrition is the key to longevity, not listening to what government agencies want me to believe.

    A biochemist friend of my dropped out of cancer research, and this doctor also keeps me informed with the facts… and they’re not pretty.

  15. Jo Diaz says:


    Not everyone is willing to go like sheep to the slaughter… For instance…

    “CoMeD has demanded that the CDC launch an immediate investigation of the CDC officials involved based on scientific fraud. CoMeD is also calling for the full retraction of the deceptive article that appeared in Pediatrics. “This type of malfeasance should not be tolerated by those who are entrusted with our children’s health and wellbeing,” stated Lisa Sykes, President of CoMeD.

    Thank God for those who are more concerned with health than they are following all of the lobbyists around, making sure big business wins, and consumers are the pawns…

  16. larry mawby says:

    i’m not a fan of gmo things, but want to correct a misinterpretation in your blog. the gmo wine grape is ‘improved chancellor’. the variety chancellor has existed for a number of years, and has been in use to you might wish to change your note to self to avoid ‘improved chancellor’ wine, rather than chancellor wine. not that you are likely to run into either….

  17. John Hilliard says:

    The scientists at the CDC are some of the finest and most dedicated in the world. I assume you are an anti-government Tea Party member . Sorry your right wing buddies had a rough election.

    The studies you cite are discredited and fringe.

  18. John Hilliard says:

    The first thing your friend should tell you is stop taking supplements . You are adding chemicals to your body and some of them may supercharge some of the cancer already active in your body. We are close to the same age and at our age it is probable that cancer cells are growing in our bodies in several places. Folic acid for example, may not be a friend to either of us. There was some initial success, in early cancer research, where severely limiting folic acid reduced cancer growth. Lets live long and prosper.

  19. Jo Diaz says:

    I voted for Obama. It’s something that we Independents do, many times putting the right person in the right place at the right time.

    You assumptions are priceless. Thanks for making my day. (Smiling)

    Any source that isn’t approved by the government becomes fringe or discredited. If we are of the same age, I’m surprised you haven’t gotten that one, yet.

  20. Jo Diaz says:

    My family member (who is also friend for life; so, so noted), gets me the best, natural nutrients available that are holistic/organic. (This isn’t inexpensive, but I also haven’t needed a doctor for the last 20 years, either… This is all decidedly cheaper than I know most people are spending on drug dependency today, as a rest-of-their lives’ situation). My sister and I are strong believer’s in the fact that the soils of our youth have been so depleted of nutrients (since both of our births) that our organic being is missing a lot of natural nutrients with today’s mass produced food.

    Folic Acid from WebMD: Folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin. Since 1998, it has been added to cold cereals, flour, breads, pasta, bakery items, cookies, and crackers, as required by federal law. Foods that are naturally high in folic acid include leafy vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, and lettuce), okra, asparagus, fruits (such as bananas, melons, and lemons) beans, yeast, mushrooms, meat (such as beef liver and kidney), orange juice, and tomato juice.

    Folic acid is used for preventing and treating low blood levels of folic acid (folic acid deficiency), as well as its complications, including “tired blood” (anemia) and the inability of the bowel to absorb nutrients properly. Folic acid is also used for other conditions commonly associated with folic acid deficiency, including ulcerative colitis, liver disease, alcoholism, and kidney dialysis.

    Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant take folic acid to prevent miscarriage and “neural tube defects,” birth defects such as spina bifida that occur when the fetus’s spine and back don’t close during development.

    Some people use folic acid to prevent colon cancer or cervical cancer. It is also used to prevent heart disease and stroke, as well as to reduce blood levels of a chemical called homocysteine. High homocysteine levels might be a risk for heart disease.

    Folic acid is used for memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related hearing loss, preventing the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), reducing signs of aging, weak bones (osteoporosis), jumpy legs (restless leg syndrome), sleep problems, depression, nerve pain, muscle pain, AIDS, a skin disease called vitiligo, and an inherited disease called Fragile-X syndrome. It is also used for reducing harmful side effects of treatment with the medications lometrexol and methotrexate.

    Some people apply folic acid directly to the gum for treating gum infections.

    So… my friend, I agree, let’s live long and prosper.

    We’re diametrically opposed in our thinking in many ways, and there-in lies the yin yang balance.

