What are GMOs and why are they getting such a bad rep? Here’s a quick run down on the newest enemy for healthy eaters.
If you asked anyone in the 90’s if they would be excited about genetically modified organisms, you would get an enthusiastic response. After all, during those years, it was unthinkable that anything would be modified genetically. It was a futuristic concept, and many marveled at the thought of it.
But now, genetically modified organisms are getting a bad rap. Many individuals are trying to steer clear of anything that has been genetically modified.
So what happened along the way?
From the 90’s, until the present, why is there a sudden shift in perspective towards GMO’s?
What Exactly are GMO’s?
GMO’s or Genetically Modified Organisms, are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered to improve on its quality. GMO’s were invented to meet consumers’ demands, to be able to feed the world’s population. These organisms were engineered to withstand drought, and thus, produce higher lead and to produce better quality products.
Why? We can’t put it more simply? To make more money! The better the products withstand mother nature, the more money the big corporations make.
The effects of genetically modifying organisms are not natural, and these have caused several individuals to frown upon the practice.
Although alot of countries all0w GMO’s, many countries have been questioning its health effects. First of all, many are worried that since genetically engineered organisms are not created naturally, it might not necessarily be healthy as food.
In fact, some developed countries, including Australia and several countries in Europe, are implementing stricter rules against GMO’s. Their reasoning behind this not only stems from the health disadvantages, but also in terms of how it affects farmers’ and consumers’ rights.
In the US, the selling of GMO’s to consumers has been approved based on studies that benefit GMO’s. These studies were conducted and funded by the companies who are producing genetically modified products. Despite the lax regulations by the government, Americans themselves have taken it upon themselves to choose the healthier option, and avoid GMO’s altogether.
Note: GMO broadly applies to GM Foods, GM Plants, GM Crops, GM Seeds and GM Animals
Let’s be Fair and Analyze the Good and Bad with GM Foods
- GM Crops have greater resistance to pests, herbicide, disease and cold temperatures
- Increases nutrition for the world’s third world countries that suffer from malnutrition
- Decrease costs of pharmaceuticals as these are expensive to provide to third world countries. By providing GM foods it is like injecting the pharmaceuticals in the crops themselves
- Effects on human health are not fully known just yet
- GMO’s may increase allergenic reactions due to unknown chemicals used
- Toxicity of organisms, plants, crops, soil etc
- Pesticides will eventually become resistant and will not be as effective
How Do You Avoid GMO’s?
Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to figure out what products are GMO or contain GMO’s. Sometimes, even the most innocent ingredient, such as sugar, can be a genetically modified. You really cannot know for certain whether the pie you ordered from the diner was made with GMO products.
Not all is lost, though. You may not be certain all the time, but you can definitely avoid eating GMO’s when you carefully pick the items from the supermarket. Plus – we have made your life ALOT easier, we have done the ground work for you and put together a free eBook, which you can download below, of the most common GMO foods which can help you get a kick start the process of avoiding GMO’s.
There are also many other ways to avoid GMO’s, and below are several ways to help you identify them.
First, look at the label. In Europe, due to the stricter rules, manufacturers are required to label GMO products. If, however, you live in the US, you can always pick the products that are labeled 100% organic. It’s not enough that a product is labeled “organic”; you have to make sure that it says 100% organic.
You can also check the list of food items that are usually genetically modified. The top genetically modified food product is Corn (thanks to Monsanto). Perhaps this was one of the first few food items that was genetically modified. Sugar is also a common GMO. Next are soy and dairy products (for more, check our our free eBook below).
At the end of the day it’s your responsibility whether you are ok with consuming GMO foods. Although they have been allowed into our food chain and approved by governments, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe. GMO is definitely worth looking into, it doesn’t look as innocent and safe as it’s advocated.
Also note that a package isn’t going to jump out to you and say ‘I’m GMO’. You need to be aware of the ingredients, plants, foods and animals that have been genetically modified to have any idea.
Personally, I am always of the belief that if something is smacked in your face and labeled as ‘safe’ but you have an inkling of doubt, always look into it.