Concern is growing today about the dangers of Genetically Modified Foods, or GMOs, and rightly so.
Since 1996 Americans have been eating genetically modified ingredients in most processed foods. In the US alone, over 80% of all processed foods contain them. Genetically engineered crops mean that foreign genes from bacteria and viruses that have never been in the food supply have been forced into their DNA. The main reason companies do this is to make them tolerant to herbicides and pesticides and supposedly to increase yields. Many also have been inserted with a pesticide. The major GM plants, soy, corn, canola, cotton and sugar beets, have high residues of pesticides. GMO salmon has even been developed and alfalfa might be next.
Largely unregulated, it is still not required that most GMO foods be labeled. (You can identity GMO fruit, however, it has a PLU code 5 digits long starting with the number 8.) Genetically modified organisms have been linked to thousands of toxic or allergic‐type reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals. Nearly every independent animal feeding safety study shows adverse or unexplained effects. Independently conducted studies show the more of these foods we eat, the greater the potential harm to our health, with children more likely to show the effects since they develop at such a rapid rate. Yet, GMO influence on human health has largely been ignored by the FDA, which has labeled them as “Generally Recognized as Safe” and allows them on the market without any additional testing.
GMO crops increase pesticide use and contaminate organic and conventional crops, making it virtually impossible to escape the harmful effects of GMO. Furthermore, they haven’t been shown to increase yields.
GMO crops are a very serious threat to our food industry and our health. I urge you to watch The Future of Food or Food, Inc. to better understand the GMO situation. These powerful documentaries explain the dangers of GMO crops and the government and industrial control of GMO. There are also several good websites worth visiting, such as the Organic Consumers Association, or simply google “gmo foods”. Check out Mark Bittman’s Food Matters or any of Michael Pollan’s books too. Or if you have a smartphone or Ipad, go to the app store and download a free copy of nonGMO foods shopping guide.
Educate yourself and get involved. The future of our food supply and its safety depends on it.
Information compiled from saynotogmos.org and organicconsumer.org.