Oct 05 2014

GMOs…what has happened to our food?

Published by at 9:41 am under GMO's

You have heard of the phrase, “Buyer beware.” It certainly applies when buying foods containing GMOs.  “…In fact, in the U.S., 90 percent or more of all corn, cotton, canola, sugar beet and soybeans are grown from genetically engineered seeds…”4

So what are GMOs? They are genetically modified foods, (also called GEs, for genetically engineered foods). These plants and animals are the result of experimental technology from gene splicing techniques of biotechnology. DNA from various species are combined, “…creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding…”3

This is of grave concern for us and our health as it is questionable if our bodies know how to process these altered organisms. Over the years, big companies have slowly introduced genetic engineering into our crops, and into the feed that our cattle consume without informing the public outright that they were doing so. We have been eating genetically engineered foods for years without even knowing it. As the public has become more aware, people are outraged to find that their food source is being manipulated. While you think you have been making good food choices, many of the foods we have been consuming have been genetically altered. I was very disappointed to realize my favorite granola bar is not GMO free. Setting the safety concern aside for a moment, the bottom line is:  we should know what we are putting in our bodies, and the bodies of our children and grandchildren.

There is a campaign in support of the need to require food manufacturers to label their products that contain GMOs. Billions of dollars have been spent in favor of this campaign. But more money is being spent by the big companies opposing GMO labeling. More than 60 countries worldwide, including all of the countries in the European Union, as well as Australia and  Japan, have placed significant restrictions or have outright banned the production and sale of GMOs.2 “…In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment…”2

One of the biggest agricultural companies involved in genetic engineering, Monsanto, states on their website in regards to their seeds, “We use breeding and biotechnology to create seeds that grow into stronger, more resilient crops that require fewer resources.” And in regards to their crops, “We combine traditional breeding with modern techniques to create more vibrant and flavorful veggies that help farmers better withstand nature’s challenges.” This of course is done through genetic engineering.

 “…More and more studies point to the idea that there’s grave cause for concern about the health effects of consuming GMOs and the chemicals they are sprayed with, including food allergies, irritable bowels, organ damage, cancer…”3

The environmental risks are that “…Seventy-two percent of US GMO crops are engineered to tolerate a certain type of herbicide. But the weeds that these herbicides used to kill are coming back bigger and stronger, creating herbicide-resistant “superweeds” that require greater quantities of more toxic pesticides to eradicate…”3

This is obviously a big topic and one that every person should be aware of as we attempt to make healthy choices for our bodies.

In the next couple of weeks we will explore this topic further. Some of things I will touch on are: the main GMO crops, avoiding GMOs and which brands do not use GMOs in their products.

Until then, healthiest wishes,

 

Resources:

  1. www.farmaid.org
  2. http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/
  3. http://action.greenamerica.org
  4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-turow/you-need-to-know-the-fact_b_5570951.html
  5. http://discover.monsanto.com/discover-us


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