What are GMO products?
They are foods that are made from genetically modified organisms, specifically genetically modified (GMO) crops. It first began in 1994 when a tomato was produced with an alteration that prevented it from ripening quickly.
What are the concerns with altering the natural growing process?
The first concern is not just what it necessarily does to your body, but what it can do to the entire crop that is being altered. If one of the plants is effected by a virus, then modifying the plant can spread the disease to the rest of crops. On a large scale this could be devastating not only for the farmer who is harvesting the crops, but it can be devastating on a larger scale.
Another genetic alteration that chemists and farmers make, is to change their crop so that it will stand conventional herbicides and pesticides.
Some countries have raised their awareness of the harmful alterations that have been made to crops that they have banned it. New Zealand doesn’t allow the production of GMO crops. In 2005 Switzerland banned GMO crops and animals, however the ban only lasted 5 years. Australia has not yet banned GMO crops. Countries that have embraced GMO crops are the United States, China, South Africa, Britain, Spain, and Canada. Not only have they embraced the concept of altered foods but they seem to have tried to get the public to support it and see that it is healthy.
An area of big concern is the lax labelling laws in some countries – it’s very probable that you could unwittingly eat GMO’s, where the law does not require them to be labeled as such. Worrying, don’t you think?
What should you do?
The best thing you can do is make sure you pay attention to what you are buying. Read labels, shop at farmers markets. Get to know the farmer who grew your produce. You can even grow your own fruits and vegetables.
Marketing companies are sneaky. Don’t let them convince you that you are purchasing good quality foods that went through a potentially dangerous growing process.
Are GMO foods allowed where you are? I’d love to hear your views on GMO’s, in the comments, below.