Jul 182020
What Is The Problem With GMO Foods
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Welcome to my 'What is the Promblem with GMO Foods' post!

First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Genetic Engineering and biotechnology have allowed scientists to produce plants based on genetically modified organisms “GMOs.”

The purpose of GMO foods is to induce more taste, enhance nutritious properties, etc. However, the safety of GMO foods is a hot topic these days as many people show concern over their safety. This is quite a controversial topic.

This article will answer all the questions you may have about GMO foods and if there is anything further you would like to know, just reach out in the space at the bottom. 

As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives. 

These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green. 

Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green! 

What are GMO Foods? 

This engineering process creates combinations of plant, animal, bacterial, and virus genes that do not occur naturally. these combinations do not occur through traditional crossbreeding methods.

Here is an example of how GMOs are produced: the nucleus of a tomato cell would be extracted, from which the chromosomes inside the nucleus (which are how the DNA is organized) would be extracted and, finally, the DNA of the original tomato would be obtained.

Also, this same process would be carried out with a plant that would be the donor of the transgenic DNA (for example a cactus, which supports droughts very well).

A genetically modified organism, or GMO, could be a variety of different products including a plant, animal, microorganism, or another organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using gene-splicing or transgenic technology.

What are Non-GMO Foods?

For a product to be verified as being Non-GMO, its inputs must be evaluated for compliance with the Non-GMO Project standards, which categorizes inputs into three risk levels.

These risk categories are high, low, no risk, and monitored levels of risk. Though there are only several GM crops that are widely available, they're commodity crops that always get further processed into a spread of ingredients.

The genetic modification affects many of the products we consume each day today. The amount of GMOs available for commercial use grows every year. At the same time, the Non-GMO Project works diligently to provide the foremost accurate, up-to-date standards for non-GMO verification.

Most organically grown foods are Non-GMO.

The Benefits of GMOs

Manufacturers use genetic modification to offer foods desirable traits. For instance, they need to design two new sorts of apples that turn less brown when cut or bruised.


The main argument for GMO usually involves making crops more immune to diseases as they grow. Manufacturers try to engineer products to be more nutritious or tolerant of herbicides.

Crop protection is the main rationale behind this sort of genetic modification. Plants that are more immune to diseases spread by insects or viruses end in higher yields for farmers and a more attractive product. This benefits the business.

Genetically modification also can increase the nutritional value or enhance flavor. All of those factors contribute to lower costs for the buyer and business owner. They will also make sure that more people have access to food.

Fresh-Vegetables-on-Display

Are GMOs Safe?

Scientists don’t know much about the safety and long-term effects of GMO foods because this is a relatively new practice. Although the research conducted so far is limited, it is being found that there are health problems associated with genetically modified foods.

It surprises me to see many advocates motivating people to consume these foods when there is research available. New research is being released all the time too.

To understand if they are safe we need to first understand how GMO works. All living organisms have DNA as a molecule of genetic information, e.g. bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. Although GM foods are genetically modified organisms (GMOs), not all GMOs are transgenic.

Animals or plants that are not modified are known as wild species. Transgenic animals are widely used in scientific research or drug production. Its use for mass consumption, agriculture or commerce purposes is reduced. In 2016, the marketing of genetically modified salmon began.

As in all technological advances, its application can be distorted for harmful purposes. For this, there are a series of controls and regulatory bodies responsible for approving or not approving the use of such foods.

Impacts on Health

They Cause Allergic Reactions

One of the major concerns of the consumption of GMO foods is their potential allergenic effect. However, the possibility of a GMO food-producing allergy is the same as any other food. Therefore, a person allergic to strawberries or peanuts should be careful and avoid consuming GMO food that has some compound from these foods.

Another criticism of transgenic foods about health is that mutations are created in those who consume the product. This has also been shown to be impossible. Many people say that they suffer from allergic reactions after consuming GMO foods. The primary reason could be the inclusion of genes from an allergen in these foods.

According to the World Health Organisation WHO, genetic engineers need to use genes or DNA snippets from allergens to avoid the problem of allergic reactions. Some research studies have shown that GMO foods can cause allergic reactions in people.

GMO's may Cause Cancer

According to the American Cancer society, when you consume GMO foods, they may increase the chances of developing cancer. Since cancer is the unnecessary growth of cells caused by DNA mutations, it is not safe to introduce new genes.

