GMOs have been all over the news lately, the good, the bad and the ugly. But are GMOs really that unsafe for you? Lets take a look! GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” also know as 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.
Types Of Genetically Modified Food:
GMOs exist with certain crops such as alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, rice, soybean, sugar beet, summer squash, and tobacco. Currently, 95% of U.S. soybean and 85% of U.S. corn is genetically modified. The two most common traits genetically engineered into plants are herbicide tolerance (glyphosate or glufosinate ammonium herbicide) and insect resistance (i.e. to insects such as European corn borer, corn root-worm black cutworm and fall armyworm), although work on developing other traits such as drought tolerance have received equivalent emphasis in recent years.
GMOs Effects On The Body:
Sufficient long-term studies have not been conducted to prove how GMOs in food affect human beings. However, GMOs present a danger for people who have allergies. Because GMOs are not always labeled, a person who is highly allergic to peanuts, for example, could accidentally and unknowingly eat a peanut gene hidden in another food, which could be enough to cause a reaction. There have also been cases when people had severe reactions to specific types of GMOs found in rice and soy beans.
Decrease Nutritional Value:
GMOs – fruits and vegetables are designed for optimal superficial traits of the produce. The danger, however, is that the emphasis in this process is not directed at freshness or nutritional content of the fruit. For this reason, it is easy for consumers to be deceived by fresh-looking genetically modified produce which in reality has been on the shelf for days and has lost much of its original flavor and nutritional value.
GMOs & The Environment:
What about the environment? Another danger of using GMOs in agriculture is that it is impossible to contain them in one place, and once they are introduced into the local flora they have the chance to out compete them and choke out many local plant varieties. Considering that we know little about the uses and applications of many botanicals around us, this is a potential ecological disaster. Along the same lines, any GMOs that are released or any virus or bacteria results from their use will be impossible to recall or combat.
The best way to avoid GMOs is to choose organic. By law, organic products must be made and produced without the use of genetic engineering. That is why at every phase in the production process, organic processors and producers are required to take steps to make sure that you and your family are getting all the benefits you need and want and none of the things you don’t—including GMOs. That means not planting or treating land on which organic food and fiber is grown with prohibited substances (including GMOs); creating buffer zones to prevent contact between organic and non-organic crops; cleaning machinery to prevent contact between organic and non-organic items and minimize the risk of contamination; and storing organic and non-organic ingredients separately to ensure that the organic products have as little risk as possible of containing GMOs. In short, junk GMOs!
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