Whether you know it or not, there is a chance that you are eating GMO food every day. According to the grocery manufacturer’s association, 70 to 80 percent of the food we eat contains genetically modified ingredients or organisms, created by merging DNA from different species to create a plant, animal or organism that cannot be produced naturally through cross breeding. GMO foods are typically engineered to resist adverse growing conditions, last longer on the shelf and taste better. The process also increases yield, which translates to vast economic gains for farmers, but what about the consumers? Short-term animal findings suggest negative impacts on multiple organs. As if that is not bad enough, long term studies on the effect of GM food on human health are yet to be conducted.
Here are the top 5 interesting facts about GMOs you need to know:
1. GMO regulations are abysmally inadequate
Since the early 90s when these kinds of foods began flooding the US market, the need for field testing in the United States has soared to unprecedented levels. Despite this, the USDA has been loosely enforcing non-stringent rules for biotech companies engaged in test planting. The most shocking fact is that there are only 130 GMO inspectors spread across all 50 states. As a result, thousands of safety breaches have occurred, with the offending companies getting away with a small fine or a warning.
2. Labeling is being suppressed
As the public becomes more interested in knowing the danger of consuming GM foods, the megalithic biotech corporations and their lobbies who are keen to keep them on the market have been successfully buying off politicians. They do not want consumers to make informed choices so they are keen to suppressed attempts to institute laws that require labeling of GMO products. You have more to worry about; the labeling suppressing campaign is being carried out by giant companies that have enormous influence on the market. These include:
- Coca Cola
- General Mills
It is these companies that produce the highest amounts of process foods you are most likely to buy.
3. It is not limited to plants
Plants are what come to the mind when people think of GMO, but animals are also being modified. For instance, the bovine growth hormone given to cows to increase yields is actually a product of genetic modification. Another example is the Aqua Advantage salmon that has been altered to grow bigger. Since genetic modification is an imprecise science, the properties of the animals can change in unforeseen ways to cause health and environmental problems.
4. The genetic effect is still unknown
Biotech companies spend lots of resources researching the effects of introducing foreign genes to crops; very little research has been conducted on the genetic effects on humans. The effect that widespread consumption will have on the human race is still unknown.
5. Genetic modification does not necessarily lead to larger harvests
It turns out that GMO crop yields are not as promising as some projections implied. In some instanced, they have been out -yielded by their non-GMO counterparts. This negates one of the main arguments in favor of GMOs.
The bottom-line is that while GMO foods may taste better, they are not natural and are yet to be proven to be safe. It is important to labels to be used to inform consumers that what they are purchasing has been genetically modified.