Yes or No to GMO?

Whatever your answer, it’s important to be informed.

It’s been going on for 20 years, but only recently has it come to your attention. If you live in the United States, it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of the food you eat contains ingredients that have undergone some sort of scientific genetic modification. This means plants like corn and soybeans (two ingredients used in countless processed foods and fed to the animals you eat) have had their genetic makeup changed to increase production or improve flavor.

Even though manufacturers claim they’re safe, the majority of Americans don’t trust genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and want their food left in its natural state.  Thanks to Cochrane Fit Body Bootcamp, you can be an informed consumer and know what each side has to say concerning this controversial subject.

Pro-GMO Argument

Food producers and regulation agencies claim foods produced with GMOs provide many benefits. They require fewer pesticides, don’t need as much water, and are cheaper to grow by up to 30 percent. Countries without enough food can benefit from GM technology as it enables food to be made more affordable and able to withstand drought conditions, cold weather, or exposure to diseases caused by viruses or insects. In addition, GM foods are able to contain more nutrients, appear more colorful, taste better, and even become seedless (grapes and watermelons).

No GMOs!

Positive as the positives may be, there are a growing number of people with a different perspective. Opponents to GM technology believe research hasn’t proven whether GM foods are safe or unsafe for human consumptions. Animal studies have given the impression that GMOs harm the kidneys, liver, heart, and immune system. Some scientists suspect GMOs make you more susceptible to allergies; lead to antibiotic resistance; and cause infertility, digestive problems, autism, or cancer. They warn that children especially are at an increased risk for health problems.

Because GM crops are less susceptible to the damage caused by herbicides, more of it is used to ward off pesky weeds. This has led to the increase of “super weeds” and “superbugs,” weeds and insects that are immune to the effects of the herbicides. If a chemical kills living plants and animals, do you really want more of it sprayed on your food and contaminating the environment?  A personal trainer in Cochrane also claims that the commonly used herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) has been associated with birth defects, cancer, hormone imbalances, and sterility.

Organic farmers and consumers are concerned that non-GMO foods are likely to become contaminated by GM seeds due to cross-pollination, making it difficult or impossible to grow completely organic foods.

Right to Know

The increase in concern over the safety of GMOs has lead many consumers to demand more information. It makes sense that foods containing GM ingredients should be labeled as such. People want to know—deserve to know—what’s in their food. A large survey found 90 percent of consumers wished all GMO foods were labeled and more than half of consumers said they wouldn’t buy genetically modified food.

While more than 60 countries around the world—including Australia, Japan, and the European Union, place restrictions on GM technology or require food packages to label GMO ingredients, the United States does not. This is why much of the population doesn’t know about GMOs. Until food manufacturers are required to label GM ingredients, if you want to avoid them you’ll have to eat only certified organic foods or those specifically labeled as non-GMO.

The Big One. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the most commonly used weed killer on farms and gardens.  Cochrane fitness centers says that critics argue that exposure to glyphosate is a danger to public health.

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