Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are – as usual – a hot topic in the natural food and natural medicine world. But what are GMO’s and why should the general population be concerned about them?
GMO is most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques. These plants have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides, drought tolerance, pest resistance, ect. For this reason, GMO’s have gained popularity in the farming community.
The down side is the effects that GMO’s have on the human population and other organisms. The dangers associated with eating GM foods are increased allergenicity, increased toxins, carcinogens, the formation of new diseases, antibiotic-resistant diseases and nutritional problems.
Food allergies are on the rise, soy allergies in particular have sky rocketed by 50% in the UK after GM soy was introduced there. Milk from rBGH-treated cows contains an increased amount of the hormone IGF-1, which is one of the highest risk factors associated with breast and prostate cancer. One would believe that before GM foods were FDA approved, several research studies would have proven GM foods to be safe. Unfortunately, the only feeding study done with humans showed that GMOs survived inside the stomach of the people eating GMO food. No follow-up studies were done.
Various feeding studies in animals have resulted in potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy or increased density of the liver, odd shaped cell nuclei and other unexplained anomalies, false pregnancies and higher death rates.
Soy, cotton, canola, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, zucchini and yellow squash are currently commercialized GM crops in the US. Other GM products include: dairy from cows injected with rbGH, food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents, including the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet®), meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed.
I urge all of you to really take a look at what you are eating. 60-70% of the food in the US contains GM ingredients and the FDA currently does not require it to be labled as GMO (although President Obama did make a campaign promise that he would change this). Print out the "Non-GMO Shopping Guide" and do what to can avoid these genetically modified foods.