Top 9 foods most likely to be GMOs:
- Animal feed
- Golden rice (contains high amounts of Vit. A, to help prevent malnutrition in impoverished countries, where rice is often the main staple for large populations)
- Sugar beets
Common ingredients from GMOs:
- Ascorbic acid
- Sodium citrate
- Flavorings labeled “natural” or “animal”
- High fructose corn syrup
- Xanthan gum
The World Health Organization is concerned about potential harm to humans due to direct health impact and increased risk of allergic reactions.
Harm to the environment is also a concern, due to the resistant herbicides embedded in GMO crops.
Ongoing studies are still being conducted to determine the impact for consumers of GMOs. Currently in the U.S., these foods are considered safe “until proven otherwise”, and so far food labels do not have to include information regarding food sources.
Benefits of GMOs:
- Drought resistant crops which can help feed the world population
- Pest resistant crops, which can prevent crop losses
- Herbicide tolerant crops, which result in less spraying of toxic chemicals
- Disease resistant crops & cold tolerance for seeding
Concerns about GMOs:
- Unintended harm to other organisms
- Monarch butterflies feed on milkweed plants, and the pollen from GMO corn maybe impacting the milkweed plants, resulting in loss of butterflies food supply
- Reduced effectiveness of pesticides-insects becoming resistant to the pesticides increased allergies in susceptible individuals
In the U.S., three organizations are involved in oversight over genetically modified foods.
- EPA-Environmental protection agency-evaluates GMO plants for environmental safety
- USDA-Department of agriculture-evaluates whether the plants are safe to grow
- FDA-Food and Drug administration-evaluates whether the plants are safe to eat
There are strict limits on the amount of pesticides that can be applied by farmers to crops during growth and production. Regulations regarding GMOs are an ongoing process.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider regarding GMO’s and this short overview is designed to provide you with some basic information to consider as you make more conscious food choices.
To your health!