Although GMO foods have been part of our food supply for over 20 years, the controversy surrounding them has never ceased and is in fact still center stage. Research states that the number of people who oppose GMO is equal to those who praise them. It’s important to be aware of certain facts in order to understand exactly what GMO products are and how they affect your body. Are GMO foods safe?
What is GMO?
GMO stands for genetically modified organisms, which includes genetically modified food. These types of foods have been modified by altering the organism or product’s DNA. The American Association for Advancement of Science sees this as a scientific breakthrough, and the foods produced are also deemed safe for animal consumption.
Are GMO foods safe?
Considering the numerous claims made by biologists who focus on studying the potential risks posed by GMOs to humans and the ecosystem, there is a lack of scientific evidence to prove that GMO products are safe. According to Environmental Science Europe, the products recognized by the FDA have not undergone a rigorous testing and approval process. This is a critical process to verify the vital importance of GMO foods in terms of quality and health benefits. In some studies, GMO-fed rats have shown signs of obesity and biochemical changes in their bodies. The latter are not entirely harmful, but could be signs of toxicity or other problems.
GMO plants are stronger
Due to the damage caused by pollution and climate change, it is impossible to produce sufficient amounts of crops without using herbicides or other solutions that protect plants from various threats. For this reason, some foods are genetically modified in order to grow, such as corns and soybeans. Some other species of plants are grown to resist viruses that have evolved over the past decades, such as the ringspot-resistant papaya in Hawaii.
GMO and Selective Breeding are relatively similar
Some plant species were created by combining the genes of similar plants, resulting in a more exotic and stronger breed. These are made by infusing plants with some virus DNA, either to make them resistant or enhance their qualities.
This can also be achieved through selective breeding, a practice used by farmers and botanists for thousands of years. Foods produced from this process are more likely to be safer, with no adverse effects. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine how your food has been genetically modified.
You can’t determine how much GMO food you consume
Since GMOs are not regulated, it is impossible to identify exactly how much GMO food you consume. However, you can minimize the amount by consuming organic products and avoiding meat, as the majority of livestock are fed with GMO foods.
Even traditional organic farming practices are not totally secure, as some producers may use genetically modified seeds. But, since the produce is not treated with toxic chemicals or other elements, it still qualifies as organic.
There are really no guarantees when it comes to the danger posed by GMO products. It all depends on the degree to which they have been modified. However, GMOs also offer some benefits that are worth mentioning, such as increased food production and resistance to damage.
As GMOs are a controversial topic, it’s advisable to opt for safer organic products whenever possible.