Why You Should Avoid Genetically Modified Foods

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • In my prior post, “The Monsanto Superweed,” we touched on the problem of 
    genetically modified foods, or GMOs. The article focused on who 

    engineers and endorses these products, as well as the effect that 
    glyphosate has on the environment. This time out we will look at the 
    foods that GMOs are found in and the potential health issues that can 

    present from ingesting them.

    So What’s the Problem with GMOs?

    About two decades ago a company that is now the property of Monsanto 
    gave us the Flavr Savr tomato. It was the first genetically modified 
    organism approved for consumption in the United States. The flood gates 

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    flew open and an ongoing debate has been in progress since then. 

    The problem is pretty straightforward. There is mounting evidence that 
    GMOs are not safe
    for either the environment of for human consumption. 
    The American Society of Environmental Medicine has gone so far as to 
    maintain that GMOs “pose a serious health risk.” 

    There has been virtually no testing done on humans to determine if GMOs 
    are safe, but studies in animals have discovered pre-cancerous cell 
    growth, damage to immune systems, smaller brains, livers, and testicles 
    and partial atrophy of the liver.

    Furthermore, when states attempt to mandate GMO labeling, companies like 
    Monsanto, DuPont, and Dow Chemical superfund efforts to squash the 

    Avoiding GMOs

    If you wish to avoid the negative effects of GMOs, then avoid those 
    products that contain them. Easier said than done since the United 
    States does not employ the same standards as Europe where labeling on 
    GMO products is required. The United States has no such requirements. Given this approach, it is beneficial to know what to look for.

    Products that are most likely to be genetically modified are soybeans, 
    corn, canola, sugar beets, cotton, dairy, sugar and bake goods. GMOs 
    are normally added to make crops more resistant to herbicides. Further 
    complicating the mix is the Food and Drug Administration’s approval to 
    sell GMO sugar beets under the name sugar. Should you see the words cane 
    sugar you can be reasonably sure that it is not GMO, but there are no 
    guarantees. Sugar is a pretty common ingredient is a huge number of 
    products, and thanks to the FDA we cannot be sure of the composition of 
    the sugar in what we eat. Products containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are most likely GMO as the sweetener is derived from corn rather than cane sugar.

    Knowing fruit and vegetable label numbers is a useful practice. If the 
    number is four digits then the food is conventionally produced. Five 
    digit numbers beginning with an eight are genetically modified, while a 
    five digit number beginning with a nine is organic.

    Look for the mark of approval from organic certification institutions 
    like QAI, Oregon Tilth, and CCOF. USDA organic certification does not 
    guarantee that a product is 100% organic. Eggs are of particular note 
    whereas “free range,” “natural,” or “cage free” labels do not absolutely 

  • mean that the product is not genetically engineered. Buy only eggs that 

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    are marked 100% organic.

    Living life well-fed,

    My Bariatric Life


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Published On: May 27, 2014