Although there is no solid evidence that GMOs can cause cancer – however, for safety concerns, it is best to avoid consuming GMOs until appropriate research is conducted by the high-profile scientific authorities.

Lead to Antibacterial Resistance

Although genetic modification can increase the ability of plants or crops to resist against crop-based diseases and become more tolerant of herbicides, the problem comes when people start consuming them – it causes deterioration of the immune system – especially, the antibacterial mechanism of the body.

When you consume GMO foods, it may transfer the genes from food to the cells in the gut. For instance, they exist in GMO foods, which can make your body resistant to antibiotics. Resistance to antibiotics is now becoming a global health issue, which is increasingly developing all around the world – and research shows that many people are now resistant to antibiotic medicines.

According to the American Psychological Association, the risk of gene transfer is relatively low but to be on the safe side; people should avoid consuming GMO foods.

Outcrossing

Outcrossing refers to the danger of genes from certain GMO plants mixing with those of conventional crops. There are reports of low levels of GMO crops approved as animal feed or for industrial use being found in food meant for human consumption.

Couple-Sitting-In-Meadow

Potential Environmental Consequences

Organizations that oppose the spread of transgenic foods express that genetically modified plants and animals can lead to environmental damage.

Biodiversity Impact

Many detractors of genetically modified organisms maintain that they will have the advantage of growth and development, causing the loss of wild species. The use of protein may cause the disappearance of insect species.

The Dependency on Biotechnological Monopolies

The production of genetically modified plants and animals are mostly carried out by large companies. They seek their economic benefit and have strategies so that farmers have no choice but to depend on them.

For example, many of the seeds that they are forced to do not reproduce. This means that they can not save their seeds for the next crop, spending unnecessarily for each growing season.

How to Identify GMO Foods

In the U.S., there are no regulations stating foods derived from GMOs need to be labeled stating so. This is often because these foods must meet equivalent safety standards that apply to all or any FDA-regulated products

There is no need for extra regulation. However, I believe that these regulations are outdated and benefit businesses more than the consumer.

The FDA has determined that GMO food should be labeled intrinsically if it's “materially different” to its conventional counterpart. For example:

  • GMO vegetable oil with more dodecanoic acid than traditional vegetable oil is going to be labeled “laurate canola oil”
  • a GMO soyabean oil with more monounsaturated fatty acid than non-GMO soyabean oil must be labeled “high-oleic soybean oil”
  • a GMO soyabean oil with a high level of stearidonic acid, which doesn't naturally occur within the oil, must be labeled “stearidonic soybean oil”

The new National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard will inherit force on January 1, 2020. Under the new rules, all foods containing genetically engineered ingredients are going to be labeled as “derived from bioengineering” or “bioengineered.”

How to Find Non-GMO Food

Until the new regulations inherent effect, there are no clear thanks to knowing whether foods contain GMO ingredients. GMO foods are available within the U.S. since the 1990s. the foremost common GMO crops grown within the country are cotton, corn, and soybeans. Herbicide-tolerant crops leave a simpler use of pesticides.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that ninety-four percent of soybean and ninety-one percent of cotton crops were genetically modified by 2014. Currently, up to 90 percent of domestic corn acres are made up of herbicide-tolerant seeds.

Seeds from genetically modified, insect-resistant crops account for 82 percent of all domestic corn planted, and 85 percent of all cotton planted within the U.S. Potatoes, squash, apples, and papayas also are commonly modified. Most GMO crops become ingredients in other foods. These include:

  • corn starch in soups and sauces
  • corn syrup used as a sweetener
  • corn, canola, and soybean oils
  • sugar derived from sugar beets

What Is The Problem With GMO Foods: The Final Verdict!

There are different criticisms of genetically modified foods, which include risk to human health as well as the impact on the environment. In human beings, allergic reactions, cancer, and antibiotic resistance may occur from consuming them.

When it comes to environmental concerns, the introduction of GMOs into a wild population can lead to the development of pesticide-resistant insects and loss of species.

Scientists are making efforts to investigate the possible detrimental consequences of wildlife and plant biodiversity. For instance, existing species may overrun by dominant new species.


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Reader Comments

  1. I avoid GMO foods as much as I can and have for some time. Your article spells out some reasons I didn’t even know about. “To be on the safe side” is a good reason to avoid them. However, I do sometimes eat in restaurants or at friends’ homes, and in those cases I do take my chances!