    I agree to disagree, because we both have minds of our own, and will each live and die by those wills. Good luck to us both…

  21. David says:

    Jo, as a winemaker I would like to weigh in on the issue of GMOs in wine production. Firstly, the specific definitions of what “GMO” actually is can (and does) fill entire volumes of legislation and use and reporting of GMO products depends on what jurisdiction you happen to be in or are trying to export to.
    At this point most commercially available wine yeast is not “genetically modified” as it seems you define it here. Many of the strains are naturally occuring yeasts isolated from specific areas or fermentations which had desirable or beneficial aspects (alcohol tolerance, higher perception of fruit character, etc). These were isolated, cultured and grown in batches large enough to freeze dry for commerce. Other strains are “hybrids” where a yeast with certain desirable characteristics is cross-bred with another yeast of the same species having different characteristics. This is basically the microbial equivalent of breeding roses, cats, dogs, etc. and does not involve introducing or deleting novel genetic material.
    Most work in genetics for commercial yeast production (as in, by yeast producers, not academics) currently is in identifying genetic markers which relate to various beneficial or detrimental characteristics to reduce the time it takes to identify and breed new yeasts, and to ensure genetic homogeneity for QC and patent purposes. That being said, there are indeed a handful of yeasts actually created using “modern” genetic engineering which you would consider as GMO.
    At the present time, all non-GMO yeast are allowable for use in making organic wines, however specific “organic certified” yeasts are now being produced in limited quantities. The difference between “non-GMO” and “certified organic” lies in what is used to feed the yeast during production and what preservatives are used. Most yeast currently available for winemaking is produced either in the EU (where restrictions are much tighter on GMO’s) or by EU owned companies (who export back to the EU for use). Also, because of these import restrictions most wineries, especially larger producers, require suppliers to provide a “Non-GMO Certificate” for any product added to the wine, whether yeast, bacteria, acid, etc. In kind of a twist, these import regulations mean that, personal philosophy aside, larger wine producers are actually less likely to use GMO grapes or yeast (or any other GMO additives) than smaller producers as compliance with stricter international regulations puts more pressure on them.
    The key is, if you don’t know, or have concerns regarding any wine additives, be they GMO yeast or potentially allergenic products, don’t assume, call the winery and ask! If consuming only non-GMO products is important to you, this is the only way to ensure you know what you are drinking.

  22. Jo Diaz says:

    Great response on all levels, David.

    I do know that GMO grapes are still in the discovery stages, and not being used yet. I want to know about them, when they go commercial: how they came about, what testing has happened, by whom, and who believes they’re safe. If it’s just the FDA, I’m not going to be buying it.

    I’ve already had two potentially life threatening events happen to me, as a result of having wine that my body violently rejected.

  23. David says:

    Never having used or attempted to locate GMO grapes I am honestly not sure what combination of the alphabet soup of FDA/USDA/TTB etc. would be involved in approving GMO grapes for commercial winemaking, or whether the process would be similar to the current FDA/TTB 4 stage protocol applying to ‘additives’ such as yeast, nutrients, acid etc. Since wine is such a complex matrix that is not really fully understood it is often hard to pinpoint what exactly is causing abnormal sensitivity/rejection issues. Current theories include sulfur (of which wine contains less than an average bag of supermarket “pre-washed” lettuce), histamines, specific biogenic amines among others. I don’t know enough about the grape side of the question to comment on how the genetic modifications would impact the chemical composition of the juice, which I am pretty sure is the primary cause for your concern.

  24. Mauricio says:

    As JH quotes, poor diets are one of the problems. I just would like to understand why so many friends in the Ag-business like GMOs. I guess they are putting food on their tables (literally).

    Me, I just want my kid to eat fresh unmodified foods…is this too much to ask for?

    Wine, drugs and rock and roll have already modified me!


  25. Jo Diaz says:


    More than the juice, what I’ve been reading about GMO in experiments with rats, their organs are being affected and they’re dying. It alters the DNA of their organs.

    Who are we to mess with Mother Nature? Let her do whatever she wants, but I’m not stepping into that kitchen unnaturally.

    It’s like fast food… look what that’s done to our population.

    Aspartame, touted as being safe for all mankind has finally was revealed.

