What You Need To Know About GMO:
You may have heard of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) but may not understand what it means for you and your family. In simple terms, scientists have discovered a technique to genetically engineer food. They create these products in the form of seeds for biotech companies to then sell to agricultural companies who grow and make our foods.
This new process of food engineering combines genetic material of plants with the genetic material of other plants, animals, humans, bacteria, and viruses in order to create a new “super” species. It is similar to the science of cloning animals and humans but this particular technology is focused on creating a food source that is pesticide, virus, and bacteria resistant.
The goal for biotech companies is to create crops that are resistant to the threat of pest, harmful bacteria and viruses. These super crops can be grown cheaply and in abundance, increasing profits for each player in the game (farmers, chemical manufacturers, food manufacturers).
Why Should You Be Concerned About Eating These Engineered Foods?
While these biotech companies have spent millions of dollars on creating these genetically engineered seeds, they haven’t spent nearly as much on testing for outcomes from eating such foods. There are no long-term studies on the effects of human consumption of these foods. The FDA has approved use of such foods but has not data to prove that it is safe for people to eat. That’s because the FDA does not prove safety; it investigates and regulates once a food or chemical has shown that it is harmful to people.
These food products are also unpredictable and have the ability to mutate, migrate and replicate. We have no idea how this will affect our own DNA when these foods are consumed. Perhaps the biggest concern is that you may eat a GMO food that has been genetically altered with a food or substance that you are allergic too such as peanuts or shellfish. There is no way of knowing what’s in your food and doctors will have a difficult time figuring out the cause/treatment.
What Empowered Consumers Do:
Get educated so that you can make a decision about GMOs. If you are against eating these foods because of all the uncertainties, you have options. You can advocate and push for legislation that requires companies to identify all GMO ingredients in their food products. You can also avoid these products all together. Using your buying power is a great way to send a message to a company that you do not support their practice of putting profits before people. To help you, we have created a list of foods that are being grown with GM seeds and the many different names they appear as in your foods.
The following foods are either made from genetically engineered seeds here in the U.S. or abroad:
Corn Soy Sugar Beets Canola Rice (from China)
Papaya Zucchini Yellow Summer Squash Tomatoes
Unfortunately the majority of all corn, soy, and sugar beets crops in the U.S. are grown from GMO seeds. And if you’re reading food labels like you should, you’ll notice that virtually all processed food is made with some form of corn or soy.
Here are some of the aka or aliases that genetically modified corn, soy, and sugar are listed as:
Soy Flour Amino Acids Aspartame Sodium Ascorbate
Tofu Flavorings Ethanol Ascorbic Acid
Soy Milk Hydrolized Vegetable Oil Lactid Acid Vitamin C
Soybean oil Maltodextrins Sucrose Xanthan Gum
Soy Lethicin Yeast Products Soy Protein Isolate