What are GMOs?

 

GMOs are genetically modified organisms. Some scientist claim that this type of engineering is no different from the types of engineering that’s always been done with hybrid production by farmers to breed for the best crops. But that’s not entirely true. GMOs are different.

GMOs are bred to have pest control properties, be antibiotic resistant, and be resistant to herbicides. They use many different methods to come up with these crops, which calls into question the safety of them.

What’s more, very little research has been done by the FDA, the USDA or any government entity that is supposed to keep our food supply safe. It’s hard to trust research completed by the biotech companies because they have so often been shown to falsify information. The truth is most developed nations don’t believe GMOs are safe, and that has to mean something when you are considering putting that food on your table for your family to ingest.

If most countries are questioning the safety of GMOs and even outlawing GMOs, then something has to be wrong. There are issues with environmental damage, economic consequences to farmers, and studies are increasingly showing potential medical issues associated with the ingestion of GMO crops. The rational person will come to the conclusion that if just one of these are true, we should avoid GMOs.

Keep in mind that most corn, soy, and cottonseed and their by-products like high-fructose corn syrup, soy milk, edamame and cottonseed oil are also GMO. In addition, most sugar is GMO. Unless you buy certified organic cane sugar, it’s GMO. Disturbingly, most Hawaiian papayas are also GMO. What’s more, no labeling is required to differentiate GMO crops from other crops.

Due to these GMO crops being so prevalent, it can be difficult to avoid GMOs. But it’s not impossible.

* Buy USDA Certified Organic – The requirements to receive the certified organic label means that no GMO products were used in the production or post-production of the item. This is completely voluntary but without this seal there is no real guarantee that something is organic even if they say it is.

* Buy non-GMO Project Verified – This is a third-party completely voluntary certification. A company which is not organic but sources non-GMO ingredients, and does not intentionally use GMO ingredients, can prove their dedication by submitting to third-party verification at their own expense.

* Eat close to nature – Close to 80 percent of all processed foods and conventionally grown crops in the USA contain or were produced from GMOs. By eating organic, reading labels, and eating as close to nature as possible you can avoid a lot of GMOs.

By making the choice to avoid GMOs, you send a message to the corporations to stop producing GMOs. And, hopefully the government will jump on board and outlaw all GMOs in our food sources. GMOs do not increase crop yields over organic farming practices, and produce no real economic benefit over organic farming methods.

The main benefit that GMOs carry is for the biotech companies which produce them because they hold intellectual property over the seeds and the crops produced by the seeds.

Did you know…

  • The very first GM plant was the tobacco plant, which was created to make tobacco resistant to antibiotics. Then they started using recombinant chymosin for cheese making in the 1990s. Later came the GM tomato which was called the Flavr Savr tomato, approved for sale by the FDA in 1994. This tomato didn’t start getting ripe until after picking, allowing farms to lose fewer crops to the natural ripening process. Later, canola used in oil production was modified, as was cotton to resist herbicides. Finally came potatoes, soybeans, and golden rice.
  • At the time most people widely believed that GM foods were not dangerous to the population. People did have concerns that the GM food, once created, became the intellectual property of corporation which produced it. Meaning, you cannot save the seeds from GM crops to use in a future crop. You have to buy the seeds all over again. Plus, due to the nature of plants, the GM plants can theoretically invade other plants nearby, and a farmer may end up with GM crops without meaning to.
  • GMO biotech companies including Monsanto spend a lot of money, over 5.3 million dollars just in one year, on lobbying the government to get their crops and livestock approved. In addition, ex-Monsanto executive Michael R. Taylor is now head of the FDA.
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