It’s estimated that GMO (GE) ingredients are found in over 80% of foods found in U.S. and Canadian grocery stores. The problem is, many of us don’t really know what GMO foods are and whether or not they’re safe to eat.
1. What Are GMOs (GE Foods)?
GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms. GE foods are genetically engineered foods. Both mean the same thing. The term “GMO” is usually used in reference to crops which are genetically modified so that they are resistant to pests and drought. GMOs can may also include genetically modified animals like fish, although GMO animals are not yet approved for human consumption.
2. What Makes These Foods Different Than Natural Foods?
Labelgmos.org describes GMO or GE foods as foods altered with the use of “transgenics,” meaning these foods are purposely altered in a laboratory using genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria in order to produce foreign compounds in that food.
GMO plants are grown from seeds that are patented by massive chemical companies including the most notorious of all, Monsanto. Monsanto was famous for producing Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Currently, Monsanto produces Roundup, an herbicide that’s currently under great health debate.
Monsanto’s GMO seeds are purposely designed to only produce one crop and may only reproduce more than one with the use of (more) chemicals.
3. Where Are GMO Or GE Foods Found?
GMO foods are found in most processed foods which contain wheat, rice, papaya, dairy products, peas, sugar (made from beets), soy, potatoes, canola, cotton, and corn byproducts.
4. Are GMO/GE Foods Safe?
GMO foods often contain glyphosate or Roundup, an herbicide and toxin that may lead to the development of autism, obesity, gastrointestinal diseases including celiac disease and IBS, depression, and more.
Across the globe, countries have banned or put restrictions on the use of GMO/GE foods. There are currently over 61 countries with over 40% of the world’s population that already labels genetically engineered foods, including the entire European Union and China.
In 2012, companies like Monsanto spent over $45 million to defeat Prop 37, a labeling law that was hoped to have passed in California. If GMO or GE foods are so safe…why would these companies go through such great lengths to avoid having them labeled as such?
Better yet, what does China, Russia, and the EU know about GMO/GE foods that the U.S. doesn’t?
5. How Can We Avoid Eating GMO or GE Foods?
The only way to avoid eating GMO foods in the U.S. is to eat as many fresh, local, and organic fruits and vegetables as possible.
Get involved and demand that GMO/GE foods are labeled in your state.
Want To Learn More About GMOs? Check out GMO OMG, a new documentary by filmmaker Jeremy Seifert.