A Consumer That Eats Both Plants And Animals Is Called GMO Foods May Contain Harmful Substances

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GMO Foods May Contain Harmful Substances

The food industry, represented by the FDA, USDA and several large corporations, claims that genetically modified (GMO) foods are safe. Furthermore, they cite several additional factors that support the need for genetic engineering in agricultural production. First among them is increased production from crops that resist drought, disease and pests. They also claim that GMO crops require less use of pesticides and this benefits the environment and consumers. Finally, they claim to produce better foods that are richer in certain nutrients or lack certain natural toxins, such as mold.

All these claims are further supported by the World Health Organization, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Medical Association, who declare that GMO foods are as safe as any other food. Interestingly, many countries have banned the growing of GMO crops and others, at least, require labeling of GMO foods. It is clear that entire regions of the world are concerned about the potential for toxicity in food supplied by GMO foods.

One of the genetic modifications of corn, soybeans, and sugar beets has been to make them “Roundup Ready.” This means that these crops have been engineered to resist the effects of glyphosate, the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. Glyphosate blocks the function of enzymes that help plants absorb nutrients. Then the plant quickly dies of starvation. Farmers spray the chemical liberally on their fields to eradicate weeds. Unfortunately, these food plants absorb glyphosate along with weeds. They do not die as a result because of the genetic modification designed to resist that process.

This glyphosate residue then enters the food supply, both for direct human consumption in packaged foods and through animals, which are raised on GMO corn and soybeans. High levels of glyphosate have been found in soybean and corn products. The problem is that glyphosate performs the same function in the human body as it does in plants. That is, glyphosate disrupts the enzymes that help us absorb nutrients, which can lead to a number of diseases. If you’ve eaten any packaged food recently, you’ve most likely consumed glyphosate.

Another genetic modification involves resistance to pests such as worms. In this case, the modified corn and pumpkin products produce the same toxin that is produced by a bacterium found naturally in the soil. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is commonly used as a biological pesticide, sprayed on crops to destroy invasive pests. When a pest attacks a GMO crop, the plant itself blocks the attack after the pest ingests the Bt toxin. Unfortunately, this toxin is also found in foods that make it to the shelf in regular packages. From there, it enters the human body and causes damage to cells.

The list of genetic modifications continues to grow, and the long-term effect of this will only be known for sure after years of research. In the meantime, millions of people may be harmed by consuming these products, believing them to be safe. Already, evidence is mounting to suggest that these agents are toxic to humans, and many countries, in addition to the US, are beginning to respond. Day by day, it’s up to you to choose a food supply you know you can rely on versus one that involves you in a potentially dangerous experiment to increase your food supply.

Avoiding packaged food altogether would be a good place to start. If you can’t resist, then take a closer look at the label. Many manufacturers are beginning to identify “non-GMO” ingredients on their labels. In addition to looking for “non-GMO” labels, some ingredients are clear indicators of the presence of GMO elements. These include high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), aspartame, MSG, trans fats, food coloring, sulfur dioxide, and potassium bromate. The list of foods known to be genetically modified includes corn, soybeans, alfalfa, canola, cotton, papaya, sugar beets, zucchini, summer squash, wheat, rice and flax.

Choose products labeled 100% Organic, certified by the USDA. Being certified organic means that the crop is grown without the use of harmful chemicals and GMOs are not on the USDA approved list. Support your local farmers market, but be sure to ask questions about their farming practices. Not all local farmers are non-GMO or follow organic practices. Finally, grow your own vegetables in the backyard. A small space can produce a healthy supply of nutrients that you know are safe.

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