So What’s a GMO?

August 18, 2009

Recently I have had several conversations with friends about the topic of GMOs. Speaking with people who I consider to be “in the know” regarding environmental and health issues, I was surprised to discover how little is actually known about the way our food is grown.

You may have heard that GMOs are bad, but what are they exactly and why should we care?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism and refers to the process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic. This process, which is banned in many regions of the world, is used to create a huge amount of the food source in the United States, including most non-organic corn, soy, canola and cottonseed crops.

So What’s a GMO?

The impact of this technology is hotly debated, but more and more information is leading to the conclusion that GMOs have a destructive impact on our health and environment. The FDA does not test or regulate the genetic modification of foods and the effect that these changes may have on the health of consumers. They also do not require labeling of genetically modified materials, so it is difficult to discern exactly what it is you are buying.

To read about this in greater depth, please take some time to check out this article, published in Vanity Fair last year:
Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear
and for more information, see these websites:
The Institute for Responsible Technology
The Center for Food Safety

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