Don’t worry, I don’t really think any of you are dingbats or dimwits. It’s just that I was fairly certain that “For Dummies” is trademarked, so I had to come up with another synonym. I couldn’t decide between the two, so I used them both. 🙂 I promise I wasn’t intentionally offending anyone.
Today I wanted to give a little refresher on GMOs. So I’m going to cover the basics, as I know there are a lot of new people here and many of you have never heard of GMOs, or else you’re so new to them, that you want a safe place to learn about them where you won’t be overwhelmed.
There is already a lot of information out there on GMOs and I really don’t want to just beat a dead horse, so I’ll be citing a lot of sources and some quotes from other great GMO Resources that I turn to when I want accurate or easy to digest and understand information on GMOs.
Today We’re Going to Cover:
- The definition of GMOs-
- The Top 10 GMO crops-
- The Dangers of GMOs-
- List of resources to help with your GMO research. Blogs, websites, books, videos.
The Definition of GMOs
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. It can also be referred to as GE- Genetic Engineering, or GM, Genetic Modification.
“Genetic modification is the process of forcing genes from one species into another entirely unrelated species. Genetic engineering forcefully breaches the naturally occurring barriers between species, causing both known and unknown / unintended consequences that have never been proven safe by the FDA or the United States Government. Because the injected genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.” (Quoted from GMO-Awareness and used with permission.)
These days there have been a lot of modifications to our food supply. I’m not talking about cross-breeding or hybridization, such as combining a mandarin (orange) and a lemon to get a Meyer Lemon, I’m talking about taking the DNA of a completely different species and FORCING it into the DNA of a plant without researching side effects, impact on the environment, those with weakened immune systems and the general population.
To understand how genetic engineering is done, watch this video (an illustrated explanation begins at the 2.20 minute mark).
For more FAQ regarding the definition of GMOs, visit this page over at the Institute of Responsible Technology.
Top 10 GMO Crops
Current Genetically Modified/Genetically Engineered/Transgenic Crops in the United States are:
- Soybeans– 94% of all soy is Genetically Modified. Genes are taken from bacteria and inserted into soybeans to make them more resistant to herbicides.
- Corn– 88% of all corn is Genetically Modified. There are two main varieties of Genetically Engineered corn. One has a Gene from a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis inserted into its cells to produce the Bt toxin, which poisons insects. When the insects ingest this corn, their stomachs rupture/burst open. This affects bees, butterflies, and other insect.
This corn (and the soybeans) are resistant to various herbicides. Specifically Roundup. Roundup resistant corn is now considered a pesticide, not a food and as a result is regulated by the EPA. If you are buying anything with corn syrup or High Fructose Corn Syrup in it, you are eating GMO corn/pesticides.
- Canola oil– 90% of all Canola is Genetically Modified.
- Sugar beets– 95% of all sugar beets are Genetically Modified. There is a gene added/transferred to make crop more resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Is also labeled in foods as “sugar”. Unless the label says CANE sugar/sugar cane, cane juice or certified organic, it’s sugar from sugar beets.
- Zucchini & Yellow Squash – 24,000 acres.
- Cotton– 90% of all cotton is Genetically Modified. Engineered to produce Bt toxin. The seeds are pressed into cottonseed oil, which is a common ingredient in vegetable oil and margarine.
- Dairy – Cows injected with GE hormone rBGH/rBST; possibly fed GM grains and hay.
- Aspartame – Addictive and dangerous artificial sweetener commonly found in chewing gum and “diet” beverages. A building block of aspartame, the amino acid phenylalanine, is usually manufactured with the aid of genetically modified E. coli bacteria. Yummy, huh?
- Hawaiian Papayas– more than 50% are Genetically Modified
- Farm Raised Salmon…and don’t even get me started on Frankenfish.
Ingredients derived from soybeans: Soy flour, soy protein, soy isolates, soy isoflavones, soy lecithin, vegetable proteins, textured vegetable protein (TVP), tofu, tamari, tempeh, and soy protein supplements.
Ingredients derived from corn: Corn flour, corn gluten, corn masa, corn starch, corn syrup, cornmeal, corn sugar, corn syrup and High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).
Check out THIS LINK for a complete list of invisible Genetically Modified ingredients.
