November 17 2016
In recent years there has been great controversy on the use of genetically modified foods; sometimes referred to as genetically engineered foods or Genetically Modified Organisms – or “GMO”. This has particularly become a growing issue in the USA and Canada, and affects large portions of our food supply and potentially the health of everyone!
If you value your own and your family’s health, please read this important article that can protect and improve one’s health for years to come!
Please share and help spread the word.
What Are Genetically Modified Foods?
GMO foods are foods that have been modified from their original natural form as found in nature using genetic engineering techniques that alter the DNA structure of the food.
Genetically modified foods also include modification to livestock, and seafood products.
Why Is It Being Done?
These techniques allow for industry to introduce new desirable traits to foods. Examples include better resistance to pathogens, herbicides and to help improve the nutrients provided.
The underlying reason is to maximize production and sales of food. This includes:
- Increasing the crop yields for farmers
- Adds more nutritional value to crops
- Reduces the need for pesticides
- Helps to decrease food prices for consumers
- Increase profits for food producers
- Industry testing indicates it is safe for human consumption
What Foods Commonly Contain GMOs?
While browsing the isles at the grocery store, be on the look out for the most common foods that are likely to be genetically modified, unless otherwise labeled.
The most common foods include corn, soy, cotton (used to make cottonseed oil), papaya, rice, sugar beets (commonly used to make sugar), aspartame (a common artificial sweetener), tomatoes, rapeseed (used to make canola oil), milk/dairy products, potatoes, peas, yellow squash, zucchini, apples and alfalfa; in no particular order.
Note that this list applies to ANY products that are derived from these ingredients!
Are Genetically Modified Foods A Problem?
- Increasing Use Of Pesticides: Most GMOs are designed to require the use of pesticides and herbicides. Manufactures have suggested that use of GMOs would reduce the need for these chemicals. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case, with the use of pesticides/herbicides increasing instead, according to this recent study.
- Health Risks: According to Jeffrey Smith, a leading national expert on the dangers of GMOs, we don’t know for sure if modifying genes can lead to increased health risks including:
- No Long Term Studies: The data is still not in as to the long term effects of genetically modified food consumption. It remains to be seen if it is truly safe for people to eat on a continuing basis. The FDA has not conducted such studies before approving the use of GMOs.
- Environmental Impacts: Both GMO crops and the increased need of pesticides/herbicides negatively impact the environment. Increased use of pesticides and herbicides pollute the air, water and soil in which they are used. Use of GMOs cause cross-pollination issues with other plant life, destroying natural plant life, and causing additional unknown consequences and once they are introduced to an environment their effects are there to stay.
Farmers and studies have also confirmed increasing numbers of superbugs and superweeds that are becoming more and more of a problem as a result of the use of GMOs.
What Can We Do?
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to know what food is in fact genetically modified. Due to new legislation and push from the industry giants, labeling of GMO foods is being allowed to be hidden from consumers who want to make an informed decision when buying food. As a result of corporate interests driving government policies, it is not required by law for foods to be explicitly labeled as genetically modified in the United States.
New law states that food must be identified using obscure methods such as a website address, QR code, or telephone number placed on food products. In Canada there are no requirements for labeling of GMO foods.
Here Are Some Tips to Help You Avoid GMO Foods
- Avoid Processed Foods: In fact, if you buy processed foods you are very likely to be eating GMO foods more often than not.
- Buy GMO Free or Organic: Whenever possible buying foods marked as “organic” or “GMO free” can help. It should be noted that “organic” does not necessarily mean “GMO free”, however, items labeled as organic do need to be 95% GMO free.
- Reduce Your Exposure: Limit your consumption of commonly affected foods or look for GMO-free versions. Especially for the most commonly affected foods (see the list of common GMO foods here).
Making your own meals and having full control of what you put in your body and your family’s stomach is key. By planning ahead and using smart planning tools such as MealEasy, it’s easier than you think!