What are GMOs?
GMOs are plants or animals whose cells have been modified with a certain gene from an unrelated species to take on a certain characteristic or property.
Example: Tomato plant injected with gene to resist frost so it can be grown year round.
Many plants and animals have been 'modifying' on their own for years, but over the past 20 years we have started to have more of a hand in the process.
Recently, the FDA approved the first genetically engineered animal (salmon).
What is the issue with GMOs?
We have a lack of research about how these products could potentially affect our health and environment in the future.
Are they safe to consume?
Critics say that modifying a plant or animal could alter it’s nutritional value or create toxins, but this is disputed by the FDA. The FDA regulates GMOs for safety and they are regulated the same as any other food.
How can I tell if my food has GMOs?
GMOs, per the FDA, do not have to be labeled, which causes many critics. Many companies are starting to label their products without GMOs to avoid any backlash.
GMOs are prohibited in organic products.
Pros of GMOs?
Can survive harsher elements, which leads to the potential for more larger food supply.
Able to be adapted to provide increased vitamins, minerals and other benefits.
Less stress on the environment, which could mean less machinery, time and land used to grow crops.
Cons of GMOs?
Some studies show potential harm to the body (many studies show the safety of products).
Rise of new superweeds because plants can breed naturally, potentially harming the environment and resulting in a need for increased pesticides.
Possible lowered resistance to antibiotics.
The Overall Thought on GMOs?
We don’t have enough research on how they may or may not affect us or the environment. It is a very tricky subject and the governing association for dietitians has yet to take a stance.