Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed there has been quite a debate over GMO vs Non-GMO. If you’re like many Americans, you’re probably asking yourself: what is a GMO? And WHY do I care if it’s in my food? Well stay put, dear friend, we’ll dive into this information together.
So… what does GMO mean?
First off, GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism.
GMO: “an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there.”
Here’s another definition:
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
“Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology”, sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering”. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between nonrelated species. Foods produced from or using GM organisms are often referred to as GM foods.”
A lot of people have been concerned about the safety of GM foods, including the American Academy of Environmental medicine, who claims this definition of GMOs:
“GMOs are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding”
Red flag words: “splicing”, “experimental”, “unstable”
SPLICING?! You’re doing what to my food? I don’t know about you, but the above words should NOT have anything to do with food. Isn’t food supposed to be stable? What does unstable mean? Will it spontaneously combust while I’m making dinner? What happens if my corn on the cob goes rogue!?
What about Unhealthy Consequences?
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) cites that in animal studies, GMOs show organ damage, gastrointestinal problems, growth of tumors, immune system disorders, accelerated aging (uh, no thanks) and infertility. (So.. uh.. Do any of those things sound like fun to you?) These are just a few of the potential side effects from GMOs and so far, they’re heavy hitters…but are these claims true?
Not according to this article in Forbes (from way back in 2014!) Debate about GMO safety is OVER . To summarize, the article discusses the claims made by the AAEM, and cites a recent comprehensive study done that compared the health of farm animals from before GM feed was introduced into the diet to 26 years later when GM feed was 90%+ of the animal feed regimen. The study found there was no significant difference that could be attributed to the GM feed.
What about Herbicides?
Some GM plants are made to tolerate disease and most herbicides. Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” seeds can tolerate the herbicide Round Up. It was developed so that farmers could spray their crops to get rid of weeds without damaging the crops.
If you’re concerned about chemical herbicide residue on your produce, we suggest buying organic.
Want more information?
For non-biased information about GMOs, visit the World Health Organization
You can see an alternate viewpoint here at The Non-GMO Project .
The best way to avoid GM foods is to look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal on foods and products. We are happy to announce that our ENTIRE LINE of BioTerra Herbs herbal supplements have that much sought after seal and we are GMO free! (BOOM!) We love that The Non-GMO Project is gaining so much publicity and more companies are doing what they can to source GMO free ingredients. Whether you are for or against GM foods and their regulation, we ALL have the right to KNOW what is in our foods. By labeling GMOs, we are giving ourselves the power to purchase what we want our families to consume.
The New York Times took a poll of Americans and found that 3 out of 4 Americans are worried about the health risks that GMOs bring.
There have been many debates for both sides of the GM foods debate. Many companies argue that it can help cure famine in our world by producing drought-resistant crops with higher yield, yet others claim these have not been produced. We’ll let you be the judge of that.
What matters, especially when talking about our food supply …the very thing that keeps us alive, the most important part of life on Earth… is quality and sustainability.
Find all our products on The Non-GMO Project website, here!