Are You Eating Real Food or GMO’s?
If you haven’t heard of GMO’s you must be living on a private island. If so, good for you!!! Perhaps you’ve seen this on food packaging and wondered what it means?
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. An organism whose genetic material has been modified or altered, especially through genetic engineering techniques. In other words, genes from one organism are introduced into another.
While Nature and animal breeders have been doing this for centuries, and we now have cattle that grow more quickly, with larger muscles (meat), cats with no hair (Sphynx) that are none allergenic, albeit not too soft and cuddly, and dogs that have a very specific appearance like the adorable Goldendoodle and the English Bulldog. These attributes are not without problems. English Bulldogs have several genetic medical problems. But that is a topic for another post.
In 1983, scientists at two universities and the seed giant Monsanto had figured how to splice genes from one species into another. This has made certain crops such as corn and soybean, drought, insect, and disease resistant, and provides higher yield. Unarguably good traits. Farmers in developed and developing countries can grow more food and feed more people. In addition, they can use less weed killer, (herbicides) and insecticides.
So what’s the problem?
In 2003, the Grocery Manufacturers of America estimated that 70 – 75% of all processed foods contain a GMO ingredient. That was 13 years ago, what’s the percentage now? The thing is, gene splicing entered the food industry in the early 1990’s so we’ve only been eating products with these ingredients for about 25 years. It takes about 8–12 years for cancer to grow to a size of a lump and be detected. Cancer has reached an epidemic. The American Cancer Society says that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will have cancer in their life. I’m not saying this causes cancer, but is it just coincidence?
GMO genes of concern
The two main organisms of concern are Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt, and Glyphosate.
Bt is a bacterium present in the soil. It is used as a natural “biologic pesticide,” spliced into the DNA of crops it means farmers can use less pesticide. When the insect eats say GMO corn, it paralyzes their digestive tract and they starve to death. Although it is said to be species-specific, bees pollinate the crops, if they ingest Bt, could it be responsible for the huge loss of honey bees? What might it do to us?
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in herbicides like Round Up. In fact, Monsanto’s DNA altered seed is named “Round-Up Ready”. Farmers can use less Round-Up on these crops to kill weeds but not the crops. Glyphosate kills all plant forms by interfering with certain amino acids necessary for plant life.
Again, how might this affect us?
Amino acids build proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of life. Glyphosate, in particular, is a hormone disruptor. It changes our hormones. Have you noticed how girls are maturing earlier? These crops are not only used to feed humans but livestock as well. Our meat contains glyphosate too, plus growth hormones. Yikes!
But the FDA tests our foods, right?
Tests are done using rats, but rats have a lifespan of 2 -4 years. Thank God because look what happens to rats fed GMO corn.
Glyphosate and cancer?
The World Health Organization in February 2016 declared glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. Monsanto says probable doesn’t mean it does.
What to believe?
Personally, I figure why chance more exposure, since I have already been ingesting GMOs for the past 20 years, I’m doing my best to eat Organic.
Here’s a list of current GMO crops according to Wikipedia.
Alfalfa, cotton, canola, corn, (which includes animal feed and high fructose corn syrup), eggplant, some melons, papaya, some potatoes, soybean, squash, sugar beets, sugar cane, and tobacco
To help, look for this labels like these on your food.
But remember there is no regulation stating that food producers must label foods containing GMOs, or be totally natural. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you probably shouldn’t eat it.