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What is a GMO? The basics of Genetically Modified Organisms

fruit injected with gmo

You probably have heard a lot about GMOs and even seen protests about them, but what are GMOs? Are they safe? Where do you find them? Here are the answers to such questions.

What are GMOs?

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered to provide a perceived advantage to the producer or consumer of these foods. Such modifications can translate into a product with a lower price, greater benefits in terms of durability, nutritional value or both and will not occur naturally.

Are they safe?

Great question!  When you eat GMOs you are introducing to your body substances that have not yet been tested for long-term effects in humans.  However, from the studies available at this time, we know that foods containing GMOs have the potential to cause hepatic, pancreatic, gastrointestinal, renal and reproductive problems. Laboratory studies on animals have also shown that such foods can be toxic or allergenic.  Many countries have strict restrictions regarding the use of GMOs in foods but this is not the case in the United States.

Are they common?

Yes, as much as 80% of processed foods sold in United States contain GMOs. The crops most likely to contain GMOs include: corn, canola, soy, papaya, sugar beets, zucchini and yellow summer squash.

Are GMOs labeled?

Unfortunately no. That is a big portion of the controversy regarding GMOs. Many consumers are requesting mandatory labeling in United States.

 Are Organic Foods Non-GMOs?

Certified organic foods can’t intentionally include GMO ingredients, but no GMO testing is mandatory. Therefore, with organic food you will have a much better chance of avoiding GMOs, but it is certainly not a guarantee.  Once again, mandatory labeling is the best solution to give you the right to choose what you eat.

Will GMOs impact my weight?

No, the main issue with GMOs is overall health.

How can you avoid consuming GMOs?

Without labeling is hard to avoid GMOs but visit The Non GMO Project for a complete list of non GMO verified products or download their app.

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