To Avoid or Not To Avoid Genetically Modified Organisms GMO’s For Health

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To Avoid or Not To Avoid Genetically Modified Organisms GMO’s For Health

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It can be difficult to separate fact from fiction when it comes to research about GMOs. GMOs are genetically modified organisms. Some scientists claim that this type of engineering is no different from the types of engineering that’s always been done with hybrid production by farmers to breed for the best crops. But that’s not entirely true. GMOs are different.

To date there isn’t actually that much research to show whether or not GMO crops are harmful to humans. However, as time moves forward, more questions are being raised. What is clear is that GMO crops are harmful to farmers and the environment. It is becoming more than likely that a harmful effect from consumption will be proven in the future.

GMOs are bred to have pest control properties, be antibiotic resistant, and be resistant to herbicides. They use many different methods to come up with these crops, which calls into question the safety of them.

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What’s more, very little research has been done by the FDA, the USDA or any government entity that is supposed to keep our food supply safe. It’s hard to trust research completed by the biotech companies because they have been shown to falsify information. The truth is most developed nations don’t believe GMOs are safe, and that has to mean something when you are considering putting that food on your table for your family to ingest.

If most countries are questioning the safety of GMOs and some are even outlawing GMOs, then something may be wrong. There are issues with environmental damage, economic consequences to farmers, and some studies show potential medical issues associated with the ingestion of GMO crops. The rational person will come to the conclusion that if just one of these are true, we should avoid GMOs.

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HARTFORD, CT; 12/12/2012: Sage Coggins, 4, sits on her father Aaron Goggins during a protest rally outside the Legislative Office Building in Hartford calling for labeling foods that have been genetically modified. A bill to require food producers to label their products was brought to the floor of the House of Representatives last year. That bill was never voted on.

Medical Risks

The US Department of Agriculture doesn’t test the effects of GMO crops on animals or humans, or even other plants. To date, there is very little research being done by recognized bodies to prove or disprove medical problems of GMO crops.

However, the Institute for Responsible Technology and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine do not think they are safe and have stated that, “Animal studies indicate serious risks with ingesting GM foods.” Those risks include immune disorders, insulin issues, and other health problems.

Economic Risks

Planting and growing GMO crops can result in cross-pollination with non-GMO crops. Since the biotech companies own intellectual property on their creations, there could potentially come a time where no farmer can grow any crops from their own seeds. They’ll have to purchase seeds each year from the biotech company which can become quite pricey. This problem is thought to increase food insecurity among all nations.

Environmental Risks

Already we have seen the effects of GMO crops on the environment. Bred to withstand enormous amounts of herbicides and pesticides, farmers no longer tend to their crops the way they used to by weeding and hands on-care in the case of pests. Now they throw chemicals on them, and hope for the best. This causes pollution to our environment and destroys the soil, and pollutes water bodies causing untold environmental damage.

Studies Showing Problems with GMOs

The fact is, many pests are adapting to the GMO crops anyway. This is found with Roundup-resistant weeds, and worms that have evolved to eat corn that has been engineered to produce their own pesticide to kill the worms. In addition, studies have shown that mice which ate GMO crops produced sickly and smaller babies. Goats have died in India after eating GMO cotton plants, GM soy is affecting the fertility of lab rats, allergies in humans to soy have increased, and lab rats fed GM potatoes have developed cancer.

Due to the poor regulation of GMOs, it’s important for the public to try to avoid GMOs because we really don’t know the effects that these crops can have long term medically, environmentally and economically. When you consider the fact that GM crops do not have higher yields than organic crops, it seems a waste to continue supporting GM crops until we know more.

Today, most corn, soy, and cottonseed and their by-products like high-fructose corn syrup, soy milk, edamame and cottonseed oil are also mostly GMO. In addition, most sugar is GMO. Unless you buy certified organic cane sugar, it’s GMO. Disturbingly, most Hawaiian papayas are also GMO. What’s more, no labelling is required to differentiate GMO crops from other crops in the US.

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Due to GMO crops being so prevalent, it can be difficult to avoid GMOs. But it’s not impossible.

Here are 9 simple ways to avoid GMO’s

1. Buy USDA Certified Organic – The requirements to receive the certified organic label means that no GMO products were used in the production or post-production of the item. This is completely voluntary but without this seal there is no real guarantee that something is organic even if they say it is.

2. Buy non-GMO Project Verified – This is a third-party completely voluntary certification. A company which is not organic but sources non-GMO ingredients, and does not intentionally use GMO ingredients, can prove their dedication by submitting to third-party verification at their own expense.

3. Avoid processed food – Processed food has a high level of GMOs and GMO crop by-products like high-fructose corn syrup. If you avoid processed foods, you can avoid a lot of GMO products – especially corn, soy and their by-products. Plus, by simply avoiding processed foods you’ll be healthier in other ways as well.

4. Grow your own food – It doesn’t take much yard to grow your own organic crops. You can use containers on a patio, practice square foot gardening in a small patch of yard, and even grow some crops inside with grow lights. Growing a small garden doesn’t take much effort and can save money and ensure non-GMO production.

5. Eat plant based foods – By focusing on a plant-based diet, and buying organic, you can virtually eliminate any issues with GMOs invading your food. Corn, papaya, edamame, zucchini and yellow squash are the most likely crops to be GMO, but if you consume their organic version, you’ll be fine.

6. Source animal products carefully – You can find organic and Non-GMO Project Verified milk, cheese, eggs, meat and fish. It will be more costly, but it will be better for your family if you do choose to eat animal products. Remember “grass fed” doesn’t mean non-GMO; it must be Certified Organic or carry the Non-GMO Project Verified label.

7. Eat frozen vegetables and legumes – Believe it or not, frozen legumes and vegetables are great options. They are often frozen within hours of picking and are often really fresher than their non-frozen counterparts on the shelf. Again, read the label and choose organic.

8. Choose dry whole grains and legumes – To cook for your family, avoid non organic corn and soy products and choose dry beans, grains, nuts and seeds without the additives that can be found in canned processed foods or sugar coated versions.

9. Eat natural foods – Close to 80 percent of all processed foods and conventionally grown crops in the USA contain or were produced from GMOs. By eating organic, reading labels, and eating as close to nature as possible you can avoid most GMOs.

Remember that food producers are not required to provide labelling on food that tells you whether or not GMOs are present. Assume they are GMO unless they’ve gone through the expense and trouble to prove otherwise with USDA Certified Organic labelling or by obtaining the Non-GMO Project Verified seal.

We as consumers have an influence on industries by what we choose to consume. By choosing to avoid GMOs, you send a message to the corporations to stop producing GMOs because they are not wanted. This will take time, but one consumer after another, we can hopefully influence the government to at least label GMOs in our food sources. GMOs do not increase crop yields over organic farming practices, and produce no real economic benefit over organic farming methods.

The only benefit that GMOs carry is for the biotech companies which produce them because they hold intellectual property over the seeds and the crops produced by the seeds.

Read my article on the benefits of going vegan HERE

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6 Comments

  • E. M. Lores, Ph.D.

    Reply Reply January 25, 2016

    I am not a fan of grains in general, GMO or not, but to date, after decades and billions of people eating GMOs, there is not one confirmed case of human health being harmed by GMOs. There is a confirmed case of millions of kids being killed by anti GMO movement that is preventing golden rice from getting to kids in third world countries that are dying from lack of vitamin A.

  • Nick

    Reply Reply July 8, 2016

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