What is a GMO?

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:


Future of Food

Seeds of Deception

Food Inc.

Do your part. Information is power!



  1. Alia said,

    March 1, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    Great post!

  2. Laura said,

    March 1, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Oh, those movies are ALL on my list – thanks for the reminder. I really appreciated your succinct explanation of what GMO is, and how they affect us – yuck! Thanks!

  3. Jasmine Pahl said,

    March 1, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Thumbs way down to GMOs!

  4. March 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Glad to see awareness spreading like wildfire! Great post!

    • March 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Thank you, I think it’s one of the scariest subjects out there right now. I am driving everyone I know crazy talking about it….:)

      • March 10, 2012 at 1:48 AM

        haha, good! I find it compelling that we are entering an age where being globally unconscious is inappropriate. That sounds snobbish, but more relevant to the issue would be that doing our best to be globally conscious starts with being locally conscious so that we can see with objective eyes the price and prizes we bring to the table as a culture, and to remedy and maladies to it as we see fit as best we each can. From that place, through interacting, and the breaking ground on the destruction of ineffective tradition for effective exploration comes the global cultural growth that is forming rapidly, in my opinion. Cheers! let them be mad then, Kerouac said give me the mad ones, and I agree. Sometimes they just need to be watered first, a bit of clean fresh air and light should do the rest.

  5. April 10, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    […] What is a GMO? […]

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