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Genetically Engineered and Modified Foods: What You Need to Know

There’s been a lot of uproar lately about the “pink slime” mixture that was used in fast food restaurants and is now being approved for school lunches. While I understand the furor (I’m disgusted, too, and will probably keep this in mind when my boys reach school age), there are other areas of food production that are harmful and frequently overlooked. Take, for instance, genetically modified foods.

There have been a lot of issues raised about genetically engineered foods, and with good reason. When foods are genetically engineered, DNA from one species is forced into another, unrelated species, creating combinations of plants and animals that are unstable and do not occur naturally.  According to Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, these foods are unsafe for human consumption.

In lab trials, the offspring of rats fed genetically modified soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality rates. Not only that, but these rats had lower birth weights than their predecessors and some were unable to reproduce. The effects of GM food also extended to cows and pigs who were fed GM corn—farmers in the United States have reported sterility and fertility issues in these animals.

Thee use of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) is becoming more and more common. For instance, 90% of corn grown in the United States is genetically modified. So chances are, if you have consumed corn this year at all, it’s been genetically engineered (GE). Something even more frightening? Apparently scientists have recently found GE insecticide in corn showing up in the umbilical cords of pregnant women. There is no telling to what extent this is affecting unborn fetuses.

Disturbing Facts About GMOs

  • Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide have been engineered for herbicide tolerance. This means that the use of toxic herbicides has increased about 15 times since GMOs were introduced.
  • Not surprisingly, these GMO crops have yielded “super weeds” and “super bugs.”  A comparison would be how the overuse of antibiotics has produced strains of bacteria and disease that no longer respond to treatment. These super weed and super bugs can only be killed with some of the more toxic poisons, like 4-D, which is a component in Agent Orange.
  • Currently our government regulatory agencies are not tracking GMO foods  for problems, even though they are aware that 50 countries worldwide not only require genetically modified foods to be labeled (something that is not compulsory in the United States), but also have severe restrictions and even bans on GMO food production and sale.
  • The FDA could soon approve the first genetically engineered animal in the United States food supply—genetically engineered salmon.

The fact is, we as consumers have a right to know what we are putting into our bodies. Genetically engineered foods should be labeled as such. As environmental activist Gary Hirshberg has noted, “Labels tell us the fat, calories, and colors in our food, but not if it’s genetically engineered … labels help us make informed decisions about the food we eat and feed our families.”

So, how can we get these foods labeled?  There’s an easy way to tell the FDA:  go to the Just Label It website, and with one click you can let them know that you want to know what you’re consuming.

Amanda Romine Lynch is the Prime Parents’ Club Green Living Contributor. She was forced to re-evaluate her lifestyle choices after her son had a reaction to disposable diapers, and has been finding ways to go green and save green ever since. She is also the author of ANABEL UNRAVELED, which is available on Amazon and its sequel ANABEL DIVIDED. You can find her on Facebook at Facebook, or on Twitter as @thebookprincess.

3 Comments

  1. Tyler

    September 29, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Not quite sure how factual this article is but labeling for GMO is probably a good idea. Here’s a fact…almost every single food in the grocery store is genetically modified or has gmo ingredients. Without GMO the world food supply will decrease substantially and millions of people will starve/be unable to afford food. Critics of GMO never look at the consequences of eliminating GMO fron the food supply.

  2. Amy Pearson

    March 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    American’s are increasingly “going” organic. But the process of living organic isn’t made easy by the system in place. In fact, much of the food labeled organic still contains non-organic by products. The majority of the plastics are made with GE crops, specifically corn.

  3. Prime Parents Club

    March 27, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Thank you for writing this. I was aware of it, but I had no idea the extent–especially the corn. It makes me wonder if I’d tasted REAL corn since I was a child and my parents used to grow it. This is so scary and so important. I’m definitely signing that petition.

    /jackie