    Genetically modifying organisms for foods is not yet tested thoroughly, and attempts at funding is being thwarted. Big business has a hand in this, never worrying about the outcome to individuals, as long as pockets can be lined.

    The complexities are so simple… Consider a cell to it’s simple form, and any outside organism that is force into an unnatural union is just wrong, by natural standards.

  26. Jo Diaz says:

    Mauricio, No kidding…

    Farmers love GMO seeds… Here’s why:

    If you can have 10 ears of corn, five of them are natural and only produce a few pounds, and you can have five that have been genetically modified that weigh three times the weight of the other five, and you’re paid by the pound, which ones do you want to take to market?

  27. John Hilliard says:

    I have never witnessed a blog full of misinformation. I guess you are Climate Skeptics too. Many comments resemble those who doubt global warming because of fringe science rumors or old discredited information. And many other comments are disturbingly similar to Tea Party members who are paranoid of government.

    The facts of the matter is GMO foods have harmed no one. Read the wiki entry on GMO. It’s a balanced review of the subject.

    There are no studies of animals harmed by GMO foods.

  28. Jo Diaz says:

    John, you’re cracking me up. Anyone who believes in “wiki” would also believe in what you’re believing. Wiki is written by anyone, and needs to be taken lightly on many fronts.

    Climate is definitely a great concern of mine.

    Needing to be wary of our government is a good thing. I’ve watched so many lies over my years, that it’s not healthy to believe everything you hear… Like weapons of mass destruction, for instance.

    Go ahead, eat all the GMO products. That saves the organic ones for me and those like me who care about what’s going into our bodies.

    You’re wrong about no animals hurt… But, again, you don’t have to believe me, like I don’t have to believe you…

    Honestly, why are you hanging around here, since a politically Independent is causing you so much stress? Don’t you have better things to do?

  29. Jo Diaz says:


    From your site:

    Happiness is the only good.
    The time to be happy is now.
    The place to be happy is here.
    The way to be happy is to make others so.

    Take a page from your play book, and be here now…

  30. Tim says:

    Donn that was a good one!

  31. John Hilliard says:

    You trust government scientists who established global warming yet you do not trust government scientists who establish that GMOs are safe.

    Your mind is full of inconsistency concerning the government.

    I am out of here. Krishnamurti once reflected on his followers and wondered if they were entirely fringe. I think you might be one of those to whom he was referring.

  32. Johnny says:

    Please be clear, grape clones such as the various Pinot clones mentioned, or hybrid grapes, such as Symphony are NOT GMOs. Hybrid, cross-pollinated plants are totaly different from the GMOs we are discussing. Be careful not to confuse them.

  33. Jo Diaz says:

    Donn, good for you. I, too, studied vit and enology, and guest lecture at UCD…

    Thank God you’re not like me and I’m not like you. It keeps the world in balance.

    GMO and mutations… hum, didn’t you go over that one in vit 101?

  34. Jo Diaz says:

    John, You’ve inspired me to blog about you…

  35. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Johnny, for your clarity for those who needed it. Love it…

  36. Jo Diaz says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/monsantos-gmo-corn-linked_n_420365.html ~
    Monsanto’s GMO Corn Linked To Organ Failure, Study Reveals

    EU sides with Monsanto in ‘GMO Cancer Corn’ word war

    Russia halts imports of GMO corn after cancer study

    American Genetically Modified Food Linked to Cancer

    Shall I go on…

    There are two sides to this issue. One one concerned isn’t name calling, not is it going off message…

  37. John Hilliard says:

    Is this the Gilles-Eric Séralin study that used 10 mice that were genetically susceptible to tumors? The same study which was intended to effect the GMO legislation in CA? The study many think shows nothing? Even the authors say more work will have to be done before concluding anything. You tout it as fact. You truly are a fringe.

  38. Jo Diaz says:

    John, I thought you were going away.

    Here’s another one for you to go ballistic on. I suppose this pig farmer is just lying through his teeth for the sake of being “fringe”… Since you’re from Texas, you may have more connection to farmers than I do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eilDbdLAyFs

  39. Jo Diaz says:


    New pathogen found in US corn and soybean crops… Monsanto’s Roundup (Glyphosate) causes severe harm to soil health and root health of plants. This is yet another reason that industrial agriculture is leading us in the wrong direction. We must move to sustainable organic agriculture to provide ourselves with food security. I’ve included the YouTube video with Don Huber, professor emeritus Purdue University.

