Monday, June 15, 2015

Answers to your questions about GMOs

Sometimes, I just assume you all know what I'm talking about when I mention GMOs (which I do on a regular basis!). So I thought it would be a good idea to refresh you a bit on what they are exactly, and why I am so opposed to them. The info I'm sharing today is from a brochure from Non GMO Project Verified.

What are GMOs?

GMO stands for 'genetically modified organisms.' These are plants or animals created through genetic engineering (GE). It's done through a gene splicing technique of biotechnology where the DNA from different species are merged. The results are organisms that cannot occur in nature or traditional crossbreeding (i.e. hybrids).

For the most part, commercial GMOs are created to either produce an insecticide or to survive the direct application of herbicide.

What about safety?

When it comes to consuming genetically modified foods, there are various opinions. Many are based on biased studies done from the very companies set to profit from GMO crops (think Monsanto, Syngenta, etc.). The thing is, 60+ countries worldwide do not believe these foods are safe for consumption. There are strict regulations and/or complete bans on production and sale of GMOs in these countries (Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, for example) However, in the good ol' U. S. of A., the government has approved most GMOs. 

Fortunately, as consumers who care about our health and our families, we have the right to choose non-GMO food. But that brings up the issue:

Why aren't GMOs labeled?

Despite the continual outcry from the public, there are no requirements in the U.S. regarding the labeling of GMOs. In this, as in many cases, what you don't know can hurt you. You can trust, however, that there are no genetically modified organisms in any food labeled 'organic' or with the Non GMO Project Verified label. 

What about the environment and GMOs?

I'm glad you asked. At this point, over 80% of GMOs are engineered for herbicide tolerance. That means the use of products like Roundup and other toxic herbicides has increased dramatically since the introduction of GMOs. Now we have 'super weeds' and 'super bugs.' And, you guessed it, we now have a need for more toxic products to control them. Products like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). 

Here are the facts: 
  • GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture
  • GMOs are developed and sold by the world's biggest chemical companies
  • The long-term impact of GMOs on the environment are a mystery right now
  • Once these GMOs are released into the environment, these lab-created organisms cannot be recalled (kind of reminds you of a horror movie, doesn't it?)
Are most farmers benefiting from GMOs?

Ask a farmer who's been sued by Monsanto or other biotechnology companies because the companies patented seeds have contaminated the farmers fields. Wait... that sounds backwards. Yep. Sure does. Farmers who opt for non-GMO crops and don't buy into the whole GMO scam the government is propagating cannot sue Monsanto for contaminating their crops by cross pollination, etc., but Monsanto can sue them. Makes me want to puke.

Is the produce at local farmers markets safe?

Maybe. Maybe not. I caution you to ask questions about GMOs and Roundup. Move on to the next booth if
  • the farmer pretends to not know what you're talking about
  • the farmer actually does not know what you're talking about
  • the farmer starts to defend GMOs, Monsanto, or the use of Roundup (Yikes! Run!!)
There, that's my little overview on GMOs and some of the reasons I am opposed to them. I'll share some of the health concerns I have in another post.

Happy and healthy eating,


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