What we eat every day, the bread, pies, sodas, even corn on the cob, may look just like 20 years ago. Yet, something profoundly different has happened without our knowledge or consent. Beginning in 1996, genetically modified (GM) foods became available in the U.S.
Are GMOs (genetically modified organisms) safe? Most developed nations do not consider them safe. In 64 countries around the world or about 40 percent of the world population, including Australia, Japan, and all the countries in the European Union, there are strict labeling requirements, significant restrictions, or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs.
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Unfortunately, in the U.S. and Canada, the governments have approved GMOs based on safety studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profited from their sale. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence has connected GMOs with myriad health issues and environmental damage, not to mention violations of farmers' and consumers' rights.
In the U.S. GMOs are in as much as 80 percent of conventional processed foods. Are you aware that your breakfast cereal, processed lunch meats, cookies, cooking oil, condiments, and energy bars are likely to contain one or more GMO ingredients?
The fact is that GMOs have not been proven safe and that long-term health risks have not been adequately investigated. Young, fast-growing children are at the greatest risk from the potential dangers of GM foods. Therefore, it is only prudent that we become informed of what we buy and what we eat, especially when there is yet regulation requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods in North America.
In the following, we will look at what GMOs really are, where to find them, their potential health risks to us and our children, and how to avoid accidentally buying foods that have been genetically engineered.
What Really Are GMOs?
Genetically modified organisms are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. Scientists take the genes from one species and insert them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic.