What is a GMO?
A GMO is a plant or animal that has its genes altered to grow in a more favorable way. For example, corn is genetically modified to resist pesticides that farmers use in their crops. The seeds of corn are genetically modified to work with a particular pesticide. The altered DNA of the corn seed is resistant to the herbicides. When farmers spray for weeds they kill the weeds and not the crops. The biotech companies believe this produces bigger crops( this is highly debatable). However, more and more herbicide is needed to achieve the same results. In turn, we consume more pesticide by eating GMO plants. Plants are also genetically modified to grow in non traditional geographic areas, and tolerate extreme climate conditions such as freeze and droughts.
How are seeds genetically modified?
Scientist force genes from a desired species into another species, by way of cell invasion. The result is a plant or animal created by man…..not by God. To learn more, you can watch a 7 minute video of how this works.
Are GMOs Safe?
There isn’t enough scientific evidence to say that they are. GMOs are created by giant biotech industries like, Monsanto. Many former employees of Monsanto now have positions in key government offices such as the USDA and FDA. You can see a list of them here. Former Monsanto attorney, Michael Taylor, now works for the FDA creating policy. The FDA accepts the word of biotech companies that GMOs are safe. There is no FDA or third party testing for safety required on genetically modified foods. The FDA says it is the responsibility of biotech companies to provide their own research that GMOs are safe. Now what kind of science is that? Biotech companies would be bias to their own product. You can read the FDA’s stance on testing here. Monsanto says that there is no need to test for the safety of GMOs in humans because it would be “impossible”. You can read Monsanto’s full response here.
How do I know if GMOs are in my food?
Unfortunately, at this time labeling of GMOs is not required on food labels. The biggest GMO crops are corn and soy. Look at your ingredient labels on your food. If you see the word corn or soy in any form, unless it’s organic, chances are you are eating a GMO. Other GMOs include canola oil, cotton, papaya, and Aspartame( made from GMO crops.)
How you can make a difference:
Tell the FDA and Congress you want foods to be labeled if they contain GMOs. You can click here to sign a petition. Tell your friends and families about GMOs and encourage them to sign.
Try to purchase organic products. Organic products do not use pesticide, so there isn’t a need for genetic modification.
Read food labels and know what’s in your food. Try to purchase foods that do not contain GMOs. Remember, most processed foods contain GMOs.
*Source-Co op Stronger Together, Forbes, Monsanto, FDA, Organic Consumer Association, Non GMO Project.