Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) refers to food which has undergone DNA alterations using biotechnology. When referring to genetically modified food, you may also hear the terms GMO, GM, or genetically engineered thrown around.
This is a rather important topic in of itself, and so you will find an entire page (series) on our home page, or you can read the page here(link). For that reason, GMO and it’s effects on food will only be touched on briefly on this page, but the information is still extremely important.
GMO foods suffer significant restrictions or total bans in countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all countries in the European Union. Why? They simply are not proven to be safe. Then why might the US still not only allow GMO’s, but also, in many cases, support them? Good question. In short, the approval of GMO’s was based primarily on studies conducted by companies which have created the GMO’s, and therefore reap massive profits.
So what effects might GMO’s have on our bodies, the way we grow food, and the environment? Genetically modified foods may cause or contribute to the following problems:
- Lung damage
- Various cancers
- Seedless crops, causing farmers to buy new seeds instead of using the seeds from their other crops
- Damaged organs
- Suppressed immune system
- Inhibited milk production from cows
- An increased mortality rate
- Uncontrollable cross-pollination of GM seeds from wind, birds, and insects. This “contaminates” crops and fields which many farmers simply do not want.
I know it’s been said a couple times now that organic food does not allow for GMO’s, but that’s only 99.1% true, and here’s why. In the United States, although the National Organic Program prohibits GMO’s in organics, there are no methods to prohibit GMO contamination. I used 99.1% because there will be at least a little bit of contamination. But 99.1% was really used because the EU Agricultural Ministers deemed even organic food the allowance of 0.9% GMO presence.