You've probably heard about GMOs lately, but might not know exactly what they are or what the big deal is about them. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, which means that these are mutations (yes, just like X-Men!). Scientists genetically modify crops in order to improve a plant's resistance to pests, make them heartier to survive changes in weather, increase yield, and reduce maturation time. Genetically modifying food takes place in a laboratory when genes from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or even humans are artificially inserted into the DNA of food crops or animals. Currently, the health consequences genetically modifying foods are largely unknown. In fact, not a single human clinical trial on the effects of GMO crops has ever been published. "The experiments simply haven't been done, and we now have become the guinea pigs," said Canadian geneticist David Suzuki.The few animal studies done using GMOs don't look too promising, and scientists worry as to how our bodies will be affected by these unknown mutant genes. Female rats fed GMO soybeans gave birth to stunted and sterile pups. Monarch butterflies, an endangered species, died by the thousands when their favorite food, milkweed, was dusted with GMO corn pollen. Evidence also suggests that the genetic abnormalities of GMO foods may alter the bacteria in the human gut, thereby exposing people to detrimental effects long after a food has been consumed.More than 40 countries, including Russia, China and Japan, require the labeling of genetically modified foods, yet the United States does not.
Here are some tips to help you minimize your exposure to GMOs:
1. Buy USDA-certified organic produce and products whenever possible.
2. If a product is not organic, look for packages labeled "Non GMO."
3. Choose organic or local, pasture-raised dairy and meat to avoid GMO-filled animal feed.
4. Avoid at-risk ingredients and their derivatives: soy (soybean oil, soy protein, soy lecithin, vegetable oil), corn (corn oil, citric acid, HFCS, maltodextrin, cornstarch), canola or rapeseed (canola oil), sugar from sugar beets, cotton (cottonseed oil), zucchini, crooked neck squash, Hawaiian papayas, conventional dairy, meat, and farm-raised fish (most conventional factory-farmed animals eat GMO feed).
5. Buy products that are saying no to GMOs. (See the Appendix, Say No to GMOs, in our book "Rich Food, Poor Food" for a list of companies that keep genetically modified organisms out of their ingredients.
Here is an extra tip to avoid GMO dairy from our book "Rich Food, Poor Food:"
"Try to locate produce that has been organically grown by choosing those PLUs (the small sticker on your produce) that start with a 9, as well as looking for organic signs in the produce section. This guarantees that you are not eating genetically modified food or adding to your body's toxic load and that your selection offers maximum micronutrient value. Five-digit numbers starting with an 8 means GMOs – Grown unnaturally through genetic modification. Don't purchase these POOR FOODS."
-Mira and Jayson
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/blog/whats-with-all-the-fuss-about-gmos/#ixzz47pendqxU