What Is A GMO?

Healthy Living With Type 1 Diabetes What Is GMO?Genetically Modified Organism (GMO):

When it comes to food, GMOs or “genetically modified organisms,” 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. All this information can be contributed to the Non-GMO Project, which is an amazing resource for all non-gmo related information. This is also one of the goals of The Organic Diabetic, is to educate fellow type 1 diabetics about GMOs and why we should avoid them in our foods and why we should focus on whole food nutrition. 

High-Risk Crops: (in commercial production; ingredients derived from these must be tested every time prior to use in Non-GMO Project Verified products (as of December 2011):

  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)

Monitored Crops: (those for which suspected or known incidents of contamination have occurred, and those crops which have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination is possible; we test regularly to assess risk, and move to “High-Risk” category for ongoing testing if we see contamination):

  • Beta vulgaris (e.g., chard, table beets)
  • Brassica napa (e.g., rutabaga, Siberian kale)
  • Brassica rapa (e.g., bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnip, rapini, tatsoi)
  • Cucurbita (acorn squash, delicata squash, patty pan)
  • Flax
  • Rice
  • Wheat

Common Ingredients Derived from GMO Risk Crops:

Amino Acids, Aspartame, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (artificial), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Vitamins, Yeast Products.

When shopping for food for you and your family, make it appoint to look for this label on all your products.  Chances are if you do not see this label on your food boxes, you are ingesting genetically modified foods. You and your family deserve better!


Healthy Living With Type 1 Diabetes What Is GMO?

4 thoughts on “What Is A GMO?

  • David McGaughy

    All Insulin seems to be produced by GMO bacteria. How do I avoid GMOs if I’m insulin dependent?

    • Hi David, your absolutely correct. When I wrote this article I was referring to why we should focus on eating organic, whole foods. Its the irony of the entire debate really. I try to avoid GMOs at all costs, yet the one thing that keeps us alive as type 1 diabetics is genetically modified insulin 😀 I know they use to produce animal insulin back in the day and if I remember correctly, that was the only way to avoid GMO based insulin. Thanks for reading the article and I appreciate your comments. Look forward to you chiming in on some others. Take care!


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