This post sat in my “draft” folder for months…how do you sum up the dangers in GMOs?! You could literally write a book on the subject! Here are some great excerpts from articles, websites, etc. that give you the basic run-down. GM foods or GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are created by taking the genetic material from one organism and inserting it into another. Some examples are:
- Potatoes with bacteria genes
- “Super” pigs with human growth genes
- Fish with cattle growth genes
- Tomatoes with flounder genes
- Pesticide resistant rape (Brassica Napus) plants
Scientists have transferred a gene to the rape plant which enables the plant to resist a certain pesticide. When the farmer sprays his genetically modified rape crop with pesticides, he or she can destroy most of the pests without killing the rape plants.
- Insecticide sweet corn
Scientists have genetically modified sweet corn so that it produces a poison which kills harmful insects. This means the farmer no longer needs to fight insects with insecticides. The genetically modified corn is called Bt-corn, because the insect-killing gene in the plant comes from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. Cotton and potatoes are other examples of plants that scientists have , genetically modified to produce insecticide.
- Golden rice
Golden rice is genetically modified rice that now contains a large amount of A-vitamins. Or more correctly, the rice contains the element beta-carotene which is converted in the body into Vitamin-A. So when you eat golden rice, you get more vitamin A.
- Long-lasting tomatoes
Long-lasting, genetically modified tomatoes came on to the market in 1994 and were the first genetically modified food available to consumers. The genetically modified tomato produces less of the substance that causes tomatoes to rot, so remains firm and fresh for a long time.
Sources of GMOs:
- Soy (80-90%) – which can include: soy flour, soy protein, soy isolates, soy isoflavones, soy lecithin, vegetable proteins, textured vegetable protein (TVP), tofu, tamari, tempeh, and soy protein supplements.
- Cotton (88%)
- Corn (85%) – which can include: corn flour, corn gluten, corn masa, corn starch, corn syrup, cornmeal, and High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).
- Hawaiian Papaya
- Alfalfa, zucchini, and yellow squash
- Dairy products from cows injected with rGBH
- Food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents, including the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet) and rennet used to make hard cheeses
- Meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed
- Honey and bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen
- Contamination or pollination caused by GM seeds or pollen
Some of the foods that may contain GM Ingredients:
- Infant formula
- Salad Dressing
- Hamburgers and hotdogs
- Fried food
- Veggie burgers
- Meat substitutes
- Ice cream
- Frozen yogurt
- Tomato sauce
- Protein powder
- Baking powder (sometimes contains corn starch)
- Powdered/Confectioner’s sugar (often contains corn starch)
- Confectioner’s glaze
- Peanut Butter
- Enriched flour
- Vanilla extract (sometimes contains corn syrup)
- White vinegar
***Watch out because your cosmetics, soaps, detergents, shampoo, and bubble bath may also contain GM ingredients!
What’s the harm in GM foods or GMOs?!?
- immune problems
- accelerated aging
- faulty insulin regulation
- changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system
Before the FDA decided to allow GMOs into food without labeling, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.
Since then, findings include:
- Thousands of sheep, buffalo, and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton plants
- Mice eating GM corn for the long-term had fewer, and smaller, babies
- More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, and were smaller
- Testicle cells of mice and rats on a GM soy change significantly
- By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies
- Rodents fed GM corn and soy showed immune system responses and signs of toxicity
- Cooked GM soy contains as much as 7-times the amount of a known soy allergen
- Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced
- The stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth, a condition that may lead to cancer.
- Studies showed organ lesions, altered liver and pancreas cells, changed enzyme levels, etc.
Did you know that GMOs were banned in Europe over a decade ago?!?! Why are we always so behind in the United States?
So….how do you avoid GMOs?!? You can either completely avoid purchasing/eating the top culprits (corn, soy, cottonseed, etc) or you can buy 100% certified organic products. Another option is to look for the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal…just know that it doesn’t guarantee that you’re getting a 100% GMO free product.
Check out this video (it’s a few parts long) to learn more about GMOs:
Other links to check out: