By Jana Smith
We are living in an era where food safety is taking a back seat to genetic engineering. Food safety evangelists are calling GMOs nothing short of Frankenfoods, declaring that their development is both strange and dangerous.
What are GMOs?
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. To put it plainly, the DNA of plants, seeds and animals is deliberately being altered by giant biotech industries like Monsanto—the leading producer of genetically engineered seed. Their purpose in doing this is to make food resistant to herbicides and to allow food to produce its own insecticide (Bt Toxin).
Are GMOs safe for me and my family to eat?
Since up to 80% of the food in North America contains GMOs, food safety is certainly a viable concern. Nearly all processed foods like cereal, snack bars, deli meats, crackers and chips contain traces of GMOs, so there is a high probability you and your children are eating GMOs for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Various feeding studies conducted on animals consuming GMOs have shown pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy or increased density of the liver, odd shaped cell nuclei and other unexplained abnormalities, false pregnancies and higher death rates. While no solid studies have yet been conducted on the relationship of GMOs and human health, there is certainly more than a casual association between genetically modified foods and adverse health effects in studies done on animals. Several National Academy of Sciences studies have affirmed that genetically engineered crops have the potential to introduce new toxins or allergens into our food and environment. It is safe to conclude that when food is altered from its natural state, and especially when the actual DNA is tampered with, health and safety issues are always a major concern!
How to protect yourself?
Currently in the Unites States, GMO food labeling is not a legal requirement. So, how can you protect yourself and your family? There are a few tips that can help you be a health-savvy consumer.
Tips for Avoiding GMOs
1. Knowing the most common GMO products can help you make better food buying decisions.
- Corn & products made from corn (high fructose corn syrup)
- Soybeans & products made from soybeans (soybean oil)
- Sugar (if not pure cane sugar, it is probably made from sugar beets)
- Dairy (products may be from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone. Look for labels stating No rBGH, rBST, or artificial hormones.)
- Canola • Cottonseed • Sugar Beets
- Hawaiian Papaya • Zucchini • Yellow Squash.
2. Use caution when buying meat. While the animals themselves are not genetically engineered, however, the vast majority of the livestock in America is being raised on genetically engineered feed like corn and soy.
3. Choose organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. Currently organic certification does not require GMO testing. Most organic products do not intentionally contain GMOs. However, choosing products that are Certified Organic AND Non-GMO Project Verified is the best way to make sure you are getting the safest, healthiest, highest-quality food for your family.
Visit these web sites for more information on GMOs • http://justlabelit.org
http://www.nongmoproject.org • http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com