Genetically modified foods, or genetically modified organisms (GMO'S) are now a very real part of your diet whether you know it or not. If you eat corn, cornmeal, cornstarch, corn oil or other corn based ingredients, soybeans, soy milk, tofu, soybean oil, and other soybean based products, canola oil, cottonseed oil, sugar beets, papaya from Hawaii, and some zucchini, and yellow squash, then genetically modified foods are making up a significant percentage of your overall food consumption.
Over half of all Americans who were polled said that they were not aware that they were ingesting these GMO's and if they knew it, they would not do so. Many even expressed shock over the fact that they were not the slightest bit aware that they had been ingesting this very questionable and probably downright unhealthy stuff. The simple reason that we were not aware is because in the USA manufacturers and producers of such (food?) Are not required to let us know that the food has actually been altered at the level of the DNA. In contrast, many other countries demand that GM foods be clearly labeled as such.
Genetically modified foods are produced by inserting genes from some other species into the very DNA of the food. Almost two thirds of all products on the shelves of your local grocer contain at least one element that has been genetically engineered (altered). When engineers manipulate food crops in order to make them produce their own insecticide, or make them resistant to chemical herbicides that kill other plants, a genetically modified organism which would never occur in nature is created.
The question is: Are these GMO foods safe for human consumption? The common sense answer to that question as far as this writer is concerned is NO. At the very best, it should be noted that nobody has any idea as to the potential health problems associated with eating such food. Despite many warnings of health dangers from its own scientists, the US Food and Drug Administration decided to allow genetically modified foods into the marketplace without labeling or safety testing. The genetically modified seeds that are a product of such manipulation are now planted commercially so that at this writing the majority of the soybeans, corn, cottonseed (oil), and canola (oil) that you buy are actually genetically modified, and you would have no way of knowing which products are and which ones aren't since there is no law that requires that they be labeled as such.
Studies conducted on rats have produced evidence that should alarm consumers as to the possible dangers associated with GM food. Rats which were fed genetically modified corn were compared to their parents who had been fed non-genetically modified corn. Rats that had been fed the GM food produced signs of kidney and liver problems, as well as problems associated with the heart and spleen. The parents who were not fed the GM food did not seem to have any significant rate of problems in these areas. Other studies conducted on test rats which were fed GM food have produced evidence of various health related problems. At this juncture we really can't tell all of the health related problems that these foods might cause, since we ourselves are the rats in which the experiments are being conducted.
In my personal opinion, apart from mounting evidence that we have been heading down a very slippery slope, is the innate sense that is resident in me that anytime scientists alter a God given resource such as food, that this manipulation carries with it a host of problems. I personally am fully persuaded that a Creator God made all things perfectly, but suppose you are one who believes that all things have evolved naturally, then even if that were true, scientist have no business altering that which nature has produced. In my opinion and based on my firm beliefs, scientists certainly cannot now, nor will they ever improve on God's creation and we have no business manipulating the food we eat at the level of DNA. Certainly from a health perspective nothing good can come of this.
Steps To Avoid GMO's
1. Only buy products labeled 100% organic, or products which are certified organic since these products cannot knowingly contain any GMO ingredients.
2. Find products that carry a "Non-GMO Project Seal."
3. Avoid products such as corn and corn based products, soy beans and soy based products, canola (oil), cottonseed (oil), sugar beets, Hawaiian Papaya, zucchini and yellow squash if they do not boast the 100% organic label or do not carry the NON-GMO Project Seal.
4. Do not consume dairy products from cows injected with bovine growth hormone.
In the end it is up to individual consumers to recognize this dangerous problem and take precautions to insure that they and their families are not placed at risk by this genetic engineering of our food supply. It only takes a small percentage of people who refuse to buy genetically modified foods to effect a change at the level of the largest food companies. When major food business begins to see that offering GMO's does not pay, they will begin to pull these dangerous foods off of the shelves, or at least begin to clearly label foods that have been thus modified.
Since there is absolutely no regulation in place regarding the disclosure of GMO's in the marketplace, nor any regulation regarding their sale, we as consumers must take the initiative and effect a radical change in big food business as usual. Greed and the bottom line will continue to be the only concern of major food companies and the government is historically very easy to buy off, so your health and the health of your family will continue to be the least of their worries. By realizing the sad truth that big food business and the government are willing to sell your health for their gain, we must stand up and say NO to genetically modified food in the marketplace. Make your voice heard by refusing to buy the above listed products if they are not clearly labeled organic or if they are not carrying the Non-GMO Project Seal. We must stand together and stop this madness before it progresses even further. Please do your part and make your voice heard.