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What You Must Know About GMOs

GMOs, genetically modified organisms, are produced through genetic engineering. Their genetic makeup has been changed to include new and unique traits, such as, in the case of seeds, resistance to drought and increased yield. Proponents of genetic engineering say the process is safe and beneficial to the agricultural industry as well as consumers.

Opponents of GMOs are vociferous in their belief that genetic engineering is dangerous to the environment and to people. They cite human studies showing genes inserted into genetically modified soy, for example, can migrate into the DNA of bacteria inside human bodies. Other studies show the toxic insecticide made from genetically modified corn has been found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn children.

GMOs have already begun to make their way into the larger food supply. Going forward, genetically modified seed will be increasingly difficult to keep separate. GMOs also have higher levels of toxic herbicides. One of these is Roundup, which has been linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

The following foods are considered the biggest offenders among genetically-modified products:

1. Corn

At least half of all corn and corn products are genetically modified. Monsanto is the producer of most GMO seed, which has been tied to health issues including weight gain and organ disruption.

2. Soy

Biotech giant Monsanto genetically modifies about 90 percent of soy in the market, including tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil, and soy flour.

3. Sugar

Natural News says genetically-modified sugar beets entered the American market in 2009. As with other crops, Monsanto has modified beet seeds to resist herbicides.

4. Aspartame

Aspartame is created with genetically modified bacteria. This artificial sweetener is a toxic additive used in numerous food products, and presents a number of health dangers.

5. Papayas

Surprisingly, GMO papayas have been grown in Hawaii since 1999. They cannot be sold within the European Union, but they are widely distributed in the U.S. and Canada.

6. Canola

Canola is sourced from rapeseed through a series of chemical actions. It is one of the most heavily chemically altered foods in the American diet, and is a component of many processed foods.

7. Cotton

Cotton oil that originates in India and China poses extraordinary risks.

8. Dairy

Up to one-fifth of all American dairy cows are treated with growth hormones. Monsanto’s rBGH has been banned in 27 other countries, although it remains legal in the U.S.

9. and 10. Zucchini and Yellow Squash

These two closely-related varieties of squash are genetically modified to resist viruses.

The bottom line on these foods is, buy organic, and only buy food certified non-GMO. On a macro level, educate yourself about and support legislation to ban genetically modified organisms.

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