    LINK: Cancer of Corruption, Seeds of Destruction: The Monsanto GMO Whitewash ~ http://www.globalresearch.ca/stench-of-eu-corruption-in-monsanto-gmo-whitewash/5316294

  40. Jo Diaz says:

    FROM The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/01/the-very-real-danger-of-genetically-modified-foods/251051/

    Update 1/12: Thanks to science and biology bloggers, Christie Wilcox and Emily Willingham at the Scientific American blog network and The Biology Files, respectively, we’ve learned of the scientific inconsistencies made in Ari LeVaux’s most recent Flash in the Pan column, which is syndicated by a number of newspapers and magazine websites. This column has been expanded and updated for AlterNet, with LeVaux discussing specific improvements in the comments.

    Chinese researchers have found small pieces of rice ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood and organs of humans who eat rice. The Nanjing University-based team showed that this genetic material will bind to receptors in human liver cells and influence the uptake of cholesterol from the blood.

    The type of RNA in question is called microRNA (abbreviated to miRNA) due to its small size. MiRNAs have been studied extensively since their discovery ten years ago, and have been implicated as players in several human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. They usually function by turning down or shutting down certain genes. The Chinese research provides the first in vivo example of ingested plant miRNA surviving digestion and influencing human cell function in this way.

  41. Jo Diaz says:

    Independent Science News: Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops: In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene (Podevin and du Jardin 2012). This finding has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology and its regulation, but possibly even greater ones for consumers and farmers. This is because there are clear indications that this viral gene (called Gene VI) might not be safe for human consumption. It also may disturb the normal functioning of crops, including their natural pest resistance.

    Read More Here: http://independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/regulators-discover-a-hidden-viral-gene-in-commercial-gmo-crops/

    ~ AND ~

    Organic Consumers Association: GMO Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality, Birth Defects ~ “The genetically modified crop soybean grown on 91 percent of US soybean fields is repeatedly attributed to devastating reproductive and birth defects in animal studies. Nevertheless, the powers that be-in both the private and public spheres-continue to allow Americans to shovel GMO soy onto their dinner tables.”

    Read More Here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_26902.cfm

  42. […] thinking much the way Mimi did. If it’s not a natural product, I don’t need or want it. GMO products really anger me, for […]

  43. Tina says:

    Hi Jo, I stumbled on your post on my smart phone while shopping for wine tonight. Thanks for the info on the Improved Chancellor grape.

    Also just chiming in with a few great documentaries on GMOs if you haven’t seem them already:

    – The Future of Food
    – Food Inc
    – The World According to Monsanto
    – Genetic Roulette

  44. Dustan says:

    As a hobby suburb vinicultuarist, I’ve had row of 8 producing grape plants wiped out by my neighbor’s quest for a white clover free lawn. That’s every plant I owned.
    Maybe that changes my perspective a bit, but given the choice, I’d MUCH rather have a GMO grape that can detoxify a poision before I eat it. Goodwill alone doesn’t seem to be enough to keep my neighbors from “accidentally” poisioning my garden (and air) with downwind herbicide gas off on hot summer days.

  45. Edward Field says:

    Check out http://www.nongmowines.com 29 wines from Europe with trusted NonGMO Project Verification

  46. Jo Diaz says:

    I really appreciate knowing about this, Edward.

  47. Jo Diaz says:

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_30749.cfm – Wrong, they ARE. Our government isn’t going to tell us about it in independent studies. Now when big business is at the root of our problems and the FDA has already approved GMO usage, because lobbyists have paid off our elected officials. We’re living in a Plutocratic condition. If you invest your money, then you’re part of the problem; not part of the solution.

  48. The biggest GMO experiment has been happening all around us: several billion farm animals have been eating GMO feed for over a decade and farmers are tending these animals and these intelligent agrarians are finding their animals are healthy. So they continue to feed with safe these GMO animal feeds. Jo, you are going to have to show these farmers are blind to their animal health and stupid enough not to notice the effect on their bottom line.

