What are GMOs?

National CSA Directory October 29, 2018

What are GMOs?

What is a GMO?

GMO simply stands for Genetically Modified Organism. A GMO can be defined as a plant, animal, or microorganism whose genetic structure has been altered in a lab through a variety of scientific processes. Thankfully organic farmers market near me don’t believe in these practices.

The essence of manufacturing GMOs is to make it easier to create plant and animal genes without going through the conventional, natural breeding processes. This makes it possible for scientists to produce safer, highly effective medications and vaccines that deliver consistent results.

In addition, GMOs are commonly used to address various problems facing farmers and animal breeders. From low yields to high animal mortality rates, the agricultural sector has often experienced numerous challenges caused by insects, weeds, and pests. However, with the help of GMO biotechnology, farmers are now able to obtain the best yields from their fields. In essence, GMO plants are more resistant to disease-causing pests and insects. The plants are also able to thrive under any climatic condition.

The Negative Effects of GMOs GMOs might seem to be a blessing in disguise. However, not everything about these organisms is as rosy as it seems. GMO products come with a host of negative effects on humans, animals and the environment.

Here are some of the downsides of GMOs

• Effects on the environment The main aim of using GMOs is to prevent plant diseases and control the growth of weeds by targeting various insects and pests. However, this is not always the case. Some non-targeted insects that are important in the biodiversity of the ecosystem may also be affected by the toxicity of GMOs. This creates an imbalance in the environment. Additionally, the use of GMOs also means less soil bacteria for plant growth and reduced nectar for cross-pollination. This not only affects the health of plants, but also creates a cycle of dependence on GMO seeds.

• Effects human body Although GMOs are relatively safe for consumption, continuous use of genetically modified products can have adverse effects on the human body. Studies suggest that there is a very close connection between GMOs and conditions such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, gluten intolerance, cancer, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and colitis, among many others. These conditions are mainly caused by glyphosate herbicide, which is normally used to treat GMO products.

Labeling of GMO products According to the guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration, GMO food product should have a label that clearly declares the genetically modified ingredients. The US Department of Agriculture has also proposed a similar guideline for labeling GMO foods. The reason for labeling these products is to protect consumers from possible allergic reactions.
Although these guidelines are yet to be effected, some manufacturers voluntarily label their products containing GMO ingredients. It is yet to be seen if these companies label all the ingredients.

Foods that are genetically modified

The list of genetically modified foods available in the market is almost endless. However, the most prominent GMO foods include:
• Soybeans
• Papaya
• Cotton
• Sugar Beets
• Apples
• Squash
• Potatoes
• Aquabounty Salmon fish

The upsides and downsides of GMOs are equally balanced. While others advocate for the use of GMO products, some people are against genetically engineered foods. Until researchers find a lasting solution, the topic of GMOs will always remain a contentious issue.