    1. Hi Zana Hart, I completely agree with you. It is extremely difficult to avoid non-GMO food. I think this is because there is a lack of knowledge about the dangers of eating them. In addition, businesses are often concerned by their profit margins. I firmly believe that the more people talk about the knowledge they have regarding GMO and non-GMO, the more people will make decisions to eat at restaurants that sell non-GMO foods. Hopefully, this will eventually encourage all restaurants to sell food of a higher quality. All the best!

  2. Thanks for the eye-opening article. There are enough things in the environment that are compromising our immune systems – as much as possible I’d like to start excluding or at least greatly reducing the GMOs I eat. A lot of people are developing allergies to fruits and vegetables they’ve eaten their whole life – makes me think GMOs could be a contributing factor.

  3. I am big on all natural foods without the use of pesticides and everything else. I am glad to see someone else also having a passion for this. Thank you for the opportunity to read. Very pleasant site to visit.

    1. Thank you. I am pleased to hear that you on a similar conscious path. The more we talk about these topics, the more we are able to spread this knowledge and help others to make informed decisions to best support their future.

  4. I found this very interesting and never give much thought to my choice of food. I don’t eat meat, but a quick look at Google shows US crops to be commonly GM. As I live in the UK, restrictions seem much tighter, but I’ll be more aware now!

    1. Hi Kathy, the EU has laws that prohibit the sale of GMO foods. Brexit may now cause the sale of GMO foods. This is a sad time for the UK in my opinion. Fingers crossed this is not the case.

  5. Such a hot topic, you really hit on the major factors of why we should void GMOs. So scary. Also as a mom it is a worrysome thought, raising the next generation into this world of unsafe GMOs. A great reminder for me to teach them about it.
    Thank you

    1. In some cases, GMO foods can be good. But knowing the difference between good and bad is difficult to do. I personally would just prefer to avoid them at all times to be on the safe side. You are more than welcome, reach out any time.

  6. A good article discussing the merits and dangers of GMO foods. You bring the debate about consuming these type foods into focus. Many of us consumers buy products without really paying attention to what we are buying. Your article will open eyes in that regard. I agree that eating organic foods certainly avoids any known, and unknown, risks from GMO foods. I agree with your conclusions on avoiding these types of food, at least until all the risk issues are resolved.

  7. Ah GMO, one of the most controversial subjects of food production.

    I definitely understand the risks and dangers involved in “playing God” with nature but we need to remember that’s what we’ve been doing since the dawn of time.

    In a way, genetic manipulation is just an advancement step in plant breeding. One reason I’m not really against GMO is that it offers us the possibility of feeding the whole humankind with plant-based food.

    That said, there are a ton of risks, including unexpected health effects, effects on biodiversity etc. There’s even the danger that a genetically modified plant becomes a “superweed” that gets loose and eats up the ecologic locker of thousands of other species.

    But if we can produce safe, high protein plant foods that replace meat and other animal products, I see GMO as a powerful opportunity to humankind. But with great power comes great responsibility.

    1. I agree with you – there are some positive potential uses for GMO. However, currently what is being sold for human consumption is not being correctly regulated in most places. There is a reason the EU has banned them and its because of the potential dangers. Perhaps when more research is conducted and better regulations are in place, people can safely consume GMO foods, knowing that what they are eating is good for them.

    2. I agree with you – there are some positive potential uses for GMO. However, currently what is being sold for human consumption is not being correctly regulated in most places. There is a reason the EU has banned them and its because of the potential dangers. Perhaps when more research is conducted and better regulations are in place, people can safely consume GMO foods, knowing that what they are eating is god for them.

  8. I have always had a problem with GMO foods. Like you pointed out, there is not enough research on the health factors of these types of foods to make me feel safe about them. I wonder if gluten allergies would be so abundant if there were no GMOs?
    Outcrossing is another bad outcome of GMOs because the cross breeding damages organic crops and causes organic farmers to lose their organic certifications. There was even a time, maybe still is, when GMO companies were suing organic farmers, who were victims of cross contamination, for growing the company’s patented GMO products. (You can find more about this on YouTube)
    I understand the benefit claims, but the dangers outweigh them in my opinion.

    1. I personally agree with you about understanding the benefits, yet too agree that the dangers outweigh them.

      It is suspected that they are related but as best to my knowledge this has not been proven. There has been a dramatic increase in Celiac and Gluten allergies at the same time as a rise in GMO foods, so in my mind, it makes sense that this would be the case.

      It is unfortunate that organic farmers may experience this when trying to do the right thing.

      Thank you for sharing.

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