03 Apr OMG it’s GMO
GMO backwards is OMG! Which MIGHT be Your Reaction to This Information!
Ever wonder why sometimes fruits and vegetables look incredibly LARGE and COLORFUL but don’t taste as amazing as organic uglier versions? Welcome to the world of GMO and genetically modified foods…
What is GMO and what does it have to do with your food?
GMO stands for “genetically modified organism”. A genetically modified organism is defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does NOT occur naturally.
Why are GMO foods made?
GMO foods are developed and marketed because there is some PERCEIVED advantage either to the producer or consumer of these foods. The advantage may be a lower price, a more durable nutritional value, or both. The initial objective for developing plants based on GM (genetically modified) organisms was to improve crop protection. The GM crops currently on the market are mainly aimed at an increased level of crop protection from plant diseases, insects, viruses, or a tolerance to herbicides.
EWE… You wouldn’t BELIEVE what you are consuming! Bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) a toxin which is used as a conventional, external insecticide is being added to the crops at the gene level to prevent insect destruction of the crop. Basically, what that means is the insecticide is INSIDE of the crop instead of on the outside of the crop! So technically, you are consuming it too! Also, virus resistance is achieved in the same way; by putting a gene from a virus which causes disease in the plants directly INTO the crop. This makes the plants less susceptible to diseases caused by such viruses which results in larger crops, But this also means, you are CONSUMING the virus!
Are YOU eating GMO Foods?
Yes, you probably are! 86% of corn and 96% of soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified crops. Rice, soy beans, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil and their bi-products are ALSO common GMO foods. 80% of packaged foods in the US contain GMO’s according to the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association. GMO crops are also added to processed foods as oils, sweeteners, soy proteins, and in things such as amino acids, aspartame, vitamin C, flavoring (both natural and artificial), maltodextrins (a corn starch derivative added to foods) and many more. Fortunately, none of the genetically altered meat products have been made commercially available YET.
How Can you AVOID eating GMO foods? You may have started to see your favorite organic brands labeled as being made “WITHOUT GMO” By law, ORGANIC products must NOT contain any GMO or GMO bi-products. So, buy organic when you can! Currently, there is NO labeling required by the FDA for GMO foods
Are they healthy? Although GMO foods are relatively new, they are a product of the 1990’s and first hit grocery shelves in 1996, so there are NO long term studies of the health hazards. Also Since the foods are not labeled, there is not a direct way to link the food sources with health issues.
Are GMO foods regulated by the FDA? No, not really! The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and biotech representatives in 1990, first discussed the issue of GMO food safety. By 1996, the, Substantial Equivalence Concept (SEC) was proposed. The adoption of the SEC allowed permission to market and sell new foods WITHOUT any safety or toxicology tests as long as they were not too different in chemical composition to foods already on the market.
Do GMO foods exist in other countries? Yes! They are available worldwide, BUT fifty countries (NOT including the US or Canada) have STRICT regulations on GMO foods or outright BANS of the foods.
Do you think GMO foods should be labeled? Basically, the same ‘chemical’ companies (cough, man-san-to, cough) that make the GMO foods lobbied the government so they do NOT have to put it on the label. Both in California and at the national level, a formal petition to the FDA has been filed to make GMO food labeling MANDATORY.
In a nutshell, you can eat foods as they have existed in nature for thousands of years, or you can eat foods that were created in a lab and have been widely available for not even 2 decades yet. The choice is yours…
Excuses or solutions…YOU decide!
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