GMO. What’s the Big Deal, Anyway?
Updated: Mar 18
In my previous post, I shared with you a list of companies who have invested significant amounts of money to continue to produce foods with genetically modified organisms (GMO) as well as prevent the general public from knowing that they are consuming foods with GMO.
What I did not share was information about GMO foods, what they are, what to look out for and how to make sure that you and your family have the best food that you can provide.
At one time I did not know much about genetically modified organisms (GMO). I was in the dark about the whole thing. When I learned about GMO, I became very concerned.
What are GMO Foods?
GMO foods have had a gene from another organism (plant, animal, virus, bacterium) forced into them, altering its DNA.
Can you believe it? Putting animal genes into plants? Here I am a vegan and I could be consuming animal products through vegetables or other foods that are plant based.
This process initially began to increase crop protection and production. It is said that GMO foods keep insects and disease at bay. Resistance against insects is achieved by incorporating into the food plant the gene for toxin production from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). This means that the plant produces its own pesticide! Yikes! The crops are more resistant and therefore the crop yield is also increased. Genetically modifying these foods is used for drought tolerance, hot and cold temperature resistance, as well as ensuring that products travel well.
At what cost, I ask?
Are GMO foods safe?
A lot of people don’t think so.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) doesn’t think so. The Academy reported that “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including but not limited to:
faulty insulin regulation
changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.
What? This is absolutely terrible.
The following information comes from the Institute for Responsible Technology:
It has been found that:
Thousands of sheep, buffalo, and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton plants
Mice eating GM corn for the long term had fewer, and smaller, babies
More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, and were smaller
Testicle cells of mice and rats on a GM soy change significantly
By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies
Rodents fed GM corn and soy showed immune system responses and signs of toxicity
Cooked GM soy contains as much as 7-times the amount of a known soy allergen
Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced
The stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth, a condition that may lead to cancer.
Studies showed organ lesions, altered liver and pancreas cells, changed enzyme levels, etc.
Some other factors to consider:
If the antibiotic gene inserted into most GM crops were to transfer into bacteria living inside our intestines, it could create super diseases, resistant to antibiotics
If the gene that creates Bt-toxin in GM corn were to transfer into bacteria living inside our intestines, it might turn our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories.
This is a big deal. A very big deal.
10 Ways to protect yourself and your family
1. Choose organic 100% of the time.
According to the Organic Trade Association, “The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs, and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.
2. Avoid the most common GMOs.
squash (zucchini and yellow)
Many of these items appear as added ingredients in a large amount of the foods we eat. For instance, your family may not eat tofu or drink soy milk, but soy is most likely present in a large percentage of the foods in your pantry. Corn is also in many, many processed foods.
3. Read labels carefully.
GMOs may be hidden in common processed food ingredients such as: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.
4. Buy whole foods and cook from scratch. It is estimated that 80% of grocery store products contain GMO.
5. Start your own organic garden.
6. Sign this petition Support GMO labelling.
7. Watch the film Food Inc.
8. Pass information on to your family and friends.
9. Follow “Millions Against Monsanto” on Facebook.
10. Do the best that you can.
Thanks for reading!