GMO Food Facts
It’s great to be an American and on the leading edge of so many things in our world today. However, there may be some disadvantages of being the “first” when it comes to foods. Genetically modified (or genetically engineered) foods are flooding grocery stores shelves and farmers’ fields. But it seems one question wasn’t asked: Is this even good for us?
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are just what the name implies: Organisms (in this case, foods) that have been altered genetically. My immediate reaction to this is one of caution. Once you learn some of the facts you, too, may be more alarmed about what’s in your food.
Why Use GMOs
According to a report by Dr. Oz, more than 80 percent of the foods we eat on a daily basis contain one or more types of GMOs. Additionally, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) doesn’t require that these foods be labeled. That’s right: food manufacturers taking advantage of the cheaper costs of genetically modified foods don’t have to let you know that these potentially dangerous ingredients are in their products.
The benefits of GMO foods are that these types of foods can be grown in less than optimal soils — thereby providing less than optimal vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients. Another alleged benefit is that there is less need for pesticides when growing GMO crops, making it cheaper to grow foods. This allows for less expensive foods, though prices at the supermarket don’t reflect a decrease in costs today.
Dangers of GMO Foods
Because food companies own their genetically modified seeds and won’t allow for totally independent research, all the evidence on GMO foods isn’t in yet. Still, there is reason for serious concern when it comes to consuming these foods.
Based on results shown in animals, it appears GMO foods pose a huge health concern for numerous reasons.
Health Concerns with GMO Foods
- Increase in allergies
- Increase in antibiotic resistance
- Problems with endocrine system
- Disorders of the reproductive system
- Increase in aging symptoms
And this is just the tip of the iceberg, according to many leading scientists and researchers. In fact, some countries and areas like the European Union do not allow GMO foods to be imported. In addition, if their foods contain more than 0.9 percent of GMO ingredients, they must be labeled so the consumer knows exactly what they’re purchasing.
The USDA and related government agencies in the U.S. argue against any labeling here on the grounds that it would imply GMO foods are different. Well, isn’t that entirely true? When it comes to eating well and protecting your family’s health, you’ll have to rely on yourself to choose real foods that are as close to the way God created them as possible.
Most Common Types of GMO Foods
While the list of GMO foods is undoubtedly growing, here are the most commonly found ones:
- Sugar Beets
Now, GMO salmon might be a possibility. Created by AquaBounty, this genetically engineered salmon could one day be inside your grocery store seafood counter without any warning that it’s a GMO product.
This salmon would be the first GMO animal to be sold in the U.S., but somehow I doubt it will be the last. And though recent research shows that a majority of Americans are in favor of labeling foods that contain GMO ingredients, I believe our government refuses to do so because of profits for the food manufacturing industry and agriculture business.
Top U.S. Scientists Question GMO Foods
Despite the warnings of numerous well-respected, highly regarded scientists about GMO foods, our government continues turning a blind eye, not only by allowing the continued use of GMO crops in our food products, but also by refusing to label products containing GMOs.
Dr. Don M. Huber, a leading American scientist, stated his concerns to the federal government about GMO foods. His concerns are about plant deaths, spontaneous abortions and infertility in GMO-fed crops. A newly found organism is speculated to be the blame for this crop and animal problem. This new organism, Dr. Huber believes, is from the heavy use of the pesticide Roundup and Roundup Ready crops, both created by Monsanto, one of the leaders in GMO ingredients.
In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Huber said the following,
Based on a review of the data, it is widespread, very serious, and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans and corn—suggesting a link with the RR gene or more likely the presence of Roundup. This organism appears NEW to science! … I believe the threat we are facing from this pathogen is unique and of a high-risk status. In layman’s terms, it should be treated as an emergency.
Now that’s some food for thought.
How to Avoid GMO Foods
As it goes with many dangerous, yet commonly consumed products (remember when cigarettes didn’t cause cancer?), we don’t always know the true dangers until it’s too late for many. I urge you to consider the potential dangers of eating anything that has been altered from its original state and consider the evidence coming to light about their impact on your health.
Avoiding GMO foods can be a bit tricky. The following are my recommendations for keeping GMO foods out of your body as much as possible:
- Avoid all foods with corn or canola oils or byproducts.
- Look for and buy foods that are labeled GMO-free.
- Shop for organic foods. By law, no more than 5 percent of organic foods can contain GMOs.
- Plant your own garden and eat fresh foods daily.
What you put into your body determines how you feel and look not only on a daily basis, but also long-term. Make sure you’re staying clear of GMO foods as much as possible to avoid their repercussions.