  49. Jo Diaz says:

    Rodale news update: Roundup Chemical Doubles Your Risk of Lymphoma ~ A major new review finds this “safe” weed killer is anything but harmless.

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer researchers found that exposure to glyphosate doubled a person’s risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. That’s problematic, since the chemical is now so heavily used it’s winding up in the rain! The reason for the surge in glyphosate use can be attributed to the rise of genetically engineered crops. Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup, developed genetically engineered seeds that were designed to withstand heavy Roundup sprayings. In the last 20 years, the use of these seeds has skyrocketed.”

  50. John Hilliard says:

    And coffee is ten times more carcinogenic than glyphosate. The same International agency tells us our cell phones cause cancer. Dr Bruce Ames, who created the carcinogenicity test, the Ames Test, is quite clear that 50% of all substances he tested, both synthetic and naturally occurring, are carcinogenic. Let’s put this in context. I am still using my cell phone. And glyphosate is still helping reduce greenhouse gases by reducing tillage and fossil fuel use and increasing yields.

  51. Jo Diaz says:

    Dear John,

    We have to stop meeting like this… Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    I thought of you the other day when I read something to the following effect, paraphrasing: For every professional opinion that you’ll find on one side of an issue, you will also find as many professional opinions from the opposing side.

    I’ve stopped drinking coffee for the reason you’ve stated (not easy to do, because there’s an entire culture that goes along with that decision). I only use my cell phone for that very reason you’ve stated (frustrating my family to no end, because more than half of the time my battery is dead, with my husband reminding me, “I hope you never NEED your phone”). It’s very easy for me to to not use. I like my time away from client needs and wants, because I work hard and long hours. The increasing yield thing? It’s proving otherwise and time will win/prove the battle.

    When I put it into context, too, I see an entire generation being experimented upon. This, for me, is the most frightening and unconscionable part of this entire GMO experiment. You and I are never going to come into agreement on this. I do, however, enjoy your popping up for time to time, to create the other side of the coin. Both sides of the issue are equally important, I grant you that.

  52. John Hilliard says:

    We both care about the environment, and we both advocate environmentalism. I just built the first LEED Certified winery in Santa Barbara County. My vineyards are certified Sustainable by SIP, I have a static aerated compost facility here to handle manure, my place is powered by 45 KW solar panels, and I use bioremediation islands to clean my reservoir water. For fun I have several acres of botanical garden. I farmed the vineyards organically until I realized that although many organic practices are excellent, too many organic practices are not just unsustainable but are harmful.

  53. Jo Diaz says:

    Yes, we both care a lot about the environment. I’ve seen that on your Website. I have an organic garden, because it’s small in comparison to your vineyard holdings. I’ve studied enology, vit, grape pest management, etc., (60 dedicated units to these subjects) so that I wouldn’t be unenlightened. (I’ve been in the wine business for 22 years, so I’m not new to this business, either. As Dan Berger just said to me, “You’re not the typical wine blogger.”)

    I have a sister with a long list of health credentials, who lays a major role in my life, keeping me informed: 1) RN in the 1970s, working at New York University hospital in pre and post op for heart and cancer patients. 2) Then studied at New York Restaurant School under Giuliano Bugialli, among others, going on to own a catering company, while continuing to nurse. 3) Gave up nursing, because she got tired of helping people to die (teaching them how to use the recovery prescribed drugs, preferring to help people to live through wholesome foods), and then became certified in nutrition. She now owns a wellness practice. 4) She just became certified under Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride (medical doctor with two postgraduate degrees: Master of Medical Sciences in Neurology and Master of Medical Sciences in Human Nutrition) to help children with autism, using only organic nutrition.

    My own children had terrible stomach disorders, when food began to be genetically modified; and, unbeknownst to us, they were eating it. I had no answers for their onset of terrible stomach aches. I was in and out of emergency rooms with two of them, a litany of tests. In one year, I spent $10,000 out of my own pocket, trying to get to the bottom of it. Finally, in non-traditional medicine, food allergies were discovered. Please know that NO ONE in the history of my family had violent reactions to food the way these two children did. Their suffering was horrible to take as a helpless parent. Once GMO crops came to light, that was the only missing link in what the heck was going on. Changing their diets to only organic saved them.

