Genetically Engineered Foods
What Are Genetically Engineered Foods (GMOs)? A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration does not exist in nature and is experimental. Many of the foods we currently eat and feed our families (including certain baby formulas and a high percentage of corn, soy, cotton and sugar beets commonly used in processed foods sold in the U.S.) are genetically modified.
Example: Genetically Modified corn has been engineered in a laboratory to produce pesticides in its own tissue. GMO corn is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as an Insecticide, but is sold unlabeled. [EPA Pesticides]. Walmart is now selling Monsanto’s sweet corn that has been genetically engineered to contain an insecticide, but consumers don’t know because it’s not labeled.
Are Genetically Engineered Foods Safe? GMOs have not been proven safe, and long-term health studies have not been conducted. A growing body of peer-reviewed studies has linked these foods to allergies, organ toxicity, and other health problems. The US Food and Drug Administration does not require safety studies for genetically engineered foods. The United Nations/World Health Organization food standards group and the American Medical Association have called for mandatory safety testing of genetically engineered foods — a standard the U.S. fails to meet.
GMOs Linked to Environmental Problems: Various environmental problems associated with genetic engineering have been well documented, including biodiversity loss, an overall increase in pesticide use, the emergence of super weeds that are threatening millions of acres of farmland, and the unintentional contamination of non-GMO and organic crops.
What’s in Our Food?: Fifty countries around the world—representing more than 40% of the world’s population—already require GMO labeling. This includes all of Europe, Japan, India and China. Polls show that a significant amount of Americans want to know if their food is genetically engineered.
While we are free to choose what we want to eat and feed our families, in this case, we are not provided with accurate information about products so we can make informed choices.