12 Things You Didn’t Know About GMOs
GMO is a hot topic right now. These are genetically modified organisms – plants and crops that have been altered at a genetic level in order for farmers to enjoy improved control over certain traits. The DNA of crops can be altered so that selective and mutation breeding is easier, and traits that make it difficult to harvest efficiently can be bred out.
On the surface, genetic modification of food seems beneficial in that it allows farmers to produce more of a crop over a shorter period of time. Plus, GMOs can create better tasting food that lasts longer. GMO crops can become immune to certain insects, and severe weather can have less of an impact on their survival.
Scratch the surface, though, and there are some concerns about the practice. There are lots of things we know about GMOs, as well as lots of things we don’t know.
Let’s take a look at the facts!
A Few Companies Hold All the GMO Cards
Large companies like Monsanto, which owns and controls roughly 90% of all genetically modified foods worldwide, basically control the food that we buy on the shelves. Given that GMOs are pretty new in the farming industry, the practice has not been widely adopted by more companies, meaning that we are putting our health in the hands of a few large companies. Some people are comfortable with that, and some aren’t – the decision of whether you want to consume this food is ultimately up to you.
We Don’t Know What Genetically Modified Food Does to the Body Long Term
The effects of consuming GMO food on a long-term basis is yet to be discovered. Given how new the technology is, even when science tells us that there is no scientific reason to be concerned, we technically cannot be 100% certain what effects the food might have on the body.
It is important to understand, however, that we still don’t know the long term effects of other products we use on a daily basis which we understand to pose no real health concerns, including plastic wraps used on foods.
GMOs Are Incredibly Common
GMO is already widespread across the United States. At least 90% of all soy, sugar, cotton, corn and canola crops in the United States make use of genetic modification technology. This technology is used mostly in large-scale agricultural operations, though it has found use elsewhere.