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The Truth About Genetically Modified Food

GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through genetic engineering, which fuses and alters DNA from different species, creating different types of food that do not exist in traditional nature. Consumers fear that GMOs are unhealthy and can lead to future diseases and health problems.

Proponents and manufacturers of GMOs such as Monsanto Corporation (whose first product manufactured was Saccharin) argue that there are several reasons why many companies have chosen to use GMOs, including longer shelf life, fewer pesticides, greater tolerance to adverse weather conditions , fewer crop diseases. , and more sales, which boost our economy. Opponents argue very differently. Some say that the increase in autoimmune diseases, fertility problems, inflammatory diseases, digestive disorders and chronic diseases are increased in part because the body’s natural immune system and its DNA composition are not prepared for adverse DNA in foods from genetically modified plants. animals and seeds. In fact, GMOs are found in 80% of conventional processed foods in the US alone. Here are some other impressive statistics:

  • The USDA reports in 2010 that 80% of corn, 90% of soybeans, 94% of cottonseed, 90% of canola (used in canola oil), and over 50% of sugar beet crops (used for preparation of sucrose and food coloring) are genetically modified.
  • More than 60 countries, including Australia, Japan and all European Union countries have banned or restricted GMO seeds and foods. The US government approved the sale of GMOs, based on studies done by the actual manufacturers of the GMO companies.
  • According to ISAAA, “28 different countries grow genetically modified crops. The top three countries in 2012 were: The United States grows 69.5 million hectares of corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa and pumpkin, Brazil grows 36, 6 million hectares of soybeans, corn and cotton, and Argentina grows 23.9 million hectares of soybeans, corn and cotton.”
  • “ISAAA also notes that genetically modified crops are commonly used as animal feed. GMOinside.org reports the following statistics:
  • 90% of soybeans grown worldwide are for animal feed.
  • 48% of US soybeans are used for poultry feed.
  • 26% of US soybeans are used to feed pigs.
  • 12% of US soybeans are used to feed cattle.
  • 9% of US soybeans are used to feed dairy cattle.”
  • Many dairy products also contain genetic modifications, such as rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone). In fact, 17% of dairy cattle are injected with rBGH. It’s best to buy your dairy products from a local farm or a trusted source that serves non-GMO offerings.

When it comes to labeling, the US lags behind most of the world, so 64 countries have GMO labeling laws, yet the US does not currently have a labeling law (although about 20 states are trying). The USDA regulates which companies can claim to use non-GMO foods. Polls show a majority of Americans overwhelmingly want non-GMO foods and supplement labeling, 91% in a recent poll.According to a recent CBS/New York Times poll, 53% of consumers said they would not buy genetically modified foods, if informed.

Many national and international companies are committed to serving food that is non-GMO in nature. Some of these companies include: Chipotle, Amy’s Organics, Applegate Farms, Ciao Bella Gelato, Earthbound Farm, Organic Valley, Pacific Foods, Stoneyfield Organics, Wild Harvest and most recently General Mills removed all GMOs from its original Cheerios cereal ( however, not the rest of the Cheerio lines).

There are many non-GMO advocacy groups and labels, including GM Action Alliance, GMO Free USA, and Citizens for GMO Labeling, if you want to learn more about this growing shift in food processing and health.

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