Since the early 1990’s GMO seeds were introduced mainly in corn. But now more than twenty years later all the corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, cotton planted in the US are 90% or better GMO. And almost all of our livestock, poultry, and farmed fish are fed GMO grains. Which makes all of our meats, dairy and other byproducts contain GMO’s. And since the US has no regulation on labeling food products that contain GMO’s it’s nearly impossible to know what you are eating.
GMOs (or “genetically modified organisms”) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE.
Ok, that’s the definition. But what is it and how does it affect me? In other terms you may have heard of roundup ready crops. (A side note on roundup more on a later post.) Most likely corn and soybeans. These seeds have been genetically modified to, first, resist the roundup when it is sprayed on it. Second, resist insects when they start to eat it. The most common way an insect is killed when it eats GE corn is their gut explodes. The seeds contain a toxin when the insect eats it their stomachs explode. You might say, that is a good way of getting rid of the insects, right? But what effect does this have on me when I eat some corn? The short answer is I don’t know. All testing done in the US is by FDA and the seed manufactures which show everything is just fine and dandy using GMO seed. Some overseas and independent testing has been done and some say there is proof of gut problems, allergies, and gluten disorders in humans from eating GE food. More than 26 countries have banned GMO foods or required labeling to specify that the product contains GMO’s. The US in the only industrialized nation to not require any restrictions or labeling on GMO grains or food products. In the US more than 70% of all packaged food contains GMO’s in some form.
To me the biggest concern I have is choice. Take corn for instance, cross pollination of GE corn and Non GE corn can take place up to 4 - 500 yds. away. And when it does you no longer have Non GE corn. So if in the future more concrete evidence is revealed to prove GE has major health consequences that genie is nearly impossible to put back in the bottle.
I’m selective about the food I eat and try to steer clear of GMO’s if possible. And it’s usually is at a higher cost to do that. If those who are out there don’t mind GE food and just want to eat whatever is the cheapest, that’s ok too. As consumers we should keep in mind that choice is a Good thing. We can’t fall asleep and just assume the government and major GE companies have our best interest in mind when it comes to our food. We need to educate ourselves on the food we buy to know what we’re eating and where it came from.