Is it possible to go green and eat genetically modified foods? Does “eco-friendly cuisine” correspond with cross-contaminated organisms? Let’s get the facts straight.
We’re quick to broadly label food as being either “healthy” or “unhealthy”. As an example, the Papaya fruit would most likely get a stamp of approval in the Healthy Food Category. Hawaiian Papayas, however, are now affected by alterations in their genetic composition. While Hawaiian Papayas may have once been considered healthy food in their natural state with the ability to contribute to one’s wellness, they now have the potential to damage it.
A savvy, proactive and concerned populace who recognizes Genetically Modified Foods as a serious health and environmental threat (especially without proper labeling) can avert the rise of preventable diseases and environmental damage for generations to come.
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is produced when genes from one species are inserted into another, in order to obtain a desired characteristic through the process of Genetic Engineering [aka Genetic Modification (GM)]. Those in favor of GM foods claim that this technology will allow decreased pesticide use along with increased food production in an effort to feed the world.
- Genetically engineered organisms cannot be cleaned up or recalled once released into the environment, unlike chemical and nuclear contamination, which can at least be contained. We cannot isolate and separate Genetic pollution from the environment in which it is spreading
- New species with genetic modifications could develop through birds, insects or wind that carry genetically altered pollen to other lands thereby pollinating plants and arbitrarily creating these new GM species.
- The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) calls for a moratorium on GM food as it poses serious health risks in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health without any clear benefit. The AAEM recommends immediate long-term independent safety testing and appropriate labeling requirements, which is essential for the health and safety of consumers.
- The Cancer Prevention Coalition highlights the risk of increased Breast, Colon and Prostate cancer from Genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH) in milk.
- The Institute for Responsible Technology released a publication that exposed several health risks, which include allergic reactions, liver problems, reproductive problems and infant mortality, based on laboratory studies in animals.
- Potential for Antibiotic Resistance in humans due to antibiotic-resistant marker genes in GM foods. This poses a great public health threat; as treatment with currently available antibiotics would not be sufficient to cure the infection.
What Can You Do Today?
- Understand the reasons for buying Organic Food, as organic foods are grown in harmony with nature and would not allow Genetic Modification.
- Look for “Non-GMO” labeling. Dairy products should have the label ‘No rBGH or rBST,” or “artificial hormone-free.”
- Download the Non-GMO project Iphone App or print Dr. Mercola’s non-GMO shopping Guide.
Once you’ve understood the importance of eating non-GMO foods in your own life, you can then make a greater impact on a global level (which in turn makes things easier on yourself) by supporting the removal of GMO in the marketplace.
It’s becoming impossible to avoid every environmental and health threat within our food supply. Imagine eating at a restaurant or going grocery shopping without GM Foods available in the first place. Therefore, advocating on the grassroots level is worthwhile.
Image courtesy of organic-center.org