Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) are a relatively new (1994) and rapidly growing range of laboratory created and manipulated cells, bacteria, viruses, insects, plants, and animals. Genetic material from the DNA of one species of organism is transferred to the DNA of another organism to create a “genetically modified” hybrid organism.
1. Genetic Modification And Engineering Is Virtually Unrestricted And Unregulated.
Originally intended to create bigger, better and more disease resistant strains of food sources to end world hunger, this genetic engineering and modification has grown at a phenomenal rate virtually unrestricted and unregulated especially in the United States. Canada, Europe and Australia are becoming increasingly involved in the regulation and oversight of genetically modified foods.
2. GMO Foods Can Result In Unforeseen Side Effects And Consequences.
The results of these genetic modifications can be unpredictable. Once an organism is created, it cannot be “uncreated” and can even lead to dangerous mutations. This is not Science Fiction, but Science Fact. As an example, it is possible to produce a crop with a built-in tolerance for weed control herbicides and insecticides. Repeated use of these herbicides to treat this crop results in mutated and new strains of weeds that are also now resistant to this same existing herbicide. Will the use of the insecticides result in mutated resistant insects? It’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature and can result in unforeseen and unpredictable side effects and consequences.
3. GMO Foods Can Be Toxic and Result In An Increase In Allergic Reactions.
Two foods that have been created or modified genetically (GMO Foods) that you have probably heard about in the news recently are GMO corn and soy. Bigger, better and more disease resistant crops should be a good thing, right? Not necessarily. GMO foods can often result in unintended changes and do not always contain an increased nutritional value and may also be toxic and result in an increase in allergic reactions.
4. Farms and Food Manufacturers Are NOT Required To Label GMO Foods.
OK, you say, I will just avoid GMO foods. This is a good approach to a relatively untested food source, unfortunately the large corporate farms and food manufacturers (primarily in the US) are NOT required to label your processed foods or fruits and vegetables as GMO. Many LABELED GMO foods or those labeled as “containing GMO foods” are done voluntarily. It is estimated that OVER 90 percent of the corn and soy grown and harvested in North America has been genetically modified.
5. Avoiding GMO Foods Has Become Even More Difficult And Complicated.
But avoiding GMO’s becomes even more complicated if you eat meat, milk and eggs. Most beef cattle, hogs and even chickens have been raised on GMO grains including corn and soy. Dairy cattle in the US are injected with genetically modified hormones to increase milk production. This is the same milk used to produce butter, cheese and ice cream.
What CAN I Do To Avoid GMO Products?
We’ve seen that avoiding GMO’s is becoming increasingly difficult, but there are things that you can do as a consumer to buy and eat healthy. The first is to buy Certified Organic products. When available, buy locally produce from a trusted source. Buy “free range” “grass fed” and “hormone free” meats, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products.
By consuming only GMO-free foods, you are sending a clear signal to farmers and food producers that you prefer (and purchase) only healthy, natural and organic products!
Do you have any concerns about GMO foods? Please let us know in the comment section below.