GMO: We Have a Right To Know

genetic experiment

Most of us hope to live a long and healthy life but as the incidence of disease gets younger, more common and less understood, we can only ask ourselves what has changed??  When we think about the foods that we are eating everyday, reality is that food just isn’t what they used to be.  We have evolved to a point, where not only has farming grown from small family farms to massive factory farming but the suppliers of our worlds seeds are chemical giants like Monsanto  (patent owners of the herbicide, Round Up).  Is there something wrong with this picture??  If your eyebrows haven’t raised yet, these companies recently banned together along with other massive enterprises; Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Kraft to pool $46 million dollars in advertising in an effort to sway voters from voting for a bill that would require all producers of GMO foods to label their products in the U.S.  It is both amazing and concerning, how much money is spent in an effort to keep consumers in the dark.  With the rise of GMOs in our everyday food, so is the rise in concerns over the resistance against transparency, as well as the lack of knowledge we have on the effects GMOs may be having on our health. So what is a GMO anyways?? GMO stands for genetically modified organism, which means modifying the genetic     makeup of our foods by merging the DNA of different plant species.  You want a sweeter tomato, a bigger apple, a brighter strawberry…anything is possible through the use of genetic modification.  These seeds were claimed to be “the answer to world hunger” by creating crops that were resistant to herbicides and pesticides, farmers would yield more crops and decrease their costs.  This however has not been the case, in fact the exact opposite has been happening. Bugs and weeds have become increasingly resistant to the widespread applications of these chemicals, leading to increased use of both; more need for pesticides, increasing costs for the farmers, more damage to our environment and increased health concerns. What are the health concerns? First off, with the resistance that insects and weeds are having to the chemicals used to control them, only means more toxic chemicals being dumped on our foods.  In addition to this, the safety of GMO foods is unproven and currently there is no independent safety testing or labelling required for genetically modified foods, so it is unknown how safe or environmentally destructive these products may be.  Lastly, the process in which these plants must undergo in order to be genetically modified (click the link to learn more) are extremely mutating and unnatural.  Like any living organism that is altered (i.e. cell mutation causing cancers), there may be unknown destruction to integrity and biochemical makeup of a plant.  We have no idea how this is affecting the nutritional value of our food, toxicity or the allergic effects it may cause. GMO-Fact-sheet   With all the unanswered questions and yet GMOs can be found in almost all processed and whole foods these days, it feels disheartening to those who strive so hard to be healthy; even healthy food could be considered unhealthy.  Currently in Canada we have nothing put in place to alert us to GMOs and it is our basic right to choice that has propelled the growing movement to have these foods labeled. There are a growing number of activists that push for transparency with GMOs, one in particular is a voluntary based organization The Non-GMO project, which strives to educate people on GMOs and your options.       To investigate Further: (awesome documentary)