The Dangers of GMOs
Starting in 1996, we’ve been eating Genetically Modified ingredients in most processed foods. Originally, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods could create unpredictable, hard to detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems. They urged long-term studies but were ignored. Source
Our seeds are coming from the same biotech companies that were found guilty of hiding the toxic effects of their chemical products (agent orange anyone?). Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, DuPont, Land O’ Lakes, and Syngenta are just 6 of the top 10 GM seed companies. The Top 10 seed companies comprise 67% for the global proprietary seed market. Monsanto accounts for 23% of that 67%
GMOs are the latest innovation in Monsanto’s long line-up of questionable products, including Agent Orange, PCBs, DDT, Dioxin, Aspartame, Saccharain, rBGH / rBST, and Terminator Seeds that grow for only one season, forcing farmers to buy their genetically modified seeds each year instead of saving seeds from the prior harvest as they have done for centuries. Source
The health risks posed by GM foods are listed below. This list is not all inclusive. For a PDF version of this list which includes more detailed information of the Health Risks listed below, click HERE.
- GM soy and allergies: Soy allergies rocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced. GM sou also contains a new allergen NOT found in wild, natural soy. Cooked GM soy contains as much as 7-times the amount of a known soy allergen.
- Bt corn and cotton linked to allergies: The ever so honest (sarcasm) biotech industry insists that Bt-toxin is harmless to humans and mammals because farmers have sprayed the natural bacteria version on crops for years. In reality, however, hundreds of people exposed to Bt spray had allergic-type symptoms. Mice fed Bt had powerful immune responses, and damaged intestines. Coincidentally there is a rise in intestinal diseases such as IBS, Crohn’s and Colitis.
- GMOs fail allergy tests: The tests that Monsanto and other seed companies run on their seeds aren’t doing their job. They’re passing seeds that should be failed and never released to the public.
- GMOs may make you allergic to non-GM foods: With food allergies, among other sensitivities and intolerance’s on the rise, more and more research is pointing to GMOs as the culprit. They’re compromising our immune and gut health.
- GMOs and liver problems: Check out the PDF link above, but you’ll want to avoid GMOs and GM canola oil after you read it.
- GMOs, reproductive problems, and infant mortality: More and more fertility issues, endocrine disorders, and infant deaths are showing up in humans and animals who consume GM foods.
- Bt crops linked to sterility, disease and death: Too much to list here, check out the pdf. But diseases, cancers, behavioral, endocrine, intestinal, and other diseases are on the rise and have been since shortly after GMOs were released into our food chain.
- The functioning GM genes remain inside you: That’s right you don’t eliminate it when you go to the bathroom or sweat. You’ve got it IN you.
For more detailed information about the environmental, human and economic risks, please click THIS LINK and you’ll be brought to GMO Awareness.com
- I’ve got some resources on my blog. Start with GMOs for Newbies
- GMO-Awareness.com is my favorite site for information and educational resources. It is a wonderful place to start as you begin to educate yourself on the evils of GMOs. I know the person behind this site and I’m impressed with this individuals level of knowledge and commitment to putting out fully researched, helpful and accurate information!
- Loriel over at Healthy Roots Happy Soul has a few great posts on GMOs. I’d start HERE or HERE.
- The Institute of Responsible Technology is where I gather most of my GM related information.
- The Cornucopia Institute is another wealth of information pertaining to GMOs, organics and other important topics about food.
- Videos or Books:
- Genetic Roulette
- GMO Videos– several short videos on GMOs, Scientists under attack, and more
- Movies to Watch
- Books to Read
I’ve shared with you in My Story, how I feel about GMOs and how after watching Genetic Roulette and other food documentaries that I believe with all my heart that GMOs are mainly to blame for my health issues–mainly my severe hormone issues, and digestive issues. I’m still trying to heal my body and I’ve been eating a traditional Real Food diet now for almost 3 years. That is part of the reason I added essential oils to my journey. I knew my body needed additional core support.
There is so much more I could have shared with you today, but I honestly don’t want you to become overwhelmed. I think we covered a decent amount of ground on GMOs today.
What is one new thing you learned about GMOs today? Are you upset, or angry by what you’ve learned? What other questions do you have?
- Institute of Responsible Technology.org
- Organic Lifestyle Magazine
- GMO Awareness.com
- Real Food Girl: Unmodified
- Non-GMO Project
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