The topic of genetically modified foods (GMOs) has been a controversy since the 1990’s when they were first introduced, with health professionals, physicians, and everyday citizens weighing in on the issue. The Food and Drug Administration had initially stated that these foods were safe to eat, and posed no health problems for consumers. However, this was later found to be false, and the FDA was ridiculed on several occasions for their lack of information on GM foods.
Today, numerous studies have been conducted on this subject, with many of them finding that there are in fact serious health risks associated with genetically modified foods and organisms. Aside from the obvious gastrointestinal problems and effects on your digestive system, GMOs can also cause infertility, accelerated aging, and dramatic changes in one’s organs.
The process behind genetically engineered foods involves gene transferring and insertion into other cells, which are then cloned into the food and plants we commonly see today. This method has been proven to be based on outdated perceptions of just how these organisms work. The genes added to these organisms usually comes from alien sources that have never actually been in contact with food before. This process can actually cause a number of mutations in the DNA of these organisms, directly resulting in potentially damaging proteins being produced that may promote disease.
The GM food market today largely consists of the crops corn, canola, soy, and cotton. The reason for their modification is to survive through high doses of herbicides and pesticides. Their exposure to these dangerously high levels of chemicals results in a direct transfer to the foods we eat. Because of this, soy allergies increased dramatically within the past decade, and new allergens that had not been found before are manifesting in genetically modified soy. These can actually result in allergies to non-GMO foods as well.
While genetically modified foods have been studied among mice for many years now, there have never been clinical trials tested on humans, despite how frequently many are consuming them on a daily basis; yet another reason to further study these more-than-likely harmful products. What has been discovered however, is that genetically modified soy actually merges with the bacteria in our intestines, and lives there for an extended period of time. This can result in resistance to common medications and antibiotics, increased levels of pesticides within our bodies, and affect fetuses in expecting mothers.
Companies and organizations throughout the world have been making strides by refusing to sell GMOs and genetically modified ingredients now that the health risks associated have been made more prominent. However, there is still work to be done. GMOs are still being produced. If a total stoppage of this is not an option, then those in the field of genetic engineering must develop alternative strategies to creating viable sources of food. With the technology we have today, that may come in the not-so-distant future.