Friday, November 15, 2013

Genetically Modified Organisms: What You Need to Know About Genetically Modified Foods

Just as acquiring chiropractic care is a wise way to avoid many needless surgeries or medicinal treatments, avoiding genetically altered food in favor of organic varieties is crucial to good nutrition and general wellness. Read below for more information regarding genetically modified foods.

What is a genetically modified organism?

A genetically modified organism, which is also known as a GMO, is a process completed in a laboratory in which genes are taken from one species and inserted into another. This process is accomplished in an effort to transfer a desired characteristic or trait. This process is often employed to create genetically modified foods.

Is the generic engineering process precise?

As of right now, the generic engineering process is crude. Accuracy is an issue when it comes to inserting or transferring new genes. This is in large part due to a poor understanding of how DNA works. Therefore, the possible reactions and side effects pertaining to a person's health or the health of a plant species is hard to predict.

Genetically engineered foods commonly found on the market today:

The foods listed below are an example of some types of foods that are commonly genetically modified.


Bt-corn (Bacillus thuringiensis bacterium) is a type of sweet corn that has been genetically modified to include an insect-killing gene. According to the USDA, farmers in every state of the US are currently growing at least some form of genetically modified corn. However, South Dakota leads the pack as 47 percent of its corn crops are of a genetically modified variety.


Tomatoes are a common genetically modified food. In fact, they were the very first genetically modified food to be produced for the general market. At first, they were modified to increase their ability to withstand frost. They are currently being altered to make them last longer.


Since squash is more susceptible to viral diseases than other crops, scientist genetically modified it to ensure crop survival. Although this was successful, the plan backfired when cucumber beetles began to feed on the GM squash. This eventually caused the squash to wilt as the beetles carried bacteria from unhealthy plants onto the GM squash. In addition, it is suspected that GM squash has now started growing wild. This is a problem as GM foods should always be grown in controlled environments. The consequences of GM foods becoming introduced into wild plant species is unknown. However, many fear it could lead to environmental issues such as an increase in bacterial diseases among plants.

What is wrong with GMO foods?

In many cases, genetically modified foods have been altered for a good reason. Whether it be to extend its shelf life or increase its taste or its nutritional value. However, the unexpected consequences as was just discussed such as environmental issues and the impact on the human body are impossible to predict. Therefore, until further studies have been accomplished and all risks are removed, consuming GMO food is unwise.

How does one avoid eating GM foods?

Since GM foods are prevalent in today’s food market, it can be difficult for a consumer to ensure they are not eating a GM food. Thankfully, following the tips below will help consumers keep these products out of their diets:
  • Look for the non-GMO seal: Foods with no genetic modification will have a seal showcasing the fact that it is non-GMO. Dairy products may contain the label “No rBGH or rBST” or “artificial hormone-free.”
  •  Buy organic foods: Foods that are certified organic cannot contain any GMO ingredients. Look for products with the label 100 percent organic or made with organic ingredients.
  •  Avoid risky foods: If there is no label that specifies if a product is indeed organic or not, be leery of the most commonly genetically altered foods and ingredients, which are Hawaiian Papaya, sugar beets, cottonseed, canola, soybeans, corn and some yellow squash and zucchini.

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