What is a GMO?
A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.
This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.
What does this mean for you?
Genetically modified foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. The effects on humans of consuming these new combinations of proteins produced in GMOs are unknown and have not been studied. Yet GMO ingredients are found in thousands of foods that you and I are eating every day! Currently on the market are GM soy, cotton, canola, corn, papaya, zucchini, squash, tobacco and sugar beets.
Products derived from the above GM foods , include several different vegetable oils, soy protein, soy lecithin, cornstarch, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup among others. Also:
- meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed (and the majority of the GM corn and soy is used for feed);
- dairy products from cows injected with rbGH (a GM hormone);
- food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents, including the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet®) and rennet used to make hard cheeses; and
- honey and bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen.
What is really interesting to me is that various feeding studies in animals have resulted in potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy or increased density of the liver, odd-shaped cell nuclei and other unexplained anomalies, false pregnancies and higher death rates. Because of political pressure from large GM companies like Monsanto, human food studies have never been conducted.
What can you do?
In my house we have placed a ban on all Genetically Engineered foods and ingredients. It has taken a huge adjustment because those darn things are everywhere! The good news for us as consumers is that the current Certified Organic label does not allow GMO ingredients. Buy Organic, grow your own, buy from a local farmer, vote with your grocery dollars!
For detailed information and to take action visit The Institute for Responsible Technology
I would also highly recommend The Organic Consumers Association
I have watched several amazing documentaries about the devastation this industry has had on thousands of small American farmers. This is a partial list of my favorites:
Do your part. Information is power!