Published on April 8th, 2013 | by DrKaayla


The Oiling of America: Adding DHA, SDA and Other GMO Ingredients to “Health Foods”

Listen to most vegans and you’d think DHA from algae is an all-natural, plant-sourced algae that is healthier than fish and more sustainable for the planet as well.
Go to nutrition conferences, and you’ll hear much the same.

In truth, there’s nothing natural about it, and it’s yet another “dirty little secret” of the food processing industry.

The algae in question come from Martek Biosciences, and is not your average pond scum.  Rather it’s been genetically modified through mutations induced by radiation and/or harsh chemicals, and then fermented in a mix of corn syrup, ethanol and other ingredients from GMO corn.  The DHA is extracted with the help of solvents such as isopropyl alcohol or hexane (a petrochemical that is a known neurotoxin), and finally preserved with synthetic preservatives such as mannitol, modified starch, glucose syrup solids and ascorbyl palmitate.

Sadly, most of the “better” baby formulas now contain “added DHA” from algae, including Earth’s Best and Similac.  Martek DHA is also found in “organic milk” from Horizon, which is owned by Dean Foods.  Horizon’s milk cartons feature a prominent DHA Omega 3 banner and the claim “supports brain health.”

Soon things will be even worse. DSM Nutritional Products, the parent company of Martek, has partnered with Monsanto to deliver a GMO soybean oil high in omega 3s for use in salad dressings, sauces, margarines, bakery products, soups, snack bars and dairy products as well as other “innovative” products. Known as stearidonate or SDA oil, it will be sold as a healthy vegetarian EPA omega 3 product.

Mark Kastel of The Cornucopia Institute pulls no punches when he writes:

“That’s right, DSM, the same company that bamboozled the National Organic Standards Board, with raw lobbying might, bringing you genetically mutated algae, processed with synthetic petrochemical-based solvents, and incorporated into a number of “organic” products including milk from some of our other friends at Dean Foods/WhiteWave (labeled “Horizon Organic”).

If you want omega-3 fatty acids in your diet (a good thing) but you want them from food, and you want them from ingredients that the preponderance of science has backed, in terms of its efficacy, consult the Cornucopia buyers guide:


Please follow and support the important work of The Cornucopia Institute.


August 8, 2013 email alert  from Mark Kastel entitled “DSM and Monsanto to Partner (corrupting your diet and organics”



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11 Responses to The Oiling of America: Adding DHA, SDA and Other GMO Ingredients to “Health Foods”

  1. Adam G says:

    Do you have any reference links with more information on the algae oil manufacturing methods you mentioned above ? It’s a fairly substantial claim that I take seriously and would like to look into it further.

    Thank You !

    • Dr. Kaayla says:

      If you don’t find enough at the Cornucopia website, Chris Masterjohn may have what you need at

  2. Pingback: Homemade Infant Formula - Nourishing Joy

  3. Susie says:

    What kind of organic baby formula would you recommend

  4. Steven Heidecker says:

    ” Rather it’s been genetically modified through mutations induced by radiation and/or harsh chemicals”

    The above shows that you have no idea of what constitutes micro-biological cultivation.

    The only ‘radiation and/or harsh chemicals’ used would be in the cleansing process.
    Anything else would render the algae deceased.

    Regardless, now that the species of algae has been isolated, the above process is no longer involved.
    The algae is fed a nutrient solution and it yields a DHA oil which is far cleaner (less mercury &environmental toxins) than oils harvested from dead fish.

  5. Danielle says:

    Where did you find your facts Dr. Daniel? Are they just from the two websites your provided or elsewhere?

    Thanks so much!

  6. Lisa says:

    Are there algae dha oils that are processed in a healthy way without gmo ingredients and hexane?

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