What are GMO foods?
GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. It means that the genetic code of a plant, animal or microorganism has been altered by scientists to give them special characteristics, traits or qualities that they don’t have naturally.
How are GMOs made is when scientists take DNA from one species and inject it into another species in the laboratory, which we call trangenesis.
For example, the gene from a fish that lives in very cold seas has been inserted into a strawberry, allowing the fruit to be frost-tolerant.
GMO is not new. For plants, the major areas targeted for genetic improvement include herbicide, insect, and microbial disease resistance, and also improvement in product quality. The first genetically modified plant was produced in 1982, an antibiotic-resistant tobacco plant. This plant was modified for herbicide resistance (source)
There are pros and cons of GMO foods. Although there are advantages of creating GMO crops, we don’t really know whether consuming GMO foods are safe and healthy for us in the long run. So, the safety issue of consuming GMO foods is controversial.
In USA and Canada, GMO foods are not required to be labelled, so consumers don’t really know whether their food has been genetically modified. But in other countries, such as China, Australia and European Union, GMO foods are expected to be labelled (source).
Common GMO Foods
Some of the most common GMO foods include corn, soybean, rapeseed, honey, cotton, alfalfa, canola, sugar beets, rice, tomatos, potatoes and milk.
Safety Of GMO Foods
According to a Geneticist named David Suzuki, he said:
“Any politician or scientist who tells you these products are safe is either very stupid or lying. The hazards of these foods are uncertain. In view of our enormous ignorance, the premature application of biotechnology is downright dangerous.”
In 1998, the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admitted in court saying it has made “no dispositive scientific findings,” about the safety of genetically engineered foods…(source)
The FDA scientist has repeatedly warned that GMO foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. (source)
In fact, there’s not enough research performed on GMOs to make an informed decision on their safety.
But if people are concerned about their health and want to avoid eating GMO foods, then the best way is to choose organic foods and those that have been labelled as non-GMO.
If you don’t know what an organic product is, learn more about it HERE!