The truth about GMO’s in your food

Did you know that GMO foods have been in Canada for almost 15 years?  And that they have been banned in countries like France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg.  But what is the controversy behind GMOs?  Are they harmful or a tool to help feed the growing population of the world?

Well I’m here to give you some facts.  Scientific facts.  I want you to form your own opinion on what foods you should be supporting with your consumer money each and every time you go to the grocery store or the farmers market.  It is after all the food we eat which will be the food of the future.

Who is behind GMO foods?

monsanto

Monsanto has pioneered the GMO foods, but many other companies have followed in their footsteps.  Products including Roundup Ready Soybean, canola and corn seed are resistant to the pesticide glyphosate.

To date, over 50 GMOs have been approved for production and consumption including cotton, corn, oilseed rape, soybean, sugar beets, and others.

What is the definition of a GMO Food?

According the the World Health Organization  (WHO):

“Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism. Currently available GM foods stem mostly from plants, but in the future foods derived from GM microorganisms or GM animals are likely to be introduced on the market. Most existing genetically modified crops have been developed to improve yield, through the introduction of resistance to plant diseases or of increased tolerance of herbicides.

In the future, genetic modification could be aimed at altering the nutrient content of food, reducing its allergenic potential, or improving the efficiency of food production systems. All GM foods should be assessed before being allowed on the market. FAO/WHO Codex guidelines exist for risk analysis of GM food.”

 Where are GMO Foods being produced and consumed?

GMO food production

gmo graph

(Image from http://worldfoodscience.com/article/brazilian-gmo-regulatory-scenario-and-adoption-agricultural-biotechnology)

GMO food consumption

Did you know that over 80% of processed foods contain GMOs? Yes, here are some examples of food additives derived from GMO crops

-Aspartame

-High Fructose Corn Syrup

-Monosodium glutamate

-Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

-cottonseed oil

-Sucrose

Also, 85% of US corn is GMO, as are 91% of soybeans and 88% of cotton.

When did the science start to show negative side effect related to the consumption of GMO foods?

In the past 10 years, we have been seeing study after study detailing the negative side effect in relation to the consumption of GMO’s

Take, for example, Roundup Ready crops, which have been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate.  As a result of this resistance, glyphosate is sprayed abundantly on the soybeans after planting the seeds, and prior to harvest to act as a dessicant to dry out the crops for easier harvest. Here are some facts:

-This glyphosate has been proven to build up in the plant and that transfers to animals (which consume GMO feed) as well as humans.  In fact, humans with chronic illnesses showed higher levels of glyphosphates in comparison to the healthy population. (see the study here)

-Since glyphosate is used in animal feed, it has been proven to kill beneficial bacteria in the gut of poultry, but encourage the growth of harmful bacteria such as salmonella and clostridia.  It’s not a surprise that we have been seeing increases epidemics of salmonella in poultry houses,  and c difficile in human patients.

-Glyphosate is linked to celiac disease and gluten intolerance, since it inactivates the p450 enzymes in the liver

-Feeding rats 1ppm (parts per million) of glyphosate decreased testosterone levels by 35%

-In human cells, glyphosate causes cell death in three different types of human cells

-In a long term, 2 year study, rats were fed corn that was grown with Roundup Ready corn, and long term effect showed the growth of large unexpected tumors.  Even though, this study was retracted recently, it still might be useful to take a look

*The following image may be disturbing to some audiences.

ratsgmo

(Image from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512005637 )

If you are interested in some more scientific studies, here are some more links to check out:

-Nutritional profile of roundup ready soybeans and conventional soybeans (link)

-Correlation between CYP450 enzyme function and chronic diseases (link)

-Correlation between chromic disease and GMO crops and glyphosate pesticide (link)

-Correlation btwn GMO crops, glyphosate and distruption of the endocrine system (link)

-Correlation btwn GMO crops, glyphosate and teratogenic effects in vertebrates (link)

Why should we think twice about GMO foods?

Ultimately, the production of GMO foods is a business and the ultimate goal is not our health but PROFIT.

For example, Roundup ready products have been engineered to be resistant to pesticides manufactured by the same company.  These seeds are also manufactured as terminator seeds so that they can only be used for one season, so that next growing season, new seeds must be purchased. You can imagine how indebted the farmer becomes to the seed company for years to come.

gmospray

(Image from seppo.net )

I don’t know about you but I don’t want businessmen in charge of my food production.  I don’t want my food to be made on such large scale that we need planes to spray pesticides.

pesticideplane

(Image from http://portside.org/2013-07-09/pesticide-use-spikes-gmo-failure-cripples-corn-belt )

I want my food to come from a small farmer who is making his or her livelihood from keeping a hold on traditional and sustainable small scale farming techniques.

orgfarmer

(Image from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/business/energy-environment/01farm.html?_r=0 )

I want my consumer dollars not to go to multimillion dollar corporations (by supporting GMO products) but to the farmer who is growing organic vegetables and going back to the basics when it comes to food production.  I want my food to come from a local farmer so that I can support the local economy and support the diversification of vegetables and fruits through heirloom varieties and growing methods where they use plants to ward off pests, and grow certain plants together so that they can support and strengthen one another so there is no need for pesticide use.

heirloomveggies

(Image from http://www.justaddgoodstuff.com/heirloom-vegetables/#.VPs6-PnF948)

As you can see I could go on, but I’ll leave you with one final thought.  The only way to take action against GMO’s is by voting with your consumer dollars. The food choices and sources of your food will play a large role in the future of our food. Take control of you and your family’s health by weeding through corporations that misguide through their marketing. Don’t cede control of your health to those who don’t care.

And let’s start to show our appreciation for farmers again.  Did you know that the average age of a farmer in Canada is 55? And that only 1 in 10 of farms are run by someone under the age of 40?  We need to encourage more young people to go into farming, so fresh, organic local food can have a promising future in our country.

See you soon!

Jazmin

 

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Categories: Veggies in the News

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