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GMO Basics: What You Need to Know

You hear the acronym everywhere, but what does GMO mean, and why should you care?

We’re starting to see more and more awareness about genetically modified foods and the potential hazards. There’s even an organization now that certifies foods that aren’t genetically modified known as the Non-GMO Project. Additionally, there’s a growing movement called Just Label It advocating the labeling of GMOs. But, what are GMOs, and why should they be avoided?

First, the term GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. With a genetically modified food, the genetic makeup of the food is altered in order to reduce the need for herbicides and pesticides. The most commonly genetically modified foods include:

  • Soy
  • Canola
  • Cotton
  • Papaya
  • Corn
  • Sugar beets
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash

While this might seem like a good idea initially, the problem is that genetically modified foods have been linked to cancer and fertility, among other health concerns. Studies done by the EU and Russian National Academy of Sciences believe that the genetic modifications disrupt the DNA in ways that could be harmful. The result is a food that our bodies don’t recognize and don’t know how to process.

The FDA does not require GMO safety testing or even labeling of GMO foods, so many processed foods in the States are genetically modified or contain genetically modified ingredients. Surprisingly, though, GMO foods have been banned in several countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, and others.

Below are some of the top reasons why GMO foods and ingredients should be avoided:

  • No long-term human studies have ever supported GMO safety
  • The World Health Organization only requires a short 90 day testing period to claim that GMOs are safe (and as Dr. Russell Blaylock points out, who has died of smoking cigarettes in 90 days!?)
  • Scientific studies on animals have shown that when fed a diet containing 33% GMO foods, that the animals started developing aggressive cancers, liver failure, and kidney failure
  • Of the animals that were on the GMO diet, 50% of the males and 70% of the females succumbed to an early death
  • Since the introduction of GMO foods, the incidence of cancer and other chronic diseases has increased significantly
  • GMO crops come from companies that have huge financial gains to be had, and their GMO crops are cheaper and more profitable; the creators of GMOs (Monsanto) intimidate and use force when necessary to silence farmers and scientists
  • The most widely used GMO foods are paired with an herbicide (glyphosate) that’s linked to some serious health problems, including DNA damage

GMOs aren’t even needed in the first place, so why would it be necessary to introduce these health risks.

Some of the major health risks associated with genetically modified foods include:

  • Cancer (multiple types)
  • Infertility
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Decreased nutritional value from food, resulting in deficiencies
  • Liver & kidney disease
  • Early death
  • Increased infant mortality

Because GMOs are hidden in over 30,000 food products in the States, avoiding them can be difficult. Here are a few suggestions to help you avoid these foods:

  • Avoid processed foods
  • Choose certified organic as much as possible
  • Avoid the foods that are commonly GMOs, unless organic and non-GMO certified
  • Look for the Certified Non-GMO label

If you want to read more about some of the scientific studies done on GMO foods, read here:

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