In the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, a princess has a sleepless night because her future mother-in-law places a pea under the 20 mattresses she sleeps on. The next day, her sensitivity is rewarded with marriage to the prince. If the tale were published in Copenhagen today, the pea would be labeled “GMO” or “non-GMO,” and the princess wouldn’t have to wonder where her pea came from.
Now, if only North Americans had GMO labeling (like Russia, China, the EU), you could decide for yourself what to give your little princes and princesses. We’re not necessarily opposed to genetically modified foods. Dr. Oz has given a page on his website to Dr. Michael Greenberg, who defends the safety of the herbicide glyphosate (RoundUp); it’s half of the herbicide Enlist Duo, which we and 115,000 people petitioned the White House to ban until more tests are done. And we still think — as does an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine — that responsible labeling laws for GMO products will allow you to be the best judge of what you feed your family. But back to the princess and the pea.
There naturally exist anti-nutritional proteins in peas. Scientists in the EU have found a “desired mutation” of a pea that yields 10 percent more nutrients when it doesn’t have those proteins. Using non-GM methods (they remove the blocking proteins but don’t add anything), scientists can produce a more nutritious pea. That’s making science work for all of us.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit sharecare.com.