News about GM’s, GMO’s or GE’s, has been popping up everywhere lately.
Genetically Modified foods (Genetically Modified Organisms or Genetically Engineered) aren’t necessarily new; articles from late 1990’s into 2000 are readily available.
What has changed over the years, though, is what we’ve learned about longer effects on people and the environment.
Essentially, genetic modifications were inteded to increase crops’ adaptability: drought, increase production, and decrease susceptibility to pesticides and infection. It was also believed that added nutrients would make these foods better for people, especially in areas of famine. Interesting concept, but do we want fish genes in our tomatoes to make them resistant to cold temperatures? Hmmm….
Looking at reports from early 2000, scientists speculated that there would be no adverse effects. Twelve years later, those beliefs seem to be changing. Allergens are increasing, livestock in India feeding on GM crops are dying, and reports have shown that some of these GM changes are having disastrous effects on the ecosystem.
While most of us have probably eaten GE foods at one time (since 60-70% of US processed foods contain them), the question arises, should we (as consumers) be notified when our foods have been genetically altered?
Which crops are commonly genetically modified (besides #1 corn)?
- Canola Oil
Also, those little stickers on your grocery store produce actually mean something besides a price scan! PLU codes that are 4 digits (or 5 digits beginning with a 0) are conventionally grown. 5-digit codes beginning with a 9 are organically grown, and 5-digit codes beginning with an 8 are genetically modified.
I’m sure this is a topic we are going to see in the news for quite some time. Where do you stand? Do you steer clear of GE foods? Do you think consumers should be notified when they’re purchasing GE items?
To help with the guess-work, these companies proudly display their GMO-free labels.
Glee Gum: “Chew-se wisely!” One of the only non-GMO chewing gums on the market.
Endangered Species Chocolates: All of their organic chocolates are certified non-GMO.
Yummy Earth: Yep, those delicious drops and pops are GMO-free.
For more information about GMO’s check out the not for profit- Non-GMO Project.