Are There Genetically Modified Organisms In Your Food?
Posted on Oct 15 2011 at 03:16:49 PM in Diet & Nutrition
Genetically modified organisms [GMOs] are created when scientists manipulate DNA to create genetically engineered foods. The Gala Apple, for example, is the result of the Kid’s Orange-Red apple merging with the Golden Delicious apple. Scientists have been manipulating the DNA within the same species for years but now biotechnology allows them to genetically engineer and cross-breed different species. There has been a growing concern surrounding the practice. GMOs are yet another ingredient that is largely unregulated by the FDA.
Chances are, many of the foods in your pantry are genetically engineered because up to 80% of processed food in the U.S. contain genetically engineered ingredients. At least 85% of corn, canola and sugar beets are grown from GMO seeds and 94% of the soy beans in the U.S. are genetically engineered. Not only are there no set safety standards when it comes to GMOs but manufacturers are not required to disclose whether or not their products contain them. Hopefully that will change soon because The Environmental Working Group [EWG] joined forces with 300 partners to launch the Just Label It campaign. They've issued a legal petition to urge the FDA to require labeling of foods that are genetically altered. Many other countries, even China, require labeling of GMO food.
Like any controversial topic, there are strong opinions. Some say GMOs are not harmful, others go so far as to say they make foods more nutritious and could help the world hunger crisis. Those opposing the use of GMOs believe that there are risks including antibiotic resistance, endocrine disruption, reproductive disorders, organ damage, allergen exposure and accelerated aging. There are no long term studies on the effects of GMOs but there is some scientific evidence backing these concerns. If you're trying to avoid GMOs go organic. The USDA certification of organic foods ensure that they are not bio-engineered in any way. Further research is needed but the petition is a good idea because either way, whether GMOs threaten our health and the environment or not, we do have the right to know if they are in the foods we buy.