Cotton balls

If you take painstaking care to avoid a diet of genetically modified foods, you’re among a growing number of people choosing organic, unprocessed, and even homegrown foods, instead of the 80 percent of processed foods in this country that contain GM ingredients. The long-term effects of genetic modification on our health are barely understood, but what we do know is not pretty: Infertility, birth defects, cancer, neurological disorders and major organ damage are just some of the more serious risks. But we’re not just at risk from the foods we eat. GMOs are in a number of everyday items you may be exposed to on a regular basis. How often do you come in contact with these items?

Personal care products: Watch out for soy protein and alcohol in personal care items, including lotions, face creams, soaps and shampoos. Instead of silky soft skin or thick, lustrous hair, you may end up with a head full of toxic GMO soy and corn. 

Cotton: Chances are something you’re wearing now is cotton. Your bed sheets and towels probably are too, as are the swabs and cotton balls in your bathroom. And if they’re not organic, they are most likely genetically modified. Ninety-three percent of cotton planted in the U.S. in 2010 was genetically modified. Think what you wear doesn’t matter? We absorb more than 60 percent of what our skin comes in contact with.

Soy Ink: The choice for many natural/eco brands to dye clothing, use for books, product packaging, and even print magazines and newspapers, soy ink is most often made from GM soybeans. Ink is highly absorbable through the skin, so make sure to wash your hands after reading the Sunday paper.

Hand Sanitizer: There are lots of reasons to avoid using conventional hand sanitizers, but one you may not have thought of is the exposure to GM corn used in the alcohol. Eighty-six percent of U.S. grown corn in 2010 was genetically modified.

Gasoline: A new variety of corn was approved earlier this year for use in ethanol production for gasoline. Whether your skin comes in direct contact with it at the pump, or you’re just sucking in gulps of it at the gas station for a fill up or while in traffic, chances are, it’s genetically modified.

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