GMO should stand for Governmentally Modified Options

It actually stands for genetically modified organisms. Technically, all organisms are genetically modified either by natural selection or by farmers cross-breeding or cross-pollinating for optimal products. What I’m referring to is the process of genetic modification by genetic engineers. As in, putting some caterpillar genes in some corn genes to make the plant resistant to caterpillars. Mmm.

Was hungry for corn. Now, not so much.

If you want to know if what you’re buying is a genetically engineered (GE) product, reading the label won’t offer much insight, unfortunately. GMOs aren’t labeled. GE ingredients might or might not be included in your food. “Non-GMO” is labeled, however. According to Mark Bittman, author of “Why Aren’t GMO Foods Labeled?” (food safety and food politics guru), unless your food is labeled “Non-GMO,” it probably contains genetically engineered ingredients. Whole Foods statistics put the prevalence of GMOs in our crops at 93% of soy, 93% of corn, 93% of canola seeds, and 86% of cotton.

Scientific evidence hasn’t yet conclusively proved GMOs are immediately harmful to everyone who eats them. Evidence also hasn’t proven that they’re safe in the long term, either. We do know that you risk of an allergic reaction and eventually adapting the antibiotic-resistant properties of GMO products. Do people know this? Not really. The information isn’t widely circulated.

Truth: Neither the FDA nor the USDA require GMO products to be labeled as such, because, “they don’t want people to think the foods are different.”

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One response

  1. Sam,

    I am mostly vegan. But I do it primarily for environmental reasons. However, I am not totally convinced that it is, in fact, better for the environment than all the time and in every instance. This is mostly due to a lack of information.

    Yes, generally vegetative matter has a smaller carbon footprint than animal products. But if those vegetables are being flown in from Chile, while the lamb is locally grown on a far 100 NW of NYC, which one is really has a smaller footprint? What about the carbon foot print of the pre-prepard vegan food I picked up for lunch at Whole Paycheck?

    I wish our food had to be labelled to show GMO content, and to show carbon cost as well as ingredients and nutritional information. I would like to believe that presented with this information and thus having the tools to make informed choices, more and more people will make the choices that are ultimately better for them and for the planet.

    Thank you for writing this blog. I look forward to your next post.

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