    My sister is treating so many people with food problems, the likes of which have never been seen in history before as something that is really going on. If I owned stock in Monsanto, Dow, Johnson, or any other chemical company, I would have divested a long time ago.

    That’s my own take on it. Just as you watch your vineyards grow, I’ve watch my children and now grandchildren. I don’t want to know that we’re poisoning an entire generation of children, not to mention the adults with problems, too. If they go off organics and gluten free (where the GMO primarily is in grains), the kids get sick.

    I would like to believe that America has not fallen in greatness, but it may be too late, as our kids suffer intestinal problems unlike anything we’ve seen in any generation before now.

    Unfortunately, it is what it is. Watching your children suffer will bring out the warrior in anyone (descended from Charlemagne, no kidding, it’s true), John… Just as you have to battle diseases in your vineyards, I have to battle disorders in our bodies, to keep our bodies (and minds) on track.

    And, I do understand that stating that you’re “organic” means that when a plague hits your vineyard, you’re helpless to save your vines. It is better to state that you’re sustainable and get on with your life and work, because our standards have been written to work against you in labeling your vineyards as being organic.

  54. Jenah says:

    Jo and John, I think you guys should probably get married already

  55. Jo Diaz says:

    Very funny, Jenah. Same energy and strong opinions, at opposite ends of the spectrum… At best, we challenge people. At worst? Yikes.

  56. Baz says:

    Hi I would like to no if world vinyard vinters reserve California merlot wine kit is gm free .as my understanding is wine from Australia is gm free any avice please

  57. Jo Diaz says:

    Hi, Baz, to date, we know of no GM wines. I hope that continues.

  58. Don’t you think we need to keep the big picture in mind when we discuss wine? The Class 1 carcinogen in wine is ethyl alcohol which is present in levels of 135,000 ppm. (This is a substantial amount only depending on the dose and frequency of consumption). Wine contains Ethyl Alcohol, a proven carcinogen, whereas genetically engineered foods have never been established to be carcinogens as they have been subject to stringent regulations, whereas many organic foods are created by mutagenesis and carcinogenesis which are not regulated such as Calrose brown rice, seedless watermelon, golden promise barley (used in most craft beers), rio red grapefruit etc. I don’t worry about our safe food supply, and I’d bet the 21,000 humans who died from starvation today and everyday would have lived if they had access to our industrial agriculture system.

  59. Jo Diaz says:

    Hi, John,

    You’re back again. Nice to see your name pop up. As of October 2015, HEADLINE: GM Crops Now Banned in 38 Countries Worldwide – Sustainable Pulse Research.

    If I didn’t have so much writing/research work to do this morning, I’d dig even deeper for you.

    I’ve read so many stories of cancer showing up in test results, not from our country – which has a serious invested interest – but from other countries that don’t have those investments. Those counties prefer to invest in their citizen’s health – first and foremost – and they do it with foods that aren’t genetically modified.

    My family has also suffered greatly for eating GMO grains. It cost us an out-of-pocket fortune to get to the bottom of what was going on. In and out of emergency rooms, out patient care, research with non-traditional care, etc. It took a couple of years to finally get to the bottom of it, by eliminating the GMO foods. Our health returned. For instance, if we eat American produced pasta – stomach aches with excruciating pain. Eating Pasta from Italy – no problem. That’s all I need to know.

    People are free to eat whatever they will. We’re also free to believe whatever we will. I don’t believe in GMO foods. Neither one of us is going to change our opinion. We are who we are.

    Then, there’s this study, as published in the New Yorker… http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/why-facts-dont-change-our-minds

  60. Jo Diaz says:

    John, For some reason your last comment, which began with “I’m sorry your family has health issues,” ended up in my spam folder. Before I realized that it was from you, it was marked with all of the other spam and got deleted. I appreciate that you’re trying to convince me otherwise, because your opinion about this subject is as adamant as mine. We’re going to be at odds with this one forever. Until you’ve lived with – once they were healthy and energetic and all of a sudden they’ve had something happen to them – the only thing changed was the GMO foods began to be introduced – you’ll never get it. I don’t expect you to, either.

  61. […] thinking much the way Mimi did. If it’s not a natural product, I don’t need or want it. GMO products really anger me, for […]

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