Myriam says: GMO, when in doubt abstain
You’ve certainly heard already about the controversy surrounding Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and non-GMO products. It is a hot topic at the moment that is garnering quite a bit of media attention. Sorting through huge volumes of information can seem like a daunting task so here I hope to shed light upon this important topic, allowing you as a consumer to make the right choices for yourself and your loved ones.
GMOs are living organisms (bacteria and yeast insects, plants, fish, and mammals) whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering (GE). This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. This technology, developed by biotech companies such as Monsanto (remember it!), first appeared in the United States in 1996.
Are GMOs truly safe?
With the rise in obesity, health problems, environmental damage, violation of farmers, and consumer rights, how we are growing and consuming our foods is of major concern.
Truth is, this process is affecting our entire food supply. A growing body of evidence ow connects GMOs with such issues as harming the kidneys, liver, heart and other organs. Additionally GMO foods can trigger allergic reactions in some people, create new toxins that produce disease, and lead to antibiotic resistance and the resurgence of infectious disease.
The impact on the environment and farmers may be even more devastating. How can you prevent genetically engineered crops polluting organic farms when the wind and the bees will naturally carry pollen from the genetically engineered crops to nearby organic farms? In addition, farmers and environmentalists fear that foods that are genetically engineered to be resistant to herbicides, such as Roundup Ready soybeans, will result in heavier herbicide use, further polluting the groundwater, lakes and rivers.
90% of cotton is produced by India based on GMO crops. Effect is devastating, more 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide. Turning to organic products is a MUST! Watch the following video.
A matter of ethics
If you are like me, just the thought of something being “genetically altered” is quite concerning. The fact that we do not know if it is harmful or not, is more reason for you to be your own advocate when it comes to what you are choosing to consume.
But here’s some food for thought: everything has a process. When you interfere with that “normal” process, something suffers. If you have any doubt, I say rely on the side of caution and choose not to consume GMO-altered products. Take it a step further and consume only organic certified products or even better, begin grow your own foods!
Rana says: In defense of my sanity
How can I defend GMOs with all the horror stories I read and the repulsive pictures I see circulating on the net?
How can I defend something that scientist tell me are destroying my health, my home and my well-being?
No, I will not and cannot defend GMOs. How can I when I don’t even know fact from fiction? Here’s the thing, there is so much information out there that I don’t even know what to adopt and what to ignore. For example, it’s true that there are horrific pictures showing mice in different mutated states, but the fact is, I have no idea how these mice got to be like that. Here’s another thing, there are no facts saying that eating organic is better for you. In fact, some believe, such as Bruce Ames, professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, that organic fruits and vegetables are packed with carcinogens and that is why they manage to survive without pesticides.
Here’s another thing, most food, if not genetically modified, cannot be eaten. Check out these bananas:
Watermelon anyone? Maybe next time.
Basically, it is through genetic modification that plants that feed a quickly-growing world population that also happens to be growing poorer and hungrier. Genetic modification saves certain crops from extinction, saving the lives of farmers and whole communities in some cases (such as the papaya trees in Hawaii in the early 1990s).
So can I condemn GMOs? Yes. No. Can I defend GMOs? Yes. No.
So I will not try. What I will do, in this case, is defend my sanity. I will use my common sense. I will eat locally-sourced, seasonal food whenever possible. And if not, I will buy frozen. I will eat organic when available. And if not, I will buy from my local grocer. I will soak my fruits and vegetables to remove chemicals from them but if I’m hungry and there is no water, I will eat them. I will eat healthy as far as I know, because in the end, it is not the pesticides or the carcinogens in the food that is going to kill me, it is the stress of what I can/should and can’t/shouldn’t eat that is going to bring about my end!