If you don’t know the answer, you’re not alone. About half the U.S. population has no idea that GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. A GMO is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and placed into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. Some of the most popular genetically modified foods include, corn, canola, soybeans, cotton, and papaya.
According to the Pew Research Center, 67% of Americans question whether scientists have a clear understanding of the health effects of GMO’s. Scientists claim that GMO’s are safe, yet in more than 60 countries around the world, they are banned. Not in the U.S., where they’re not labeled, so you could be eating a piece of corn without knowing that this it’s a GMO.
Pros and Cons
One of the good things about GMO’s is that they have less herbicide than your traditional crops because some of these plants have been modified to be herbicide resistant. Critics say that genetically altering food could affect the nutritional value, create allergens and toxins in the food we eat—yet these claims have been disputed by the Food and Drug Administration. They say that these foods are regulated just like any other type of food.
These foods have an overall better quality and taste because these foods can be altered to taste better. Plus they are more resistant to disease, it’s like a disease prevention vaccine is injected into their DNA. GMO’s can also have more vitamins and minerals through genetic modifications.
If you eat only organic food, then you’re safe because GMO’s are prohibited in organic products. The Non GMO Project has a list of foods that do not include GMO’s. These foods take just as long to mature, meaning that they can’t speed up the process, so they have no economic value. Studies have shown that eating GMO’s can increase the risk of food allergies in people.