What is GMO?

What is GMO?

Of growing concern is the prevalence of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in our food.  The question is GMO safe for us to eat?

GMOs are organisms that have been created through gene splicing and biotechnology, also called genetically engineered (GE) foods.  GMOs are created and cannot occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding.  Most GMOs are bred to withstand heavy pesticides.

According to Occupy Monsanto, Wal-Mart is going to start selling a new form of GMO corn to consumers this summer, and it does not have to bear a label saying it is a genetically modified food.  The corn contains Bi toxin, which is used as a pesticide; it works by rupturing the stomachs of insects that eat it.  And now you might be feeding that product to your child.

While grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are committed to keeping GMO food off of shelves, many other major retailers, including Wal-Mart will continue to sell these products.  Many people eat GMO foods without realizing it because companies are not required to place a label on the package.  While other foods will boast with a “non-GMO” label, it can be difficult to know if a food is GMO or not.  In North America, over 80 percent of foods contain GMOs.

Buying organic does not necessarily mean you are getting non-GMO.  Organic certification does not require GMO testing.  Purchasing foods with the non-GMO certified label is really the only way to ensure the food is not genetically modified.

Common GMOs include soy, corn, cotton, canola, alfalfa, and squash; these ingredients are found in most of our foods.  In countries such as Australia and Japan, GMO foods are banned or placed under significant restrictions.  The long-term effect on the environment and on our health is unknown.  Many cases of allergic reactions to GMO foods points to the case against GMOs, but since they are not regularly tested, it can be difficult to say GMO is bad for our health.

Use the Non-GMO Project’s Search tool to find out if food you are consuming contains GMOs or not.

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Written by: Candice Evans See other articles by Candice Evans
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