If you are like many people, you have heard the term GMOs and heard they are bad, but may not know exactly what a GMO food really is and exactly why it is considered bad. You can scour the internet and find arguments about the pros and cons of GMOs, but here is a simple guide to what GMO foods are and why they are believed to be bad for our health.
What Are GMOs?
The term GMO can refer to a broad range of things, but when you hear it in the context of food, it is referring to genetically modified crops. The GMO crops specifically under the health radar are those that have been modified in recent years to be resistant to a specific pesticide called glyphosate, which is sold under the brand name Round-Up. They have also been modified to be resistant to insects by the introduction of a protein in them called BT-protein, otherwise known as BT-Toxin.
Why Do Many People Think GMOs Are Bad?
Since the GMO crops have been made more resistant to glyphosate pesticide, that means farmers can spray a much larger amount of it on crops without worrying about damaging them.
That means that GMO crops are much more likely to have an even greater amount of pesticides on them than already pesticide-covered traditional crops. Glyphosphate has also been linked to cancer. It is classified by the WHO, or World Health Organization, as probably being carcinogenic.
Another reasons GMO crops are considered unhealthy is due to the BT-protein/toxin added to them. This toxin is not just in the seed, but it remains in the crop and is still in the final food when we eat it.
What does BT-toxin do? It punches holes in the intestines of an insect when it takes a bite of the crop. At this point, no one knows if this toxin is damaging humans, but many people believe that this single toxin is the cause of the extreme widespread disease today and especially the recent increase of “leaky gut.” This syndrome can cause food to leak into our bloodstreams and cause all types of physical problems. The toxin has been found to be able to kill human embryo cells.
What Foods Are GMOS?
As of right now, the FDA-approved GMO crops grown in the United States include corn, soybeans, canola, papaya, sugar beets, alfalfa, zucchini, and yellow summer squash. That means if you eat any of these foods or processed foods that contain them as ingredients (corn, high fructose corn syrup, soy, and sugar are in many processed foods), you are most likely consuming a lot of glyphosate and a lot of BT-toxin.
How can you avoid GMOs?
If you want to eat the foods on the above list and packed foods that contain them, then you must choose items that are Certified USDA Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified. Both are large labels you should not be able to miss.
Thankfully, foods outside the above list of GMO crops are not yet grown from GMO seeds in the US (as far as we know). GMO corn is also grown in Spain and Portugal.