GMO technology uses specific scientific innovation to genetically alter plants and make them bigger and higher yielding under environmental stresses. Also known as agricultural genetic engineering or bioengineering, this technology makes plants more resistant to common herbicides, diseases and attacks by insects.
Genetically-modified (GM) ingredients like corn syrup, cornstarch, cottonseed oil and soy lecithin are liberally used in many processed foods that are made in America or hidden in about 30,000 packaged and canned food products.
The Center for Food Safety estimates that upwards of 75 percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves contain genetically-engineered (GE) ingredients — from soda and crackers to condiments.
An article published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition reported that the results of most studies with GMO foods indicate that they may cause toxic effects, such as hepatic, pancreatic, renal or reproductive effects and may alter the hematological, biochemical and immunologic parameters.
Since the early 1990s, different genes have been introduced into the food chain to humans. And now, most animal feeds are also genetically modified. So even if we avoid GM foods, we are still consuming them if we eat farmed meat. GMOs enter your body through thousands of packaged and canned food products, fresh produce and through the meat of farmed animals you eat that are being fed GM crops.
Today, only 64 countries around the world require GM foods to be labeled. GMOs are not currently labeled in Canada.
GMO labeling is optional in the United States. Many food producers that make GMO foods choose not to voluntarily provide information on their product labels beyond what is required by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) regulations because doing so may negatively affect their sales. (Related: The false claims of GMOs.)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates labeling "only if there are significant differences in the genetically-modified version, such as the presence of a different allergen."
Below are different ways to make sure that you are buying non-GMO foods. (Related: How to avoid GMOs.)
Check the price look-up (PLU) four- and five-digit codes provided by the International Federation of Food Standards (IFPS) on stickers of fruits and vegetables that you buy at the store, which identify different types of produce and manage checkout and inventory faster and more accurately. A sticker with No. 4011, for example, is the code used for a standard yellow banana.
The majority of cattle in the U.S. are grass-fed, but some spend the last portion of their lives in feedlots where they may be given GM corn to increase intramuscular fat. Focus on purchasing meats from animals that are free-range and grass-fed. Avoid eating farm-bred animals as you are eating GM food by proxy.
Organizations like the "Non-GMO Project" track the entrance of GMOs into the food supply chain and provide valuable information for retailers and shoppers that include companies and foods that do not use GM foods or ingredients, GMO crops to avoid, non-GMO labels to look and related information.
High-risk crops are the products that are most likely to be genetically modified. The USDA has estimated that GM foods represent 75 to 95 percent of America's biggest crops that are commercially available: corn (field and sweet corn), cotton, soybeans, alfalfa, apples, bananas, canola, papaya, peas, potatoes, rice, sugar beets, summer squash, zucchini, vegetable oils and even farm-raised salmon.
As responsible and health-conscious consumers, you should read the food labels of processed, packaged and canned food products and avoid any of these ingredients: synthetic forms of amino acids (not naturally occurring in protein), aspartame, synthetic vitamin C or ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, citric acid, sodium citrate, ethanol, natural and artificial flavorings, high fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lactic acid, maltodextrins, molasses, monosodium glutamate, sucrose, textured vegetable protein, xantham gum, vitamins and yeast products.
You can download a True Food Shopper's Guide application created by the Center for Food Safety for iPhones and Androids that can help you avoid GMOs when you are shopping.
Visit GMO.news to learn more about the health risks of eating GMO foods.
Watch the video below for the lowdown on GMO and GM foods.
This video is from the Kreskaworld channel at Brighteon.com.