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How GMO’s Affect our Health?

Nowadays, with the advancement of biotechnology, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) are largely produced and comercialised. But are we prepared for GMO consequences?
What is GMO?
Food derived from GMOs are called GM food and are a mutation of real food where a genetic make-up has been modified using recombinant DNA methods. The exciting news are it can be cheaper, faster to grow and also allow the production of plants with increased resistance to bugs attack and climatic changes, to name a few. But they might be causing us more harm than we ever thought they would!
Health concerns with GMO foods
The digestive tract is the first site of contact of any ingested food. We can see that gastrointestinal disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), coelic disease and chronic constipation, have been rising over the years. Glyphosate, an herbicide used in GM food, has been shown to cause gut microbiota imbalance, promote growth of harmful bacterias and damage intestinal microvilli – causing symptoms similar to coelic disease and decreased nutrient absorption.
According to reports, individuals who consumed GMO’s also experienced the following side effects:
  • Increase in allergies
  • Increase in antibiotic resistance
  • Problems with endocrine system
  • Disorders of the reproductive system
  • Increase in aging symptoms
  • Cancerous Tumor growth

A 10-year study in Norway has found GMO’s may cause obesity, digestive problems, and damage to major organs including liver, kidneys, pancreas and genitals.

This is just the tip of the iceberg according to many leading scientists and researchers. In fact, some countries (notably the European Union), do not allow GMO foods to be imported.  In addition, if more than .9% of their foods contain GMO’s they must be labeled so the consumer knows exactly what they’re getting and consuming.

Most commonly found GMO foods

Monsanto is the largest producer today of genetically modified foods like corn, soy, and canola.  And now there are even companies working to produce genetically modified salmon and cattle.

While the list of GMO’s is undoubtedly growing, here are the most commonly found GMO foods are must be aware of:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Canola
  • Alfalfa
  • Sugar Beets

When you see the words on a nutrition label like corn syrup, soybean oil or even sugar, a majority of the time that ingredient has been genetically modified.

Other foods that may also be GMO or have GMO residue include: cottonseed oil, non-organic dairy, and papaya.

How to Avoid GMO Foods

The following are my top recommendations for keeping GMO foods out of your body:

  • Avoid all foods with corn, canola, and soy.
  • Look for and buy foods that are labeled GMO free.
  • Shop for organic foods. (By law they must contain less than 5% GM Products.)
  • Shop at your local farmers market or plant your own garden.

Follow these steps and you can be GMO free and help spread the word about the dangers of GMO’s.

REFERENCES
Zdziarski I.M,  Edwards J.W, Carman J.A , Haynes J.I.  GM crops and the rat digestive tract: A critical review. Environment International, 2014, 73: 423-33
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2014.08.018
Shehata AA, Schrodl W, Aldin AA, Hafez HM, Kruger M. The effect of glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro. Current Microbiology. 2013 April;66(4):350-8. doi: 10.1007/s00284-012-0277-2.
Charu Verma, Surabhi Nanda, Singh R.K., Singh R.B., Sanjay Mishra. A Review on Impacts of Genetically Modified Food on Human Health. The Open Nutraceuticals Journal, 2011, 4, 3-11.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand. General information about GM foods. 2016. http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/gmfood/gmoverview/Pages/default.aspx

Food Standards Australia New Zealand. General information about GM foods. 2016. http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/gmfood/Pages/Herbicides-in-GM-foods.aspx

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