What Are GMOs and Are They Safe?
With the ever growing population of the world today, farmers have more to worry about when it comes to mass production than was needed say 100 years ago. There are more people to worry about when it comes to food production and the serving sizes and amount each person is consuming have also shifted the needs of production. With scarcity of land and the ability to double and even triple in production, scientists have come up with ways to mass produce crops by modifying their genetic makeup. By splicing the DNA and rearranging it, plants and crops now have the ability to grow more abundantly than we could have imaged. The GMO’s or genetically modified organisms seem like a great idea in theory. More food and amounts of the same food are able to be produced with no need for more land however; there are many issues and controversy that surround them as well.
According to the Non GMO Project, here, genetically modified organisms are plants or animals that are created through gene splicing techniques of biotechnology. In the process, the DNA is merged from different species which creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature of in traditional breeding.
Agricultural products are segmented into two groups High Risk and Monitored Risk:
High Risk: These products have a high chance of being turned into GMO because they are currently in commercial production
- · Alfalfa, Canola, Corn, Cotton, Papaya, Soy, Sugar Beets, Zucchini and Yellow Squash
*Animal products are also at high risk because of contamination in feed. Food to be careful of is Milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc.
Monitored Risk: These products have been suspected of or there are known incidents of contamination or the crops have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination is possible.
- · Chard, Table Beets, Rutabaga, Siberian Kale, Turnips, Chinese Cabbage, Acorn Squash, Delicata Squash, Flax, Rice and Wheat
The top 10 GMO foods to avoid are as follows:
- 1. Corn
- 2. Soy
- 3. Sugar
- 4. Aspartame
- 5. Papayas
- 6. Canola
- 7. Cotton
- 8. Dairy
- 9. Zucchini
- 10. Yellow Squash
Most developed countries don’t consider GMOs safe. The U.S. government however has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. GMOs are in as much as 80% of all conventional processed food. However, most of us are unaware of their presence because there are no current mandatory labeling protocols at this time. There are non-profit groups such as Non-GMO Project who were created to give consumers information regarding GMO products and food.
Though mentioned earlier that GMOs are in 80% of processed foods, there are steps that we as consumers can take to avoid buying GMO food and products as well. According to the article, “How to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods,” here (http://www.undergroundhealth.com/how-to-avoid-genetically-modified-foods/), when grocery shopping, look for 100% organic labels, purchase 100% grass fed beef, look for products that are specifically labeled as non-GM or GMO-free, shop locally, grow your own and when possible, avoid processed and packaged foods.
According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, here, people should seek out non-GMO diets for multiple reasons. They cite that in animal studies, organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated again and infertility were all seen with diets consisting of GMOs. The number of health problems has also seen to be more prevalent after GMOs were introduced in 1996.
Genetically modified organisms were a good theory in thought but in actuality, they can cause much damage to our health, the quality of food that we are eating and our longevity as a whole. Be mindful the next time you go grocery shopping and ask yourself if the risks are worth the purchase.
Disclaimer: The Escali blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment More